Abortion clinics in Beaumont and McAllen closed because the doctors there did not have local hospital admitting privileges, as required under Texas’ new law regulating clinics as if they were surgical centers. More are expected to close by September. Is the new law working the way Texans meant, or has it gone too far in restricting what the U.S. Supreme Court held is a constitutional freedom?The Legislature is being disingenuous when it says the law is meant to provide better medical care for women seeking abortions. The Texas Hospital Association said admitting privileges are unnecessary for emergency care resulting from abortion complications. Forcing clinics to close because of their inability to comply with unwarranted restrictions limits a woman’s right to safely end a pregnancy. So, yes, the law is indeed working the way Texans (not all by any means) meant. And, yes, it has gone too far. — Jane Pavelko, Arlington If women’s health is so important, why doesn’t Planned Parenthood continue to provide health services and help the women it claims need help, even if abortions cannot be performed there? The answer is summed up in one word: money. Abortion is not a women’s health issue in the greatest majority of cases. Abortion is the killing of a human life in its early stages of development. An unborn baby is just as much a human being as a newborn just a few months younger than a full term birth. Thank God for the legislation. — Lawrence Bierschenk, WeatherfordI can’t see where the state should have any say in what a woman decides to do with her body. You or I can agree with abortion or disagree with it. That’s our choice. A woman should always be the final say in what she decides is right for her. — Lynn Miller, North Richland Hills Childbirth is more dangerous to the health and life of a woman than abortions is. Which then brings up the question, when are they going to introduce laws requiring midwives to have admitting privileges at local hospitals? — Bill Robinson, Arlington The term “abortion clinic” deliberately overlooks many necessary health services which these clinics provide.The obvious injustice is that mostly male legislators determine the health future for women.These guys are stimulated by the idea of forcing women to give birth and they find it satisfying to wear a halo for saving the lives of babies for whom they never can be held responsible. — Betty W. Fay, Fort WorthIf so many abortion clinics are having to close because of increased standards, it only proves the poor condition of those clinics prior to the law. There is much more at stake here than pro-life or pro-choice arguments; the mother’s safety is in jeopardy if people will not stand up for higher standards.I think that both sides can agree on that. — Sarah Ashour, Grand PrairieMoralists who support closure of abortion clinics are the same immoralists who oppose expanding Medicaid to help sick and suffering children and advocate cuts in food stamps that will feed children in food insecure families.Furthermore, they are the biggest complainers of intrusive government, yet will use government to restrict a woman’s right to choose. — Peggy A. Shelton, Fort WorthIn spite of its ruling, if anyone thinks that the U.S. Supreme Court was right in holding that it is a “constitutional freedom” to kill the unborn by abortion, then you don’t know the Constitution. Nowhere does it allow capital punishment without due process and trial. Only if an unborn were somehow found guilty of a capital offense could a death sentence be either fitting or constitutional. Abortion clinics are but symptoms of ambivalent law. — Richard M. Holbrook, WeatherfordIf we care about the reproductive health of women and the right to safe, legal abortion, why then is there an outcry when clinics and physicians without admitting privileges at local hospitals close their doors for business? If it is “going too far” to enact legislation that protects the women of this state by shutting down substandard clinics and the physicians that run them, then we have to get really honest and admit that we are more concerned with the number of locations of abortion clinics than we are with the quality of care received by the women of Texas. — Karen Furr, BenbrookThe same people who brought the restrictions on abortion clinics and providers under the pretense of protecting the unborn and women obviously care naught that Texas ranks nationally at the bottom in children’s daily living conditions: prenatal care, healthcare insured children, education and quality, affordable child care for working parents. The sad truth is once a child is born in Texas, it’s his own darn hardship. — Franya Wilhelm, ArlingtonAbortion would be more humane than what happens to some babies after they are born. How many “men” who protest against abortions have babies they don’t support?If you have a child that is raped at the age of 11 or so, should she be forced to have a baby? We don’t need to go backwards with our laws. What we do need to do is get out of trying to rule women’s lives. — Bonnie Hromcik, BenbrookWhen abortion was first made legal by Roe v. Wade, it was supposed to be “safe, legal and rare” and that is exactly what is happening with this new law. In any stage of human life, ending a life should never be a trivial matter or an easy thing to obtain. — Mary Pearl, KilleenI don’t believe in abortions and I don’t know anyone who does. But the right to have this procedure should be up to the woman, her doctor and her God.I understand that Planned Parenthood clinics spend only 3 percent of their budget on abortions. The other 97 percent goes to counseling for poor women about their options including contraceptives, care of their children, health issues etc. Now, with the closing of all these clinics, these poor women in the thousands have no place to go. — Jack Vaughan, Arlington Is a fetus a true human being or just a “lump of tissue?” If it is a true human being, even one abortion clinic is one too many. Actually, Planned Parenthood might be considered religious in that they really do believe in miracles. Their miracle is the “lump of tissue” miraculously growing a brain, eyes, heart, arms, legs and the ability to feel pain just two seconds before birth. — Curt Lampkin, AzleThe injustice of laws closing abortion clinics is that harm is being done to mostly U.S. citizens, supposedly for the benefit of fetuses that almost no American considers to be worthy of U.S. citizenship because a fetus is not regarded to be a “person.” — Larry Mason, AzleI celebrate HB 2.I was a victim of this “privilege” in 1979 which provided me a “legal” right to murder my unborn child. I didn’t have a clue when I had my abortion, and there was no one there to explain to me how much I would regret this one single spur-of-the-moment decision, made so easy with a $350 cash payment.The regulations and the restrictions of this new Texas law will save the lives of our children and protect women from unsafe conditions of abortion.Texas supports life, and it begins in the mother’s womb. Everyone deserves the chance, just like you and I had, to live. — Cherri Sue Barker, Cedar Park
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