Thirty-seven of 42 Texas abortion facilities do not currently meet ASC standards.
“Forcing clinics to become ASC’s doesn’t make any medical, logistical sense,” says Tilton-Jones of the provision. “Family planning clinics keep costs low with general anesthesia. They make no incisions. That’s the risky stuff.
Ambulatory care costs three to five times more to operate. These clinics only have two years to meet the standards of a mini-hospital. There’s no way they can pull it off.”
Imposing a blanket restriction on abortion would be one travesty.
But the ASC provision in SB1 will not only effectively end the practice of abortion in most of the state of Texas,
it will also force the closure of medical facilities that provide free or low-cost healthcare services specifically geared toward women.
Thirty-one percent of Texan women are currently uninsured. For many poor and rural women, family planning clinics are their only source for sexually transmitted disease screenings, contraception, pap smears and screenings for diabetes and high blood pressure.
“For many Texas women, their annual women’s health checkup at these clinics is the only access to medical care they’ll get all year,” says Tilton Jones.
Worse yet, a cynical pall hangs over SB1’s ASC provision.
As the Texas Observer first reported, Texas Governor Rick Perry’s sister Milla Perry Jones is vice president of government relations at United Surgical Partners International. Her role for that company is to lobby on behalf of ASC’s.