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After Supreme Court Ruling, Texans Eye The Future For Abortion

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Monday overturning Texas abortion restrictions has supporters and opponents considering what comes next. It may include the reopening of some clinics in South Texas.

"Ruth Bader Ginsberg is like a superhero today," says Jeffrey Hons, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Texas, to the applause of the crowd.

In San Antonio, abortion rights advocates gathered at Tacos and Tequila late Monday to celebrate the court’s ruling. Hons says that in the three years since Texas lawmakers passed the abortion restrictions, women from hundreds of miles away have traveled to San Antonio for the procedure, because clinics in other parts of the state shut down.

"Right now, San Antonio is the southern-most and western-most place in Texas where’s there’s legal abortion, because of the requirements that were struck down today," Hons says. 

Before state lawmakers passed the restrictions in House Bill 2 there were about 40 clinics in Texas that performed abortions. In the past three years over half have closed. Hons says rural women and those with lower incomes have been most affected and that abortion providers like Planned Parenthood hope to open clinics in areas that lost them.

"The infrastructure for healthcare that fell apart with all of these terrible public policy decisions from Texas—we can start to maybe rebuild that structure and bring abortion back to communities where it used to be that is gone now," Hons says.

Abortion opponents disappointed with the Supreme Court’s ruling are now looking for other ways to limit abortions. Mike Knuffke is a board member with the San Antonio Family Association which opposed a new Planned Parenthood clinic in the Alamo City.

"It’s a sad day for America, certainly a sad day for Texans, but a worse day for women, because this is the real war on women taking place," Knuffke says.

He says abortion opponents will continue to look for ways to pass laws that limit abortion in South Texas and elsewhere.