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Planned Parenthood chief: Texas bill part of ‘broader effort’ to restrict women’s care

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards called the Texas abortion bill "extreme" and questioned its constitutionality.
/ Source: Andrea Michell Reports

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards called the Texas abortion bill "extreme" and questioned its constitutionality.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, called into question the constitutionality of the abortion bill passed in Texas last week, during her appearance on Andrea Mitchell Reports.

Richards showed her concern over the “extreme set of bills” that will close down dozens of health centers that provide abortion services in Texas.

“We believe many aspects of the law probably are unconstitutional,” Richards said on Tuesday.

The Planned Parenthood chief added that Texas women are already dealing with scaled back health services after Gov. Rick Perry opted to cut funding for family planning clinics and, more recently, cut Planned Parenthood out of the federal-state partnership that was the Women’s Health Program.

“The thing that’s really terrible about this is that it’s coming on the heels of Gov. Perry actually shutting down the Women’s Health Program in the state of Texas, where more than 100,000 women already lost access to preventive care,” Richards continued.

The Texas Legislature approved the bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks, becoming the 16th state to adopt stricter laws concerning the procedure, despite an all-day filibuster by State Sen. Wendy Davis in late June to block the bill. Republican leaders in other states such as North Carolina and Ohio have also recently turned their attention to focusing on stricter abortion bills, following Texas’ example much to the dismay of Richards.

“I think it’s a growing theme unfortunately in many states where politicians are putting their own political agenda ahead of women’s health care,” Richards said.

Richards remained adamant that the legislation is a “much broader effort to take away women’s access to care.”

The bill passed in Texas “would literally close down dozens of women’s health centers because of the ridiculous restrictions that are placed upon them and on doctors,” Richards said. “It is literally, the legislation getting in between doctors and their ability to provide medical care.”

However, Richards did express optimism over the reaction to the bill and the protests that took place against it.

“What we are seeing, which is very encouraging, is that this has enraged and engaged a whole new generation of women and men who are absolutely not willing to go back to a time where women didn’t have access to health care in America.”