A Houston abortion clinic said Friday it was immediately suspending all abortion procedures in the wake of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
The Houston Women’s Clinic, which said it had 10 abortions planned for Friday, hung up a sign saying “HWC is no longer able to provide abortion care” as it said its lawyers advised to immediately halt the procedures because of Texas law.
“At the direction and advice of our (legal) council we decided to do so out of an abundance of caution,” the clinic director, who only wanted to be identified as Sheila for personal safety, told The Post. “The last thing we need is our doctor to face criminal charges.”
The immediate stoppage of the procedures at the clinic comes even though the Texas trigger law banning abortions will not go into effect for about a month.
Aside from the trigger law, the clinic’s director was worried about a second law on the books in Texas.
“One (law) pre-dates Roe v. Wade,” said the clinic director.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Friday that prosecutors could immediately pursue criminal prosecutions based on Texas abortion laws that were on the books before Roe v. Wade became law in 1973 and that were never repealed.
“Although these statutes were unenforceable while Roe was on the books, they are still Texas law,” Paxton wrote. “Under these pre-Roe statutes, abortion providers could be criminally liable for providing abortions starting today.”
Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas also canceled abortions, reported the Texas Tribune.
Another 50 abortions that were already scheduled at Houston Women’s Clinic were also canceled.
“Rightfully so, the women had a range of emotions — from sadness to fear to anger, and they have the right to feel that way,” said Sheila.
The clinic is referring those women to the National Abortion Federation for resources to travel out of state to a place were abortions are legal.
In 2021, Texas passed a trigger law, the Human Life Protection Act, that would restrict abortions within 30 days of any high court ruling giving states the authority to outlaw abortions.
Anyone who performs or helps provide an abortion could be charged with a first-degree felony and a $100,000 penalty.
The exact date the prohibition on abortion goes into effect in the Lone Star State is still not known, said Paxton.
The Texas trigger law would restrict abortions starting at conception, makes no exceptions to end a pregnancy due to rape, incest, fetal abnormality or when a fetus is not expected to survive after birth.
The one exemption it does make is when the life or health of the mother is at risk.