Press Releases

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Abortion clinic closings in Texas another blow to Latina health in the Rio Grande Valley

Press Release
New York
Erin White, erin@caminopr.com / 212.255.2575

Closings make already desperate situation even worse

(New York, NY) - Whole Woman's Health – the largest independent abortion provider in Texas – has announced the closure of two comprehensive reproductive health clinics in rural Texas in the aftermath of the passage of Texas House Bill 2 (HB2), which enacted severe and unnecessary restrictions on abortion providers. These clinics, in Beaumont and McAllen,Tx., are the only ones in East Texas and the Rio Grande Valley respectively that provided abortion services. In November, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health(NLIRH) documented the already dismal state of health care in the Rio Grande Valley in its human rights report, “Nuestra Salud, Nuestra Voz, Nuestro Texas: The Fight for Women’s Reproductive Health in the Rio Grande Valley.”

Below is the statement from Jessica González-Rojas, Executive Director for NLIRH:

“Today, my heart breaks for my Latina sisters in the Rio Grande Valley and across Texas. The closures of these two health centers mean that for many Latinas, the ability to make their own private decisions about abortion has been flatly denied. Anti-choice politicians in Texas wanted to make abortion illegal, but they couldn’t. Instead they’ve just placed it out of reach for women already facing difficult circumstances. Closing these clinics also means that Latinas in the region, who already face formidable barriers to health care, have even fewer options for important services like breast exams, cervical cancer screenings, and contraception.

“In Texas, Latinas already report living with lumps in their breasts, chronic pain from untreated illness, and fears that they have undetected cancers as a result of the systematic dismantling of the reproductive health care system. Whole Women’s Health was an important source of care for the region, and I’m deeply saddened that ongoing attacks on women’s reproductive decision-making have forced them to close.

“It’s important to remember, though, that women in the Rio Grande Valley and across Texas are not sitting by as their health care is denied and their human rights are violated. Latinas in Texas are organized, empowered, and we are working alongside these poderosa (powerful) activists to reverse this tide of harmful policies and restore access to the care these women need.”

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The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national reproductive justice organization dedicated to building Latina power to advance health, dignity, and justice for 25 million Latinas, their families, and communities in the United States through leadership development, community mobilization, policy advocacy, and strategic communications.