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With Fewer Than 20 Clinics In Texas, More Women Head Out Of State For Abortions

Ben Philpott
KUT/Texas Tribune
The number of abortions performed in Texas dropped significantly in 2014, with almost 9,000 fewer procedures in the state compared to the year before.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Texas women are traveling to New Mexico for abortion procedures; an animal rights group disapproves of the Dallas Zoo’s imported elephants; Texas A&M will take on its Sweet Sixteen matchup with OU on Thursday; and more.


Following Texas’ 2013 restrictions on abortion, collectively known as House Bill 2, the number of in-state clinics offering the procedure has dwindled from 40 to 19, according to The Texas Tribune. “If the Supreme Court upholds the state's abortion law in its entirety, that number could fall to less than 10 — all in major metropolitan areas,” the Tribune reported.

The number of abortions has dipped accordingly, "with almost 9,000 fewer procedures in the state compared to the year before, "The Tribune reported. "Early estimates by state health officials show 54,191 abortions were performed in Texas in 2014 — down from 63,168 in 2013.”


Now, more women are receiving the operation out-of-state. According to KUT, “the distance some women have to travel to get the procedure has increased fourfold. That’s according to a new study from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project,” which surveyed 400 women about their experience seeking and obtaining an abortion. Researchers found “that women who lost their closest clinic faced a one-way distance to a provider that was on average 70 miles from home. That’s compared to 17 miles before HB2,” according to KUT.


Where are Texas women getting the procedure? Most likely New Mexico, one of seven states that permits the operation at any stage of pregnancy, The Associated Press reported. “According to state Department of Health data, about 20 percent of the roughly 4,500 abortions performed in New Mexico in 2014 involved women from out of state, the Albuquerque Journal reports.”

The Supreme Court is currently reviewing a Texas law that requires “doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of an abortion clinic. A separate provision, which hasn’t gone into effect, requires clinics to maintain the same standards as hospital-like ambulatory surgical center," The Tribune reported. [The Texas Tribune, The Associated Press, KUT, The Dallas Morning News]


  • The estranged wife of 2013 Cliburn-winning pianist was arrested Monday on murder charges. Benbrook Police served a warrant for the arrest of Sofya Tsygankova, the wife of Ukranian pianist Vadym Kholodenko. On Thursday, Kholodenko went to pick up his two young daughters at Tsygankova's home, and he found them both dead in their beds, and Tsygankova in a state of distress with knife wounds. Kholodenko is not a suspect, and his estranged wife remains in a Fort Worth hospital for a mental health evaluation. Read more. [The Associated Press, KERA News]

  • Protesters at the Dallas Zoo Sunday voiced disapproval of the recently imported elephants. Earlier this month, five of 17 elephants from Swaziland were transported from the Alliance Airport in Fort Worth to the Dallas Zoo, KTVT reported, and the other 12 were divided among zoos in Wichita, Kansas and Omaha, Nebraska. Animal rights group, Animal Connection of Texas, argues the elephants do not belong in captivity. KTVT reported: “In the days leading up to their arrival, Dallas Zoo officials said that the elephants were in an overpopulated wildlife park and in danger of dying from the severe drought. Initially, 18 elephants were to be make the trip, but one died of a gastrointestinal illness before the journey began.” Read more. [KTVT]

  • A Garland family reels from inadequate insurance coverage after the Dec. 26 tornadoes destroyed their home and thwarted their livelihood. Charles Beck and his fiancee Jessica Cadick are navigating the choppy waters of insurance policies and financial strain post-storm. Beck, a contractor, lost his work vehicle and tools in the tornado, but has landed his first job since the day after Christmas — rebuilding his own home.
“Get through Christmas, make sure the kids had a good Christmas and then get renter’s insurance in January. So five days previous to, it would have really been handy,” Jessica Cadick said.

KERA’s Courtney Collins reveals the silver lining for Beck, Cadick and their three children in the latest installment of One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life. [KERA News]

  • Texas A&M remains The Lone Star State’s only hope for March Madness. Just last week Texas had five teams competing in the NCAA tournament, but the Aggies’ impressive turnaround Sunday night was the only advancing performance. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported: “The Aggies, who watched their fans stream toward the exits in Chesapeake Energy Arena while facing an eight-point deficit with 25.8 seconds remaining in regulation, got most of them to do a U-turn and return to watch a comeback for the ages that resulted in a 92-88 victory over Northern Iowa in double overtime.” Texas A&M will play against No. 2 seed Oklahoma at 6:37 p.m. Thursday on TBS. If you’re a cord-cutter, see this list of 10 places to catch the game from D Magazine. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram, D Magazine]