Whole Woman’s Health, the biggest independent abortion provider in Texas, announced Wednesday that it is closing its current clinics and relocating all services to New Mexico following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
But the privately owned health care group, which has operated in Texas since 2003, said it won’t be able to relocate its Austin, McAllen, Fort Worth and McKinney clinics without major fundraising.
“With the shuttering of our 4 Texas clinics, we do not have the financial reserves to open in New Mexico without community support,” Amy Hagstrom Miller, the president and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, said in a plea to supporters. “We are asking for your help as we vacate our Texas clinics, move our needed equipment and supplies, buy and renovate a new clinic building, relocate and hire staff, and set up Whole Woman’s Health of New Mexico.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, the clinic network had raised more than $40,000 on a GoFundMe campaign, which aims to collect at least $750,000.
“Even when the courts and the politicians have turned their backs on Texans, we never will,” Miller said.
Texas is one of several states that banned abortion in the wake of the bombshell Supreme Court decision last month, and several more are expected to follow. But abortion remains widely legal and accessible in New Mexico, which shares a lengthy border with Texas and has already absorbed many of its patients since the state enacted a ban on the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy last year.
Reproductive health experts and abortion providers warned ahead of the ruling that blue states would be inundated with abortion patients if Roe v. Wade fell. The burden is expected to fall hardest on New Mexico, Colorado and Illinois, which are all surrounded by states hostile to abortion.
Doctors from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, or PPRM, which oversees clinics in New Mexico and Colorado, told HuffPost last month it would be a major stretch to meet the new demand coming to those states.
“I feel confident that we are going to deliver excellent, safe, compassionate abortion care to as many patients as we can, which will be more patients than we have served in the past, but if you just look at the numbers ... it’s just such an exponential increase,” Dr. Kristina Tocce, PPRM’s medical director, said.
Realistically, she continued, “there are going to be patients that simply cannot access care.”