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A young woman holding a no wire hangers sign at a protest against a Senate Bill that would strictly regulate abortion in the state of Texas. July 1, 2013.
Texas Republicans claimed that forcing all abortion clinics in the state to meet the requirements of ambulatory surgical centers and have admitting privileges at local hospitals was for women's safety. That claim was some obvious bullshit from the start, but thanks to the Texas Tribune, we can now quantify it:
[A] Texas Tribune review of state inspection records for 36 abortion clinics from the year preceding the lawmakers’ vote turned up little evidence to suggest the facilities were putting patients in imminent danger. State auditors identified 19 regulatory violations that they said presented a risk to patient safety at six abortion clinics that are not ambulatory surgical centers in Texas. None was severe enough to warrant financial penalties, according to the Department of State Health Services, which deemed the facilities’ corrective action plans sufficient to protect patients.

And between 2008 and 2013, the Texas Medical Board, which regulates the state’s physicians, took action against just three doctors who performed abortions — all of them for administrative infractions that did not involve criminal practices or late-term abortions.

The safety of the procedure as it has been practiced in Texas to this point is reflected in the fact that no Texas woman has died from abortion-related complications since 2008; from 2000 to 2010, the abortion-related death rate was 0.57 per 100,000 in Texas. By contrast:
The maternal mortality rate for Texas has quadrupled over the last 15 years to 24.6 out of 100,000 births in 2010, from 6.1 per 100,000 live births in 1996, according to a report last year from the state's Department of Health Services.
Of course, under the new law's restrictions, more women are likely to turn to unsafe, illegal abortions, whether by trying to self-induce—the self-induction rate in Texas is already several times the national rate—or by going to the kind of illegal abortion provider that killed so many women before Roe v. Wade. Which brings us back to what we knew all along: Texas' new anti-abortion law is not about keeping women safe. It's about politicians taking choices away from women.

(Via Steve Benen)

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 10:08 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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