Today marks the first anniversary of Governor Perry's signing of HB2, the tough abortion restrictions which helped propel Democratic governor candidate Wendy Davis into a national political figure.
Abortion rights advocates today plan to release a study of the impact of the law on Texas women.
"Women living in the Lower Rio Grande Valley had to travel 150 miles to Corpus Christi," Dr. Dan Grossman of the Texas Policy Evaluation Project said. "That clinic has since closed, forcing them to travel more than 100 miles more to San Antonio."
Perry said the purpose of the bill was to protect women's health.
"Now anybody who receives an abortion in Texas will do so in a facility which has been certified
Planned Parenthood told Newsradio 1200 WOAI on Thursday that it plans to open two new abortion clinics in Texas, bringing to eight the number of working abortion clinics in the state. When HB2 was approved in July of 2013, there were 44 abortion clinics in the state.
HB2 slaps strict restrictions on the operation of abortion clinics. It requires all clinics to have a physician on duty who has admission privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. It also requires all abortion clinics to meet the strict standards required of ambulatory care centers.
Pro choice groups say the law has been particularly brutal on abortion providers in the heavily Catholic Rio Grande Valley. Because the Valley is overwhelmingly Catholic and most hospitals are operated by the Catholic Church, it is difficult for abortion providers to get privileges at those hospitals.
The abortion restrictions have been upheld by a federal appeals court, but Planned Parenthood and other groups are appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court. It has not been determined whether the high court will consider the appeal.