Sign of the Times: Planned Parenthood Permanently Shutters Office in Texas

By Cheryl Sullenger

Dickinson, TX – Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast has permanently closed its clinic in Dickinson, Texas. While the facility did not offer abortions, it did refer women seeking abortions to their large surgical center in Houston.

A sign on the door of the shuttered Planned Parenthood office, photographed by a local activist last week, announced the closure and referred all clients to the Houston abortion center on Gulf Freeway.

That sign could be considered a sign of the times. This closure is one of nearly 20 closures of Planned Parenthood offices nationwide and continues the organization’s trend of downsizing facilities that either do not offer abortions or are not turning a profit. Decreased demand for Planned Parenthood services continues to be a driving factor in the closures.

“We are encouraged to see closures like this one in Texas and across the nation,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Any time a Planned Parenthood facility closes, it is great news for women and babies, who have one less business marketing abortions to them.”

Meanwhile, the Texas State Legislature continues to do its part to establish a Culture of Life in Texas that protects women and taxpayers from exploitation by the abortion industry.

Undaunted by the 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned many women’s safety provisions previously enacted, the legislature continues to press forward with pro-life legislation.

So far, Texas has advanced bills that would require greater reporting of abortion complications, separates abortion coverage in insurance policies, and prohibits state and local government agencies from contracting with abortion businesses. Earlier this year, the Texas Legislature passed a bill that requires abortion facilities to bury or cremate the remains of aborted babies.

Louisiana Abortion Facility Shuts Down, Moves Out

By Cheryl Sullenger

Bossier City, LA – Louisiana Right to Life has announced that an abortion facility in Bossier City has closed its doors and returned its outpatient facility license to the Louisiana Department of Health.

LRTL also reported that a moving van was spotted outside the Bossier City Medical Suite (also known as Abortion Assistance) on April 11, 2017.

The Bossier City Medical Suite abortion business, which offered both surgical and medication abortions, sued the State of Louisiana in Federal Court last year challenging several laws that regulated abortion (June Medical Services LLC, et al. v. Rebekah Gee, et al.). Louisiana Right to Life obtained a letter filed as a public record in that case from the Center for Reproductive Rights, which indicated the abortion facility had closed.

Operation Rescue confirmed that the phones to the abortion facility have been disconnected and their website has been placed in maintenance mode.

The Bossier City Medical Suite conducted over 7,000 abortions from 2006 to 2015, according to LRTL.

In 2009, there were seven abortion facilities in Louisiana. Today, there are just three. Those facilities are the notorious Delta Clinic in Baton Rouge, the Women’s Health Center (formerly Causeway Medical Clinic) in New Orleans, and Hope Medical Clinic for Women in Shreveport.

“Abortion facilities continue to close at a brisk pace all over the country. This is a trend that has been ongoing since 1991. Since then, 76 percent of all abortion facilities have shut down, contributing to a dramatic decrease in abortions nationwide,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “When abortion clinics close, lives are saved.”

View facility’s profile page at AbortionDocs.org.

NM Abortion Facility that Hoped to Evade TX Law Shuts Down, Moves Out

By Cheryl Sullenger

Las Cruces, NM – In an effort to evade Texas laws in 2014, the Texas-based Whole Women’s Health abortion chain established an abortion facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where abortion laws are virtually non-existent.

Now, after less than three years of intense prayer and outreach, the Coalition for Life of Las Cruces has announced that as of January 25, 2017, the abortion business has packed up their office, stripped the building of their signage, and moved out.

The Whole Women’s Health of Las Cruces is the third surgical abortion facility to close in the U.S. in 2017. It is also the third New Mexico abortion facility to shut down in the past six years.

After the 2013 enactment of Texas’ abortion facility licensing law, HB2, Whole Women’s Health and other abortion businesses were forced to shut down several of its Texas locations that failed to comply with the new law.

In an effort to recoup financial losses, Whole Women’s Health set up shop in Las Cruces, New Mexico, just over the state line from El Paso. In addition to taking advantage of lax regulation, the abortion business also referred minor girls from Texas across state lines to Las Cruces for abortions where they would not have to obtain parental consent, which is required in Texas.

It seemed like the perfect solution for the abortion chain – until pro-life activists got wind of their plans.

