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Mapped: The Shrinking Landscape of Texas Abortion Facilities

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Mapped: The Shrinking Landscape of Texas Abortion Facilities

Picture of Becca  Aaronson

The number of licensed abortion providers in Texas has been shrinking — there are now 28 providers, down from 40 last year. New rules set to take effect this September will likely bring the number of such facilities down to six. A recent Texas Tribune report maps the changing landscape.

This story is part of an ongoing series that 2013 Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism Grantee and National Health Journalism Fellow Becca Aaronson is writing for the Texas Tribune on women's health care in the state. For a complete look at Aaronson's extensive coverage, click here.

The Texas Tribune
Thursday, March 20, 2014

Since November, abortion facilities in South Texas, Beaumont and the Panhandle have closed as a result of strict abortion regulations approved in July by the Republican-led Texas Legislature. In August, before the rules took effect, there were 40 licensed abortion providers in Texas. Now there are 28 licensed abortion providers, according to the Department of State Health Services. When additional rules take effect in September that require abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers, the number of abortion facilities will likely drop to six.

Researchers with the Texas Policy Evaluation Project at the University of Texas said the number of providers still performing abortions in Texas is even lower than the number of licensed providers. The Planned Parenthood clinic in Waco, while licensed, no longer performs the procedure. The Killeen Women's Health Center and North Park Medical Group in Dallas are also still licensed, but transfer their abortion patients to obtain the procedure in other locations. Also, Whole Woman's Health operates two separately licensed facilities at the same location in San Antonio, a clinic and ambulatory surgical center. In August, only 34 of the licensed providers were still performing abortions, said the researchers.

While state lawmakers argue that the additional regulations are necessary to protect women's safety, abortion providers have challenged the constitutionality of the rules, arguing that they create an undue burden for women who want access to a legal medical procedure.

Use the map below to see how the number of licensed abortion facilities in Texas has changed because of the new regulations. Abortion clinics are marked in teal, and ambulatory surgical centers that perform abortion are marked in yellow. The clinics that remain open but no longer perform the procedure have hollow markers. The map shows where licensed abortion facilities were located in August 2013, before HB 2 took effect; the open facilities as of March 2014; and the facilities that could remain open in September 2014 when additional ambulatory surgical center rules are scheduled to take effect. Roll over the facilities to see details about their location and history.

This story was produced with the support of the Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism, a program of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism's California Endowment for Health Journalism Fellowships, and in partnership with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

This story originially ran in The Texas Tribune, where the full interactive version of the map shown above can be found.