Desperate abortion-seekers and abortion providers described their "race against time" in the final hours before Texas's new ban on abortions kicked in Wednesday, and it shows just how little thought is given to countless unborn lives that are routinely terminated.
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At a Whole Woman's Health clinic in Fort Worth, it was "a race to perform as many abortions as possible until midnight," the 19th reported. After that, the new state law — which prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, or roughly six weeks gestation — would make having the procedure nearly impossible.
That Tuesday, scores of patients gathered outside the clinic hoping to undergo a last-minute operation, but there were too many patients and too little time.
Inside the clinic, Marva Sadler, the director of clinical services, tried to motivate her team of eight, saying, "We are not the bad guys here. We are doing everything right and we're going to help everybody that we can. If there's someone that we can't help, it's not our fault."
A similar scene played out at Whole Woman's Health clinics across the state. The abortion provider wrote in a tweet thread that "waiting rooms are filled with patients" and that doctors and other staff would be working until the very last minute to service them.
From Whole Woman’s Health CEO @AmyHM: We have staff and doctors providing abortions in Texas - still at this hour -… https://t.co/CC0CEoWn5B— Whole Woman's Health (@Whole Woman's Health)1630463927.0
"This is what abortion care looks like. Human right warriors," the group said.
Abortion-seekers, too, gave little thought to the life inside of them while describing the chaotic final days before the ban took effect.
"It was a race against time for me," said 21-year-old Hope Hanzlik, an Army service member, in conversation with the Lily.
She recalled scheduling her abortion procedure on Aug. 23, knowing that the Texas ban could take effect soon. On the day of the appointment, she got approval from her commanding officers and then drove three hours to the clinic with a friend. She arrived 48 hours before the ban was implemented.
Hanzlik said she felt "relieved," adding, "I'm not ready to have a child."
Another woman, a 21-year-old sex worker who remained anonymous for fear of reprisal, told Jezebel she was "sick with worry" that she would "have to have the baby" due to the new Texas law.
"Ever since I was a teenager — and then especially when I started doing sex work — I knew that if I got pregnant I would get an abortion," recalled the woman, referred to in the article as "Jen."
"I know Texas is very conservative, and I figured there might be a lot of judgment and it might be a little hard, but I never seriously considered it that I wouldn't be able to get an abortion at all," she added.
Jen, however, was able to get an appointment on the last day before the law kicked in. She said the clinic was packed with at least 30 people at a time when she was there. Afterward, she said she felt "happy" and "relieved" but sad for others who weren't able to have the procedure.
"I feel a little woozy from the sedative still, but other than that I feel very fine and very happy," Jen said. "I feel so relieved — this is a big weight off my shoulders."