AUSTIN (KXAN) — An abortion provider plans to move its four Texas clinics, including one in Austin, to New Mexico in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
According to a GoFundMe set up by Whole Woman’s Health, the organization explained “our patients need a Whole Woman’s Health to go to now that Texas has cruelly taken away this basic healthcare need,” but it needs money to relocate.
Texas now has a few laws on the books, outlawing most abortions, although some have not yet gone into effect.
“The community has come to rely on us for these services. And over time, we’ve been continuously fighting with the state of Texas against all of the restrictions and harmful laws that have been introduced,” Whole Woman’s Health VP Andrea Ferrigno told KXAN Wednesday.
The Texas Tribune reported in early July the Texas Supreme Court ruled the state can enforce its abortion ban from 1925 civilly, meaning abortion providers could face fines and lawsuits if they perform the procedure. This decision overruled a Harris County district judge who temporarily blocked the old law from taking effect.
Whole Woman’s Health said the funds raised would help pack up the clinics, “buy and renovate a building, relocate and hire staff, and set up licenses and certifications in New Mexico.” As of Wednesday morning, just over $12,000 had been gathered out of the organization’s $750,000 goal.
Other than establishing its first clinic in Austin in 2003, Whole Woman’s Health expanded to have locations in McAllen, Fort Worth and McKinney.
“Opening a brick and mortar clinic site in New Mexico, where we already offer Virtual Services, will allow us to provide first and second trimester abortions to people from Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona and elsewhere in the South where safe, legal abortion care is restricted,” Whole Woman’s Health wrote online.
“We are asking the community to help us move our clinics to New Mexico because we want to be able to continue to support our patients. Right now we’re focusing on our Texas patients, but we are already getting calls from people from other states as well that are looking for services that are looking to hold myself to offer the care they need. And so we are asking our community to help us do that,” Ferrigno said.
Texas also has a trigger law that bans the majority of abortions, but it’s not expected to take effect for about two months or longer. That’s because the trigger ban is set to take effect 30 days after a judgment is issued from the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. SCOTUS has only so far issued its opinion.
Texans’ opinions on abortion
The Texas Politics Project and University of Texas released polling Wednesday morning, showing the majority of Texans do not support abortion restrictions to the extent the state enacted last year.
The state’s new trigger law, which bans abortions after 30 days of the Supreme Court’s official judgment overturning Roe v. Wade with no exceptions for rape or incest, was only supported by 37% of registered voters polled. There is an exception, though, when the mother’s life is at risk.
Even fewer Texans support a restriction that would completely ban abortions.
“Only a very small share of Texans about 15% want to make abortion completely unavailable. And you can cut that question a lot of ways, you can give people different conditions, and you can see that number move a little bit under different conditions. But for the most part, there is not majority support in Texas, for making abortion completely illegal,” Jim Henson with the Texas Politics Project said Wednesday.
Henson explained how the 87th legislature still passed such restrictive abortion measures if public opinion differs so greatly.
“There is not majority support for what the legislature did in 2021, particularly now that that’s been fully enacted because of the Supreme Court overturning Roe. And so politics that had been driven in recent years by the fact that Republicans dominate the political system in Texas, they dominate elections, that’s given a big influence to the faction in the Republican Party that is most extreme on abortion,” Henson explained.