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Planned Parenthood in Waco first to resume abortion services in Texas since Supreme Court decision

Source: KXXV Source: KXXV
WACO, TX (KXXV) -

The Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas announced on Tuesday the restoration of abortion services in Waco. This is the first Planned Parenthood to resume abortion services in Texas since the U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down regulations.

Whole Women's Health has also reopened two abortion clinics in Dallas and Austin before the Waco Planned Parenthood.

The Audre Rapoport Women's Health Center on Ross Avenue was one of the nearly 20 clinics that didn't performed abortions since 2013. Back then, a change in Texas law required abortion providers to have surgical-like settings and abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals. However, a Supreme Court ruling overturned those regulations last year.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Senior Director of Public Affairs Kelly Hart said the restoration of the services will give more options for women who didn't have access to those services in the community since 2013. 

"We know too many women in this area were traveling 50 miles. Sometimes more than 100 hundred to receive access of the services they want and need," Hart said. "We are very proud to bring those services back to the Waco community so that we can remove a barrier for women who find this healthcare in their best interest,"

Since the SCOTUS decision, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas states it has been working to restore abortions at the Ross Avenue clinic.

"We know before HB2, 800 women came in the McLennan County area are came in for abortion services. It is our mission to provide the comprehensive range of the health care services," Hart said.

Pro-life Waco Director John Pisciotta expressed sadness when he heard about the abortion services being back in Waco.

"It's a heartbreak. A lot of people harmed. A lot of people getting hurt with the resumption," Pisciotta said.

He said he believes Planned Parenthood has a financial motive to restore the abortion services.

"It's on the interstate so I can see why this would be an attractive place to began recovering some of the cities that had abortions in the past," Pisciotta said.

However, Hart stated that wasn't the reason. She added their interest was to provide compassionate, non-judgmental healthcare.

While Planned Parenthood continues to provide abortions, Pisciotta said Pro-Life Waco will continue counseling women who are considering abortions before they go into that clinic. 

"What we are going to focus day to day, that one woman and that one life she carries and to encourage her to choose life for that baby," Pisciotta said. 

The abortion services resumed in Mid-April and they will be performed by appointment only. 

Planned Parenthood also offers STD testing, birth control, cervical cancer screenings, clinical breast exams and pregnancy tests.

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