Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments for Whole Women’s Health vs. Hellerstedt. The case revolves around whether or not ambulatory surgical center regulations for abortion centers and hospital admitting privileges for abortionists creates an undue burden. The claim has been made that over 20 Texas abortion facilities closed, directly because of H.B. 2, and abortion activists have taken up the phrase “Stop the Sham.” It’s because of pro-lifers and their anti-abortion laws that abortion centers are closing, they say. But if they want to know the real reason so many are closing, they’ll need to look in their own backyard.
It turns out that Planned Parenthood’s ‘mega-clinics’ may be to blame…
The Wall Street Journal reports:
In another example of adverse conditions for many clinics, America’s largest abortion network, Planned Parenthood, has been steadily eating up market share. In 1993 fewer than 10% of U.S. abortions were done in Planned Parenthood facilities. By 2011 Planned Parenthood’s total market share had increased to 32%. This expansion can easily be attributed to the building of mega-clinics. In Houston in 2010, Planned Parenthood built the largest administrative and medical abortion facility in the nation, stating that it sought to reach 30,000 more clients annually.
This is merely one of 21 mega-clinics—typically able to see more than 17,000 patients a year, versus 5,000 in an average clinic—Planned Parenthood has opened or planned nationally since 2004. Three of these were in Texas, including two that opened after the passage of the 2013 bill that is the subject of litigation. This increased capacity affects the competition no less than when a Lowe’s or Home Depot moves into an area and the local hardware store closes, or when locally run stores are unable to compete with national box-store giants like Wal-Mart.
The co-founder of a clinic that closed in Washington state in 2010 said, “We would not be closing today if Planned Parenthood had not started providing abortion services in the same town.” A June 23, 2008, article in The Wall Street Journal quoted clinic operator Amy Hagstrom Miller saying “This is not the Planned Parenthood we all grew up with . . . they now have more of a business approach, much more aggressive.” Ms. Hagstrom Miller, whose network of Whole Women’s Health clinics is now the plaintiff in the case against Texas that the Supreme Court will hear this week, told the Journal back then that Planned Parenthood “put local independent businesses in a tough situation.”
So Planned Parenthood moves in, and thanks to their gigantic abortion wonderland ‘mega-clinics,’ smaller abortion centers get put out of business because they just can’t compete. Abortion advocates are running around shouting about #StopTheSham, but the simple truth of the matter is that it simply comes down to supply and demand.
Would taking away the increased regulations really make a difference for these abortion facilities being shuttered? Not if Planned Parenthood kept moving in with their ‘mega-clinics,’ no. As pointed out above, these facilities can serve over triple the number of patients that smaller ones can. That alone creates a problem. And there isn’t any actual evidence proving that the regulations are what put the abortion centers out of business – something that, during the arguments, attorney Stephanie Toti was forced to admit, saying that only the timing linked the regulations and the facility closures.
As Live Action contributor Christina Marie Bennett pointed out, these regulations aren’t a sham, but are necessary and save lives. We have nothing whatsoever to link the closure of abortion centers in Texas to H.B. 2, but we do have plenty of evidence linking Planned Parenthood to the closures.
So when will the #StopTheSham crowd start up a #StopPlannedParenthood rallying cry?