KFOX14 - kfoxtv.com - Search Results
Supreme Court's decision keeps one El Paso clinic from performing abortions
EL PASO, TEXAS -- A decision by the United States Supreme Court to allow the recent overhaul to Texas abortion laws means two local clinics will have to stop offering abortions.
The administrator of Reproductive Services said the highest court's decision is "devastating for women of Texas."
Right now the clinic, which receives funding for treatment of low-income women, can't perform abortions. Gerri Laster said the clinic is working on getting admitting privileges with a local hospital, but she said it's a long and tedious process.
Laster said the clinic hopes to start performing abortions in the beginning of December. Until then, she says the clinic will be turning women away.
Laster said that before it had to halt procedures, the clinic was performing around 150 a month. Some women reportedly even travel more than 100 miles to El Paso to have an abortion, and now they're trying to find alternatives, but options are limited.
"You are finding women that are like, 'What am I going to do?'" said Laster.
New Mexico voters just rejected a ban on late-term abortions, so with a pro-abortion rights state nearby, many Borderland women may soon travel across state lines for an abortion.
"Abortion is something personal; its up to that person, and now the law is telling you, 'No, no, you can't do that,' and I don't think that's really fair for them to have to go out-of-state for something that's their own personal decision," said Kristie Benejan.
Laster said before being forced to stop, her clinic performed abortions for around $500, and their clinic was the only one in El Paso that has funding for low-income women.
Now, if women are forced to travel, the expense of abortion could jump to between $700 and $800 or more.
"It's time in hotels; it's still an expensive, hard way for them to go," said Laster.
For those who can't even afford the abortion, taking care of a child seems out of the question.
'"I think it's wrong in a lot of ways because you have a lot of teen pregnancies now days, and even though it's irresponsible on their part, it should be their choice because economically, maybe they can't afford it," said Cristy Rodriguez.
Some said they're not against the extra time and money associated with the choice.
"It makes it a little more complicated for people to have an abortion, so maybe they can think twice," said Eduardo Acosto.
Still, Laster fears if crossing state lines is too costly, many will head to Mexico.
"That's a big concern," said Laster.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did agree to have a hearing on the abortion restriction laws in January. Laster said it's not hopeful, but there is a possibility some portions of the restrictions could be taken out.