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Following Abortion Ruling, South Texas Abortion Clinic Waits For What Comes Next

Ryan Poppe
TPR News
Attorneys exit the district court building after final arguments in what is the first legal challenge of Texas' new abortion law. Judges in the U.S. 5th Circuit Court overturned the initial ruling.

A South Texas women’s health clinic is holding its breath for what comes next following the ruling by the U.S. 5th Circuit Court’s on Texas' new abortion law, House Bill 2.

The court's decision allowed Texas' new abortion law to take effect and now the clinics affected by the new restriction are unsure about the next step.

"We’ve got a lobby full of patients and we will see patients today, we will not do procedures," said Dr. Lester Minto, who runs Reproductive Services of Harlingen. "So we will wait and see what happens tomorrow, the patients that are here today realize we are unsure what is going to be the final outcome."

Minto said one of his big concerns is the large number of patients that come from Mexico because abortion services are safer in the U.S., but that may soon change. He said many people have asked why they don't stay open as a women’s health clinic that doesn’t perform abortions.

"All I do here is termination of pregnancy," Minto said. "I’ve never set this up as a regular physician’s office."

Minto and other clinics that provide abortion services in major cities like San Antonio, Austin and Fort Worth will be closing because of the provision that requires the doctor to have admitting privileges at a hospital no more than 30 miles away.

"I’ve heard that the Planned Parenthood lawyers are going to appeal and I guess what the question is: Are we allowed to continue to function while this appeal process goes through its stages or do we close down and wait to see what the lawsuit says?" Minto said.

He said for now they will remain open.

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.