Statement from Amy Hagstrom Miller, Founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, on the SB8 case

Let’s be clear, this case is about an abortion ban– plain and simple. The state tried to make a case that the restrictions they put forward are no big deal for women and providers to comply with; but, the state misses the point completely. These restrictions have no medical basis nor added health benefit whatsoever. This is yet another attempt to politically interfere with our healthcare decisions and Texans deserve better.

Whole Woman’s Health, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood put a strong case forward based in scientific evidence and medical facts, illustrating how this ban will keep our physicians from being able to provide the best medicine for the Texans they care for. The undue burden for Texans would be significant with no health benefit in return. And this is unacceptable and we are prepared to bring this challenge all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary, to get the relief Texans deserve.

Whole Woman’s Health is serving as plaintiff against the state of Texas as it attempts to restrict abortion access for women. Local lawmakers can’t make abortion illegal, so they are creating bills like SB8 that make a safe, necessary procedure more difficult to obtain. Texas women deserve better. Keep politicians out of women’s health care by donating today to Whole Woman’s Health Alliance.

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Why I Took Texas Back to Court.

In July, we filed our second post HB2 lawsuit, Whole Woman’s Health vs. Paxton, less than one year after our historic Whole Woman’s Health Supreme Court victory. Our landmark case confirmed what we’ve known all along – Texas can’t place restrictions on access to abortion that create an undue burden for the women seeking care. But even after such a powerful SCOTUS victory, in the 2017 Texas legislative session politicians introduced more than 45 bills that attempting to restrict women’s access to necessary abortion care.

As we take Texas back to court today, it is vital we all remain committed to resisting the political attacks against women and our healthcare. We must never get comfortable with this hostile landscape.

At Whole Woman’s Health, we are committed to providing quality care in communities across the country that need us – particularly those with targeted restrictions on abortion care, like Texas. Not only do we provide health care in our communities, but we are dedicated to changing the culture around abortion, eradicating stigma, and fighting to make sure women have access to quality abortion care.

With this lawsuit, we are fighting back against Senate Bill 8, which threatens access to abortion care and poses an undue burden on women seeking an abortion in the second trimester. This bill passed into law as one of many attempts by politicians to control our bodies and restrict our constitutional right to safe abortion care. Take note– these politicians are not doctors, nor do they have medical backgrounds.

We are experts in abortion care and as healthcare providers, we know these restrictions undermine our doctors’ ability to provide the individualized care that’s best for our patients. Doctors and medical professionals should be able to use our best medical judgment, instead of having to comply with unnecessary restrictions that are politically motivated and do not have women’s health and safety in mind.

This D&E ban is an abortion ban, plain and simple. It is an obvious attempt to eliminate abortion access for Texas women. Lawmakers can’t make abortion illegal, so they are creating bills that make a safe, necessary procedures more difficult to obtain.

Texans deserve better.

Access to safe abortion care is a human rights issue; reproductive freedom for women is about equality, self-determination and autonomy. We cannot let our opposition pretend that they have our best interests in mind. Women are the best experts in our own lives.

We refuse to let these political attacks whittle away at our healthcare options, or take away our constitutional rights. The women in our communities deserve true equality, and that is our ultimate goal. After all, justice is a constant push back against those who want to keep us down.

As Whole Woman’s Health heads to court this week, we stay strong knowing that we continue to stand on the right side of history and we invite you to stand with us.

Thank you.

Whole Woman’s Health is serving as plaintiff against the state of Texas as it attempts to restrict abortion access for women. Local lawmakers can’t make abortion illegal, so they are creating bills like SB8 that make a safe, necessary procedure more difficult to obtain. Texas women deserve better. Keep politicians out of women’s health care by donating today to Whole Woman’s Health Alliance.

More Than a Year After SCOTUS Victory: Whole Woman’s Health to Open Two New Clinics in Hostile States, Launch National Anti-Stigma Initiative

October 30, 2017 – (PRESS RELEASE) Today, Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder and owner of Whole Woman’s Health, announces her latest endeavor to open two new abortion clinics in South Bend, Indiana and Charlottesville, Virginia under a non-profit Whole Woman’s Health Alliance (WWHA). Hagstrom Miller operates independent abortion clinics in five states, including Texas where she won a major victory for women and families in the 2016 case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the most consequential abortion rights case to go to the Supreme Court in a generation.

Both Indiana and Virginia are classified as “extremely hostile” to abortion rights, having passed new laws in recent years to burden women seeking abortion and force clinics to close. In 2014, some 95 percent of Indiana counties had no clinics that provided abortion care and 66 percent of Indiana women lived in those counties. Indiana now has only six clinics open to serve women in the state, dropping from 10 in 2011.

