(Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)
Planned Parenthood announced that it is closing down three abortion clinics shortly following Texas Gov. Rick Perry singing into law a bill restricting abortions. Alliance Defending Freedom expressed its wishes to see more clinics shut down.
"Planned Parenthood is more concerned with using American taxpayers' dollars to pad its bottom line than providing competent healthcare to women," ADF Senior Counsel Michael Norton said in a statement on Thursday.
"We will continue to hold Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and all other Planned Parenthood affiliates accountable for its fraudulent use of taxpayer dollars and hope that even more abortion clinics will soon close."
Gov. Perry signed House Bill 2 into law Thursday morning, prohibiting the abortion of babies at 20 weeks gestation, and giving abortion providers one year to update their facilities in order to meet the same minimum safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers.
Perry said that "new research and advanced technology give prematurely-born children a renewed chance at life, which should give us all pause as we argue the definition of viability."
The three clinics that are closing down are located in Bryan, Huntsville and Lufkin in Texas. Planned Parenthood said in a statement that Texas politicians have created in recent years "an increasingly hostile environment for providers of reproductive health care in underserved communities."
"Deplorably, the combined impact of years of budget cuts to women's health care services and the dismantling of the successful Women's Health Program will take affordable, preventive health care options away from women in Bryan, Lufkin and Huntsville – just as these policies have taken health care away from an estimated 130,000 others – when Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast is forced to close these family planning health centers at the end of August," the organization said.
Planned Parenthood added that it is a "travesty" that Texas politicians have taken steps to "strip health care from women across the state, harming lives and unraveling the health care safety net that has taken decades to build," but promised to continue fighting for women's health care.
Perry has argued, however, that House Bill 2 ensures that abortions carried out in Texas are safe and prepared to deal with any emergencies – "a reasonable, common sense expectation for those caring for the health and safety of Texans," he added.
Other conservative voices have also defended the bill, including Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council.
"This new law is grounded in the latest science and in common sense. It will protect the most vulnerable – the unborn – after 20 weeks," Perkins said.
"If babies can feel pain around 20 weeks and are viable shortly thereafter, then no one can argue that an abortion isn't ending life. The vast majority of Americans think that late abortion should be banned. Texas lawmakers have honored their wishes. The law will also ensure that women taking RU-486, an abortion-causing drug that has harmed thousands of women and killed at least 10, do so according to FDA guidance and with a doctor's supervision. This will help protect women in case of complications."