In Austin, Texas, women facing unplanned pregnancies will now have more options. Austin LifeCare will be replacing Whole Woman’s Health, the notorious abortion chain known for fighting back against common-sense restrictions and regulations that save women’s lives.
Whole Woman’s Health has locations across the country, including Maryland, Virginia, Texas, Minnesota, and Illinois, but it’s their locations in Texas that have attracted the most press after WWH served as lead plaintiff in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, successfully challenging the state’s abortion facility requirements. The Texas law would merely have required abortion facilities to be kept at the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers, and required abortionists to obtain hospital admitting privileges. These things help protect women in case an abortion goes wrong; widened hallways, for example, are so that paramedics and emergency officials can easily navigate a stretcher in and out of the building.
It may seem rather anti-woman to oppose regulations that would help keep women safer, but Whole Woman’s Health has a long history of health violations; after numerous violations among the locations in Texas, for example, multiple Whole Woman’s Health franchises were fined, including $22,980 for the Austin facility.
This kind of dangerous behavior has continued recently, with surgical instruments not sterilized between patients, and suction machines with rust spots on them. Still, Whole Woman’s Health continues to operate around the country, including for 16 years in Austin.
The Austin location finally was forced to close when it lost its lease to Andy Schoonover, executive director of Austin LifeCare. The closure was unsurprisingly slammed by Amy Hagstrom-Miller, the founder of the Whole Woman’s Health abortion chain, who accused pregnancy resource centers of being deceptive, and called them un-Christian and immoral. (Ironic, given what abortion does to human beings….)
“We fear and mourn for those patients now, knowing they’ll be greeted by non-licensed workers in an unregulated facility posing as medical staff, waiting to force their political ideology on someone who simply wants to have an abortion,” Miller said in an interview with the Austin Chronicle. “Now, more than ever, we need the Austin community to rally behind us.”
Austin LifeCare provides numerous services to help empower women when they experience unplanned pregnancies, and continue to support mothers even after they give birth, as grateful clients have said themselves in reviews. “[After a grueling pregnancy and labor, the Center is there for continued support,” Doreen wrote on Yelp. “I recommend ALC to every mom and pregnant women I meet. They are a rare gem in Austin treating everyone with respect to only help them through a tough time – no questions asked.”
Others said that when they became pregnant without insurance, Austin LifeCare was there to help them get through it, helping them find support and resources, including a boutique which provides baby items and maternity clothes. “Everybody there is so nice and compassionate, the counselor I was with (Chelsea) was more than helpful when I was bawling my eyes out of a mix of emotions,” another mom named Ali wrote on Yelp. “If you want to talk, they hear you. They referred me to a doctor and how to apply for Medicaid and wic and all these things I had no idea how to do.. My boyfriend and I are now enrolled in childbirth classes which you get ‘baby bucks’ from, meaning that you can buy things from the baby boutique, diapers or even car seats and cribs just by attending classes.”
Thanks to Austin LifeCare, women will have real options, instead of being subjected to the deaths of their children in an unsafe, shoddy facility. Which choice sounds more pro-woman?
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