Louisiana seeing increase in patients following signing of Texas abortion law

Hope Medical Group in Shreveport
Hope Medical Group in Shreveport((Source: KSLA))
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 3:07 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2021 at 5:16 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - More and more people in the state of Texas are crossing state lines to come to Louisiana for women’s healthcare and to terminate pregnancies.

The increase comes after the signing of Texas’ new abortion law. The law states that all abortion providers in Texas must check for a fetal heartbeat before performing the procedure. If a heartbeat is detected, the doctor cannot perform the procedure unless there is a medical emergency.

However, medical experts say a heartbeat can be detected as early as the six week mark, before most women recognize they’re pregnant.

Hope Medical Group for Women is seeing a large amount of patients traveling for healthcare. They say there is currently a three-week wait for appointments at the clinic.

“I would say about 18 to 20 percent of patients normally do come from the east Texas area, but that has now jumped up to 50 percent,” said Kathaleen Pittman, administrator at the Hope Medical Group for Women.

Alex Seghers, represetative for Louisiana Right to Life, said she supports the new Texas law.

“We know that since abortion is not an option for them, that they really and truly need the alternative and that’s what we’re here for and that’s what we’ve been wanting to provide all along,” she said.

Seghers says their organization is using this as an advantage to provide more education to those thinking about having an abortion.

“We know that if you’re a woman that’s in crisis and you’re driving that long to go to a clinic over there. We know that there is something going on in your life that you need to get out of, and you need major help in some way, and we just want to meet you where you’re at,” she said.

Pittman says it’s not easy on the clinic with the new law in place.

“Because so many woman are traveling such long distances, that creates even greater burden for them because that’s longer distances to travel and longer distance away from their family.”

Pittman added, “People need to understand abortion is a part of health care. It is needed and it is something that history has shown us that without legal abortion, more women are going to die.”

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