House Bill 2 required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Each clinic also had to meet the standards of hospital surgical facilities. The law also banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and the abortion pill misoprostol.
The law garnered national attention during former Sen. Wendy Davis’s 11-hour filibuster in June 2013. The ensuing court case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, asked whether these new admitting privileges and ambulatory surgical center requirements on abortion providers within the state posed an “undue burden” on women.
Every year, more than 100 new obstetrician-gynecologists graduate from a Texas residency program and enter the medical workforce. Theoretically, all have had the opportunity during their four years of residency to learn about what's called "induced abortion" — named that to distinguish it from a miscarriage. But the closure of abortion clinics in Texas — more than 20 since 2013 — has made that training increasingly difficult.
Even though no clinics in Texas collect fetal tissue during an abortion to donate to research groups and medical schools, it hasn’t stopped state lawmakers from examining the state laws and procedures concerning the issue.
Jennifer Allmon is an associate director with the Texas Catholic Conference and was asked by the House Committee on State Affairs to address the issue at Thursday’s hearing.