Pastors Manny and Grace Lardizabal of Albuquerque immediately led a prayer team to Las Cruces and covered the community and border area with prayer. When they showed up at the facility on its announced first day of business, the facility had failed to open.

Operation Rescue, working with New Mexico activists Bud and Tara Shaver and Martha Beasley, and others discovered that the Las Cruces abortion facility had later quietly opened through what appeared to be deception and in violation of zoning laws. However, the City of Las Cruces ignored the zoning issues and allowed the abortion facility to remain open.

Local activists with the Coalition for Life of Las Cruces banded together and maintained a large and powerful presence at the Whole Women’s Health, which likely contributed to the decision to close the facility. The group promised in a written statement to remain vigilant and prevent any other abortion facility from opening in that community.

“Financial issues drove Whole Women’s Health into New Mexico, and it is likely that financial issues also drove them out,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “Abortion numbers are down and the border area is over-saturated with abortion facilities after the courts allowed two El Paso abortion businesses to reopen a couple of years ago. There just isn’t enough demand for abortions, which in itself is an answer to prayer.”

Operation Rescue congratulates everyone who worked and prayed for the closure of the Las Cruces abortion business. Prayers have been answered!

Roe v. Wade Fade: Six States Have Only One Remaining Abortion Facility

By Cheryl Sullenger

Washington, DC – On the 44th Memorial of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that decriminalized abortion in America, we stop today to mourn the loss of an estimated 60 million innocent lives. However, amid that unspeakable tragedy, there is now reason to hope, according to information released today by Operation Rescue.

Last week, it was learned that two surgical abortion facilities, one in West Virginia and one in Kentucky are permanently closing. That adds those states to a growing list of states with only one abortion facility.

Today, the following six states have a single abortion facility:

• Kentucky
• Mississippi
• Missouri
• North Dakota
• South Dakota
• West Virginia

The Kanawha Surgicenter in Charleston, West Virginia, posted a sign on its door informing customers that it would permanently close on January 17, 2017. The Charleston Gazette reported that the owner and abortionist, Gorli Harlish, had moved to California two years ago and would no longer be commuting monthly to West Virginia to conduct abortions.

In Kentucky, the EMW Women’s Center announced that it would permanently close on January 27, 2017, after it lost its least in the building in which it had been operating since 1989. It was forced to halt abortions in June 2016, after it was discovered that it had been operating without a facility license.

In addition, there are ten states that have 2-3 abortion facilities remaining. Those states are Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Nebraska, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

“As abortion facilities close, we see the number of abortions dramatically decrease in our country,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, referring to surveys recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and the Guttmacher Institute. “This tells us that more women are joining the trend of rejecting abortion. This is great news on a day that we remember the millions of babies — and all too often, their mothers — who have died since 1973. We pray that soon, no babies will die from the barbaric practice of abortion.”

Operation Rescue conducts annual surveys of U.S. abortion facilities and has documented the decrease in the number of abortion facilities over time. In 1991, there were 2,176 surgical abortion facilities in America. Today there are 516.

Since 2000, when the abortion drug Mifepristone (RU 486) was approved for use in the U.S., a number of abortion facilities have cropped up that only dispense abortion-inducing drugs. The number of those facilities today is 214.

Read OR’s statement on why abortions are decreasing.

2016 Survey Says: Largest Attempt in Decades to Expand Abortion Has Failed

2016-abortion-clinic-survey-sm

An Operation Rescue Special Report
By Cheryl Sullenger

number-of-surgical-2009-2016Washington, DC – In 2016, America experienced the largest attempt to expand abortion since the 1980s.

It failed.

Despite the best efforts of the Abortion Cartel in a year of conditions that favored it, closures of abortion facilities compensated for the new opens, leaving the number of surgical abortion facilities the same as 2015.

Operation Rescue has completed its annual survey of abortion facilities in America and found that after all the dust had settled on a very active year, there was no net gain in surgical abortion facilities over 2015 numbers, which remains at 517 facilities.

The number of surgical abortion facilities has decreased by 27% since 2009, the year Operation Rescue first began to document the number and location of abortion facilities in the U.S. Since 1991, when there were a high of 2,176 open surgical abortion facilities, those clinics have decreased in number by 76%.

total-2009-2016

It was expected that the number of medication abortion facilities would dramatically increase after the Food and Drug Administration relaxed Mifepristone (RU 486) protocols in March, making it easier for abortion providers to dispense the abortion-inducing drugs.

