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Senate Bill 537: A Serious Threat to Abortion Access

Senate Bill 537, introduced by Senators Deuell, Campbell and Schwertner, would force abortion care facilities in the state to comply with the standards of an ambulatory surgical center, essentially forcing abortion clinics to become "mini-hospitals” in order to keep their doors open, which is a prohibitively expensive requirement.

These requirements are not medically necessary regulations. This bill would require abortion care facilities to become ambulatory surgical centers, which are the setting for more complicated and invasive surgical procedures. It is simply medically unnecessary and contrary to the standards of care to require abortion care to take place in a hospital-like setting

There has not been a proven need in Texas to require such stringent regulation. Abortion is one of the safest outpatient procedures performed in the United States, with fewer than 0.5% of women experiencing a complication from abortion.[1] It is routinely and safely provided in office-based settings. Outpatient abortions performed in a clinic setting have an excellent safety record in Texas.

Senate Bill 537 singles out abortion providers for no legitimate medical purpose. Imposing hospital-level regulations is medically inappropriate for providers of a safe and simple outpatient procedure. Further, there are numerous laws and policies already heavily regulating Texas abortion facilities. Providers are committed to following the highest medical standards to provide high-quality care to their patients.

Senate Bill 537 has nothing to do with improving women’s health or safety. This is about politicians trying to restrict or eliminate Texas women’s access to reproductive health care. Clinics in Texas have safely been providing quality care in a non-hospital setting for decades.

Senate bill 537 will leave Texas with only five abortion clinics. For the entire state! These unnecessary and burdensome requirements could severely limit the availability of safe, legal abortion care in Texas and will force many abortion facilities to close.

[1] Guttmacher Institute. State Facts About Abortion.

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