September 4, 2014 — In today's video clips, follow a tour of two Texas abortion facilities to see how restrictive state rules are "harming the way that a safe procedure has been done for many years," in the words of one provider. We also feature excerpts from a documentary that follows an activist's attempts to bring abortion care to women in countries where it is illegal.
RH Reality Check's Andrea Grimes guides viewers on a tour of two Texas abortion facilities to highlight the changes clinics would have to make under a state law (HB 2) being challenged in court that requires them to meet the same hospital-like standards as ambulatory surgical centers. The new state requirements are "harming the way that a safe procedure has been done for many years," Whole Woman's Health Corporate Vice President Andrea Ferrigno tells Grimes.
Grimes and Ferrigno first walk through one of the group's clinics -- which is set up like a doctor's office and designed to put women at ease -- and then its surgical center in San Antonio, Texas. Although patients receive the same abortion procedures at both facilities, Ferrigno notes several differences between the settings, including that the clinic provides a more comfortable and familiar environment to women seeking abortion care (Grimes, RH Reality Check, 8/29).
In a feature titled "The Abortion Ship," the New York Times Magazine excerpts clips from Diana Whitten's documentary "Vessel," which chronicles the efforts of Dutch physician Rebecca Gomperts to provide abortions to women in Ireland, where abortion is illegal, by performing the procedures in international waters using a ship container that had been converted into a mobile abortion clinic.
While Gomperts thought her group would be able to perform abortions, they were unable to do so because they lacked a license. She says, "I cannot tell you how much my heart bleeds for this. The only way to change the situation is if [the] Irish government [legalizes] abortion." She explains, "We can never, ever, ever provide enough services to all these women [who] are in such desperate nee[d]." Gomperts also is the subject of an accompanying Times Magazine article, which focuses on her work to provide online support to women in need of medication abortion in countries where abortion is illegal (Whitten, New York Times Magazine, 8/28).