That anticipated increase never actually materialized.

After a complex reorganization in services provided by Planned Parenthood facilities, Operation Rescue confirmed that there are now 214 medication abortion facilities, representing a net gain of only one facility over the past year.

This gain of only one medication facility a negligible addition, and is far lower that the net increase of 25 medication clinics recorded in 2015.

Part of that reorganization included converting many of its non-abortion “referral” clinics to medication abortion facilities. In 2016, 14 referral clinics began dispensing abortion drugs. Twenty Planned Parenthood facilities that offered only non-abortion services were permanently closed. When the music stopped on Planned Parenthood’s version of musical chairs, 7% of Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion clinics had closed.

While Planned Parenthood is shuttering facilities that actually do provide some legitimate services in favor of those that can sell abortions, a new report by the Radiance Foundation shows that actual health services done at Planned Parenthood, such as breast cancer screenings, PAP tests, prenatal care, and even sexually transmitted disease treatments have dramatically decreased from 2010 through 2014. While non-abortion health services have decreased, abortions at Planned Parenthood have risen 12% between 2006-2014. Conservatively, abortions account for 80% of their “health services” income.

“Planned Parenthood’s rhetoric that abortion only accounts for a small percentage of its services has been debunked,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “As Planned Parenthood converts more and more clinics to abortion facilities, abortions there have gone up while other services have gone down. This information supports our call to defund Planned Parenthood of the half-billion dollars it gets from our tax coffers each year.”

surgical-medical-2009-2016

Closed!

There were 19 surgical abortion facilities that completely closed or halted abortion services in 2016, while 12 medication abortion locations shut down. This makes a total of 31 abortion facilities that closed in 18 states since last year.

Today, the total number of surgical and medication abortion facilities stands at 731.

usa-closed-in-2016

Accuracy

Operation Rescue meticulously surveys each abortion facility in the U.S. annually using a number of investigative methods. Each open facility was directly contacted, and voluntarily shared information for this survey, although they were not aware the information was going to Operation Rescue.

“Operation Rescue’s annual surveys provide the most complete and accurate picture of abortion facilities available — straight from the horse’s mouth,” said Newman.

Abortion Costs

The survey included information about abortion types and costs. Findings include:

• The average cost of the most common first-trimester surgical abortions is $625.35, up 5% over last year.
• The average cost of medication abortions done at surgical facilities is $574.44, which represents a very small decrease of 1% below similar 2015 costs.
• The average cost of medication abortions done at facilities that only offer that type of abortion is $572.55, up 3% over last year.

average-abortion-costs

However, there were two factors that should have resulted in a major decrease in the customer cost of abortion drugs.

First, the FDA relaxed dispensing protocols, making it easier for facilities to prescribe abortion drugs. Costs were expected to fall, especially at medication abortion only facilities that do not generally have the same overhead costs as surgical facilities.

That never happened. Instead, costs rose.

Secondly, a new California state law that allows non-physicians to dispense abortion drugs went into effect in April. This should have significantly reduced the cost of medication abortions in that state since overhead costs of paying the more expensive licensed physicians would have been reduced.

However, the average cost of a medication abortion in California is now $669.50, a whopping 13% increase over last year’s state average of $561.63. The current price for a medication abortion in California is a full 14% above the national average.

Policies implemented by liberal politicians to reduce the cost of abortion pills and make it easier for abortion facilities to dispense them completely backfired – at least for women these policies were supposed to “help.” They have only served to increase those costs to women, making the abortion pill even less affordable.

Meanwhile, abortion facilities have exploited this financial opportunity to increase their bottom lines at the expense of poor urban women of color that abortion facilities tend to target.

“California abortion facilities are price-gouging poor women for personal profit. This predatory exploitation of vulnerable pregnant women is completely reprehensible,” said Newman. “It proves that abortion businesses care little for the women they purport to assist, and are instead are taking unethical advantage of them.”

states-with-highest-lowest-prices2

Pill vs. Shot

The majority of abortion facilities that dispense abortions drugs offer a two-drug combination of Mifepristone (RU 486) and Misoprostol (Cytotec), both in pill form.

However 31 facilities have chosen to cut corners on the health of women by continuing to offer the outdated Methotrextate, a dangerous injectable drug originally developed for use as chemotherapy to fight cancer.

