Planned Parenthood May be Coming Back to San Angelo
SAN ANGELO, TX — The Planned Parenthood clinic in San Angelo closed in 2013 as fallout from the Texas Legislature’s action that placed tough new restrictions on groups that perform abortions. Prior to its closing, members of the Catholic Church’s local Knights of Columbus held almost weekly prayer vigils at the site of the clinic.
The clinic here did not perform abortions, but served as a referral center for San Angelo area women seeking them.
In Dallas last month, an anonymous donor pledged $9 million to Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas to construct two new health centers in west Texas if the centers are established within a year, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Since the closure 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled by a vote of 5-3 that the State of Texas cannot place restrictions on the delivery of abortion services that create an undue burden for women seeking an abortion in Health v. Hellerstedt in July 2016.
In addition to the $9 million anonymous gift, The Dallas Morning News reported that a separate donor committed $800,000.
A separate Planned Parenthood location in Midland also closed in 2013.
Locations of Planned Parenthood in Texas:
The sites of the 2013 closures put San Angelo in the sights of Planned Parenthood for a new clinic, the Diocese of San Angelo warned in an email to parishioners in early April.
“When Planned Parenthood seeks to purchase or build new facilities, they have been known to utilize anonymous third parties in order to slide in under the radar of local pro-life citizens. We should all keep our eyes open,” wrote Bishop Michael Sis.
Of the 35 Planned Parenthood locations in Texas, six perform abortions, according to the Dallas newspaper. The closest clinic is near San Antonio. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported this week that all Planned Parenthood clinics in Lubbock closed five years ago.
The New England Journal of Medicine reported in 2016 that Medicaid-funded births in Texas counties without a Planned Parenthood facility increased 27.1 percent 18 months after the clinics' closures. The Washington Post reported the cost to Medicaid for childbirth is around $8,000 each.