Houston-area Planned Parenthood still offering other services 1 month after abortions stopped

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Saturday, July 30, 2022
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast operating month after abortions stopped
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Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast is one of the few reproductive health centers that remain open in the Houston area after Roe v. Wade was overturned.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- "Planned Parenthood is here to stay."

That's the message the nonprofit is sending in an open letter to Texans.

It's now been more than a month since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, effectively banning abortion in Texas and forcing many clinics to close.

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast is now one of the few reproductive health centers that remain open in the Houston area.

"It's really felt like my ability to provide good care for people has been robbed from me," Dr. Bhavik Kumar, the medical director of primary and trans care at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, said.

SEE MORE: New Texas law increasing penalties for abortion providers goes into effect Aug. 25

More than a month after Dr. Kumar stopped providing abortions at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, people continue to come in, many for services like ultrasounds and post-abortion care.

"The folks that are most marginalized have the least (favorable) experience with healthcare generally are usually the folks that are asking questions," Dr. Kumar said.

Before last month, there were roughly 20 abortion clinics in the state.

Since then, several have shut down, and the owners of at least five have announced plans to move to New Mexico.

Planned Parenthood is large enough to stay open, and many are now going there to schedule out-of-state care.

But, that has been tough, too.

"When folks are trying to access appointments out of state, they're finding that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people that are also trying to access the same care and a limited number of clinics," Dr. Kumar said.

Other patients, he said, are concerned contraceptives could soon be banned or difficult to find.

"I've also heard folks say that given the current landscape, 'I don't want an unintended pregnancy and maybe I do need to consider an IUD.' We're seeing people's decision-making change because of the Dobbs decision," he said.

SEE ALSO: 'If I just give you this money, can you give me this pill?': Women's Clinic closed for abortions

For the first time since it opened 42 years ago, Houston's Women's Clinic is closed for abortion care.

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