While Methotrexate is cheap, it has a high failure rate. A dosage can cost just a few cents for the abortion facility to purchase, compared to about $95 in costs for a dose of Mifepristone (RU 486). Yet, those that offer the outdated Methotrexate abortion charge the same price.

It’s easy to see why disreputable abortion facilities would be tempted to roll the dice on a high failure rate in order to earn maximum profits.

methotrexate-abortion-failure

Today, abortions done with Methotrexate injections are primarily sold at abortion facilities in Ohio, Florida, and on the east coast at abortion centers owned by Steven Chase Brigham, who is among the most dishonest of operators. [Read more about Brigham and one woman who is suing him for a failed Methotrexate abortion.]

Political Conditions Fostered Abortion Expansion Attempt

Early in the year, there was a palpable sense that the Abortion Cartel had not just survived the strongest effort ever made by pro-life forces to expose their wrongdoing, but had flipped the narrative and the momentum to their own favor.

Undercover videos released in 2015 by the Center for Medical Progress showed ghoulish Planned Parenthood officials haggling over the price of aborted baby organs and tissue. The public shock over the revelations that abortionists were engaged in a thriving – and very illegal – underground trade in aborted baby remains created the largest scandal to hit Planned Parenthood in its 100-year history. This launched a series of investigations from Congress to Statehouses across the country.

A massively expensive public disinformation campaign launched by Planned Parenthood, willingly parroted by nearly every major media outlet, had given America the false impression that the undercover videos were fake. With the politically-motivated Houston indictments of the journalists responsible for them, Planned Parenthood was in a position to force an expansion of abortion services it had planned for years.

Other developments, in addition to the previously mentioned relaxing of abortion drug protocols, which contributed to the failed abortion expansion efforts include:

• Supreme Court decision in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt struck down critical abortion safety laws as posing an “undue burden” in June.
• Lower court rulings were blocking the implementation of new abortion laws in state after state.
• The appearance that Hillary Clinton would win the presidential election emboldened abortion promoters. Clinton is a staunch supporter of Planned Parenthood who promised to protect them, both from criminal prosecution and Congressional efforts to defund the them.

While the Hellerstedt decision had some negative impact, it resulted in only one Texas abortion facility (out of over 20 that had closed due to the challenged law) to so far reopen.

But what looked like the coming of a new golden era for the Abortion Cartel, which had been in steady decline for decades, soon slipped away with the surprise election of Donald J. Trump.

Reversal of Fortunes

This year’s static abortion facility numbers are believed to be an anomaly in the long-running trend of abortion clinic closures. There is every reason to believe the Abortion Cartel will continue to decline under the new Trump Administration, which has already named several staunch pro-life supporters as cabinet members and advisors.

Trump has also promised to appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices that will flip the court to one that is more favorable to life issues.

Congress, which should implement Trump’s agenda, remains under Republican control, making the passage of pro-life laws at the Federal level now possible. New laws, such as the defunding of Planned Parenthood and the protection of babies after 20 weeks gestation that can feel pain, are expected to be passed quickly next year.

Those two laws alone have the potential to dramatically impact all Planned Parenthood abortion facilities as well as the 162 surgical abortion clinics that currently conduct lucrative abortions at 20 weeks gestation or later.

In addition, Republicans, which tend to be more pro-life than Democrats, now control both houses of state legislatures in 32 states. This will create new opportunities to reign in the predatory abortion businesses at the state level. In comparison, pro-abortion Democrats only control statehouses in five states: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Oregon and Rhode Island.

Another recent development that could impact the number of abortion facilities in the future was the referral of several abortion businesses for criminal prosecution by the House Select Panel on Infant Lives and the Senate Judiciary Committee. With a new administration will come changes at the top of the Department of Justice that could finally make criminal prosecutions for the illegal trafficking of aborted baby remains a reality. This could also impact Planned Parenthood’s ability to target new areas for abortion.

These developments, along with news that abortion numbers have decreased to their lowest since Roe. v. Wade — and continue to drop across America — have made Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman optimistic about the future.

“The political pendulum has swung our way, and we plan to work very hard to take advantage of this opportunity to immediately call for enforcement of laws that will shut down abortion facilities and save lives. I believe this dramatic reversal of fortunes will pave the way for the eventual end to abortion in our country,” he said. “There is now no excuse for failure.”