Whole Woman's Health, a privately-owned feminist organization that provides comprehensive gynecology services, including abortion care, has announced that it will give free abortion services to victims of Tropical Storm Harvey for the entire month of September. Conservative critics have slammed the move as "heinous."
"Unfortunately, we know all too well that abortion can be difficult to access in some parts of the country, especially in Texas. There are already so many barriers to access this necessary procedure, and natural disasters stand in the way of women getting to their appointment and/or being able to afford care," the organization announced in a blog post in the aftermath of Harvey last Friday.
"During Hurricane Harvey, many of the clinics in Houston had to close temporarily, leaving women with very few options. Continued political attacks on abortion access make an unwanted pregnancy particularly stressful in Texas – add that to the stress of dealing with hurricane aftermath," it continued.
"To ensure our patients get the compassionate, quality abortion care they deserve, we're providing no-cost abortions for those affected by Hurricane Harvey," the women's group then announced. "In collaboration with abortion funds, including Lilith Fund and our own Stigma Relief Fund, we will be assuring our patients have the financial and logistical assistance they need to get to one of our Texas clinics (Austin, San Antonio, McAllen, or Fort Worth). This assistance includes travel and lodging, if necessary."
The Christian Post reached out to Whole Woman's Health for comment Thursday to enquire what sort of response they have received to their offer but a response is still pending.
Pro-life groups in Texas are not happy, calling the move "heinous."
"The promotion of this heinous no-cost service is riddled with fallacies because abortion is never free," Melissa Conway, director of external relations for Texas Right to Life, told Baptist Press. "There is always a cost to abortion. Women are not free from the emotional toll that ensues after abortion and the child is certainly not free to live another day. Abortions, just like the catastrophic effects of a hurricane, are never free and we, as a community, pay the price for their needless destruction.
"As so many are living in the tragic remains of Harvey," she continued, "now more than ever is the time to protect the most vulnerable among us and combat the predatory schemes of big-business abortion attempting to victimize women and terminate the lives of their preborn babies."
Tom Billings, executive director of the Union Baptist Association in Houston, told BP: "It's ironic after so many heroic efforts to save pets during the recent floods in Houston that anyone would be so callous with the life of an unborn child."
As of Wednesday, some 70 Harvey-related deaths were reported, according to Fox News. Emergency officials said a lineman electrocuted while working to restore electricity near the town of Bloomington is the latest casualty. Harvey deaths were spread across 13 Texas counties. Harris County reported the highest number of fatalities with at least 30 reported deaths.