With one abortion business closed and a Planned Parenthood facility no longer committing abortions due to COVID-19, El Paso, Texas, has become an abortion-free city.
Hill Top Women’s Reproductive Clinic closed last year, and the building is now listed for sale. It was previously owned and operated by abortionist Franz Theard, who also owns an abortion business right across the Texas border, in New Mexico. Last year, Theard was accused of fleeing his abortion business after botching an abortion twice and refusing to give the woman her child’s remains. Theard’s abortion business had the woman and her husband arrested for disturbing the peace, but lost the case in court.
Local pro-life activists had heard whispers that Hill Top Women’s Reproductive Clinic would be closing, and pointed out that Theard often used his New Mexico facility to help Texan women get around the state’s abortion laws. Complaints filed against Theard in Texas include allegations that he was allowing Gloria Martinez, a nurse, to illegally commit abortions. Theard was also accused of traveling across state lines to circumvent Texas’ surgical restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, moving his surgical abortion equipment to New Mexico. There, a woman was injured and had to be taken back across state lines into Texas to go to the hospital and receive treatment.
For now, El Paso does not have any facility committing abortions, though abortion advocates are already raising the alarm, ostensibly in hopes of getting another abortion business to open within city limits. “People say that they’re pro-life, but in reality, they’re anti-choice,” Alexis, the helpline manager for West Fund, an organization that helps fund abortions, told El Paso Matters. “Abortion is incredibly common, it’s incredibly normal, and it’s also a positive thing, because at the end of the day, you are choosing your life. I think that’s one thing that anti-choicers miss.”
Yet the Bishop of El Paso, Mark Seitz, says otherwise — that abortion is a sign that women are desperate, scared, and don’t think they have a choice. He said, “The language of choice is really a misnomer, because if mothers felt like they were truly supported along this process they wouldn’t be choosing abortion.”
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