In 2014, Virginia had only 18 abortion clinics, representing a 14 percent decline in clinics from 2011. Now Virginia has just 13 open clinics. In 2014, some 92 percent of Virginia counties had no clinics that provide abortion, and 78 percent of Virginia women lived in those counties.

As we witness ongoing attempts by the Trump administration to bully and block women who need abortion care, I’m proud to announce that we are expanding our healthcare work, to open two new nonprofit clinics. Whole Woman’s Health Charlottesville opened in October 2017, and we will open the clinic in South Bend as soon as we can. These two clinics play a key role in the Whole Woman’s Health Alliance launch of a nationwide initiative to combat abortion stigma,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health and Whole Woman’s Health Alliance. “Nearly a year after the election of the most anti-abortion administration in decades, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance is doubling down on what we do best: providing compassionate holistic care and proclaiming loudly and proudly that every day, good women have abortions. We will go where they need us the most.”

We are so excited to welcome Whole Woman’s Health into the Commonwealth, where they will continue to fearlessly care for women and families. And if I know anything about Amy Hagstrom Miller and her team – they won’t let intimidation from anti-choice legislators or political battles slow them down,” said Tarina Keene, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “Whole Woman’s Health has been a bastion of hope for women seeking honest, compassionate, effective abortion care for years. They inspired us to introduce a whole new wave of proactive legislation here in Virginia after Amy took on the state of Texas and TRAP laws in the landmark Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt case, in which the Supreme Court ruled that medically-unnecessary regulations that impose an undue burden on a woman’s access to abortion are unconstitutional. Charlottesville women and families are lucky to have such a great team bringing reproductive health care to their city, and we’re thrilled to be one step closer to eliminating gaps in access to abortion in Virginia.”

At All-Options, we believe that everyone has the right to be supported in their decisions about pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption. That includes having access to quality, safe abortion care without significant financial or geographic barriers,” said Shelly Dodson, Center Director of All-Options in Indiana. “We are thrilled that Whole Woman’s Health will be opening a clinic in South Bend, and look forward to having another provider to refer clients to in Indiana, reducing their need to travel out of state to find the abortion care they need.”

Virginians know that a woman seeking reproductive health care, including safe and legal abortion, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. These are just the values Amy Hagstrom Miller and Whole Woman’s Health bring to their provision of health care and we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome them to Charlottesville,” said Anna Scholl, Executive Director for Progress Virginia. Just a year after our hard-fought victory to roll back Virginia’s sham restrictions on abortion providers, it’s so gratifying to know that Virginia women now have an additional option for quality, compassionate, affordable reproductive health care access, and a fierce advocate for women’s dignity and autonomy to boot.”

  • Whole Woman’s Health is a feminist organization, led by women and committed to providing holistic care for women. We operate a group of women’s clinics providing comprehensive gynecology services, including abortion care. It is our philosophy that each woman must be at the center of her own healthcare decisions and that treating each woman holistically will better serve women and improve women’s health and happiness in our communities. WWH manages 8 clinic facilities, 4 located in Texas— Austin, Fort Worth, McAllen, San Antonio, one in Minneapolis, MN, one in Peoria, IL, one in Baltimore, MD, one in South Bend, IL and one in Charlottesville, VA

For more information go to:

wholewomanshealth.com

wholewomanshealthalliance.org

Funding Assistance for Abortion

At Whole Woman’s Health, we understand the difficulty of raising a large fee in a short period of time for our patients without insurance or Medicaid coverage. Because we believe that everyone deserves access to safe, legal abortion care, regardless of their financial situation, we’ve come up with a number of ways to help those in financial need. Our dedicated phone staff will work with you to come up with a solution to your financial challenges.

Whole Woman’s Health helps our patients in a number of ways to ensure you receive the health care that you need:

  • We accept insurance and Medicaid for abortion services in all states where we are allowed to.
  • We employ a financial aid staff-member whose sole responsibility is to help you raise the money you need.
  • We offer Student, Military, Medicaid, and Travel discounts.
  • We have our own Whole Woman’s Health abortion fund, the Stigma Relief Fund (donations always welcomed!)
  • Whole Woman’s Health of Baltimore and the Whole Woman’s Health of the Twin Cities are currently able to see Medicaid recipients.

Whole Woman’s Health staff members are exceptional at helping women in need obtain funding and financial assistance. We are not set up to do payment plans, but we are dedicated funding advocates for women. Whether it’s by personally helping you brainstorm ways to raise money or working overtime ourselves to call funding agencies on your behalf, we will do all we can to help you through this time. We can also complete eligibility for some funding at the same time you call to make your appointment.

Call us now at 877.835.1090, and we can guide you through a short financial assistance screening over the phone. After a few questions, we’ll be able to determine your eligibility and reduce the cost of the procedure.

