A frantic scene formed at an abortion clinic in Fort Worth, Texas, as dozens of women gathered in a last-ditch effort to have an abortion.
Whole Woman’s Health (WWH) in Central Texas worked to end 67 pregnancies in 17 hours after an all-hands-on-deck approach to help women seeking care.
The nation’s strictest abortion law was set to go into effect at midnight, and many women flocked to the clinic for their last chance to have the procedure while they still could.
The frenzy took place on Tuesday evening, Aug. 31, after the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) still failed to rule on an emergency appeal to stop the law pending further investigation.
On Wednesday evening, the SCOTUS ruled not to suspend the law so that it can take effect while it undergoes judicial review.
Whole Woman’s Health Clinic in Fort Worth, Texas (pictured) performed 67 abortions in just 17 hours as many women arrived in a last ditch effort to get the procedure before a new midnight restriction went into effect
Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder of WWH, let people know via Twitter that her clinic would perform abortions until the midnight deadline
“We have staff and doctors performing abortions in Texas – still at this hour – and they are all there to provide care until 11:59 pm tonight. Our waiting rooms are filled with patients and their loved ones. Right now,” Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO and founder of WWH, wrote on the company’s Twitter page.
the 19th reports that the clinic was surrounded by both patients and protesters.
Marva Sadler, an administrator at WWH, told the 19th that her staff on her team had to perform nearly eight abortions an hour during the final hours to help everyone.
However, not everyone could get the procedure they wanted.
A woman, The 19th reports, arrived for an abortion and told staff she was going to jail soon and did not want to deliver a child to jail.
Texas law already required a woman to make an initial appointment with a doctor to discuss the procedure, 24 hours after they actually performed the abortion.
Under the new law, any woman who undergoes an abortion after six weeks can be sued by a US private American anywhere in the country. Many women don’t even know they’re pregnant after six weeks (file photo)
However, she only came for her first appointment and was unable to have an abortion.
The woman fell to her knees and pleaded with Sadler for help, according to the report, but the doctors were legally unable to help her.
She was 12 weeks pregnant, meaning she wouldn’t be able to have the procedure done in Texas once the law went into effect.
Senate Bill 8, was passed by the Texas legislature in May and was set to take effect September 1.
It’s a “heartbeat” bill, which prevents a woman from having an abortion after the fetus has had an observable heartbeat first.
This is generally six weeks after the woman last had her period, a point where many women may not yet know they are pregnant.
Under the law, any citizen anywhere in the country can file a lawsuit of up to $10,000 against any Texas woman who has had an abortion after six weeks.
Anyone who is believed to have assisted in the abortion process, from a doctor who performed or consulted the woman about the procedure, a friend who gave the woman money or transportation assistance to get the abortion, or anyone else who assisted in any way the wife wife.
Abortion advocates have filed an emergency appeal with SCOTUS to prevent the law from taking effect pending judicial review.
The SCOTUS rejected the order by 5-4 votes, with all three Liberal judges sitting on the bench and Chief Justice John Roberts voting in favor, and five Conservative judges speaking against.
Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan disagreed. The other judges — all appointed by Republican presidents — enforced the law. From left to right: Judges Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan, John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch, Stephen Breyer, Amy Coney Barrett, and Sonia Sotomayor
Opponents of the law argue that it violates a precedent set by Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1973 SCOTUS decision that ruled that abortion bans violate a person’s constitutional rights.
The law is vague, they also say, and exactly who can be prosecuted has not been formally determined.
Proponents of the bill argue that the law does not violate Roe v Wade, as the government itself does not prohibit abortion.
Women are still allowed to have the abortion after six weeks, but this would open themselves and everyone involved to a private suite.
Texas is now the only state that has a law that could limit a woman’s right to an abortion before 20 weeks. Mississippi joins Texas as the only states with restrictions before 22 weeks.
The law can still be expunged by the Supreme Court in the future, but will still be in effect until a decision is made.