Looking for other information about abortion funding? Here are some additional resources:

National Network of Abortion Funds

The National Network of Abortion Funds builds power with members to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access by centering people who have abortions and organizing at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice.

TEA Fund

The Texas Equal Access Fund provides financial assistance to low-income people who want an abortion and can’t afford it.

Lillith Fund

The Lilith Fund assists Texans in exercising their fundamental right to abortion by removing barriers to access. Lilith provides direct financial assistance to empower people seeking to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, and education and outreach within the community about reproductive rights.

Stigma Relief Fund 

The Stigma Relief Fund is an abortion fund serving patients in each of the seven Whole Woman’s Health locations.  The fund provides financial support for those who cannot afford to pay the entire cost of an abortion.

Fund Texas Choice

Fund Texas Choice is a non-profit organization that pays for Texans’ travel to abortion clinics.

West Fund

The West Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization affiliated with the National Network of Abortion Funds and based in El Paso, Texas, that works to make abortions accessible for all people. We are a small group of volunteers who believe reproductive justice is only possible when all people have the information, ability, and resources to make their own healthcare decisions. Through education, community building, and gap funding, we hope to empower west Texans, helping them achieve their decisions and access the healthcare they deserve.

Frontera Fund

Our Mission: To provide practical support to people seeking abortions in the Rio Grande Valley  and to Rio Grande Valley residents who travel to other clinics in Texas. La Frontera Fund advocates for reproductive justice by funding lodging costs for people seeking abortion services. La Frontera Fund opposes all restrictions to accessing a safe abortion and understands that lack of financial support is a barrier. La Frontera Fund was founded to help ease the severity of this financial barrier.

Action Needed: Help Jane Get Her Justice

We need your help. Right now, an unaccompanied minor is being denied her right to abortion in Texas and is in federal custody. The minor, known as Jane Doe, is pregnant and is in legal custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement in South Texas. As required by Texas law for all minors, she applied for and was granted a judicial bypass from a Texas judge so that she could consent to her own abortion, but federal officials are refusing to release her so that she can access that care. Instead, they transported her to a Crisis Pregnancy Center, where she was forced to hear anti-abortion rhetoric that delayed her access to obtaining an abortion.

Sign the petition today to demand that Jane is allowed access to her fundamental right to a safe abortion in Texas. Tell the Office of Refugee Resettlement Director Scott Lloyd and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that all people deserve compassionate abortion care, despite their immigration status.

Huge Win for Abortion Access in Illinois as Governor Signs HB40 That Allows Medicaid to Cover Abortion

Gov. Rauner makes a powerful move by signing a measure that will ensure women and families access to quality abortion care.

Peoria, IL – Yesterday, Governor Bruce Rauner signed HB40, a law that would expand abortion access to those enrolled in Medicaid and the state employees’ health insurance. Currently, IL already covers abortion care in rape and incest cases, and this measure would expand coverage to anyone seeking safe, quality abortion care. HB40 would protect abortion care in the state if at any point Roe v. Wade is overturned and goes into effect immediately.

Whole Woman’s Health operates abortion clinics in 4 states, to include Illinois and also was the lead plaintiff in the historic Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt  case last summer.

Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO and founder of Whole Woman’s Health states:

“Today is a wonderful day for the women and families of Illinois. Today, all people have true access to abortion care if and when they need it, and will have the ability to plan their families and their futures. Abortion care is healthcare and all people deserve access to the high quality and compassionate services that we provide at Whole Woman’s Health of Peoria. Today, we took a giant step forward toward self-determination and true equality for Illinois women.

With this powerful measure, Illinois became the 16th state in our country to look away from the restrictive Hyde amendment and do right the right thing. Other states should look to the hard work of the coalitions here and to the champions for women’s health that made this success happen. Elections matter, and Governor Rauner stands on the right side of history.”

Hurricane Harvey: How We Can Help

Unfortunately, we know all too well that abortion can be difficult to access in some parts of the country, especially in Texas. There are already so many barriers to access this necessary procedure, and natural disasters stand in the way of women getting to their appointment and/or being able to afford care.

During Hurricane Harvey, many of the clinics in Houston had to close temporarily, leaving women with very few options. Continued political attacks on abortion access make an unwanted pregnancy particularly stressful in Texas – add that to the stress of dealing with hurricane aftermath.

We can only imagine what a stressful time this must be for those patients who had to miss their appointments or are waiting for the nearest clinic to open.

Immediately after Hurricane Harvey made landfall, many of our staff members volunteered to help their local communities. Whole Woman’s Health continues to support multiple efforts that will benefit those affected by this devastating storm.

But we can do more. Texas woman deserve it.

To ensure our patients get the compassionate, quality abortion care they deserve, we’re providing no-cost abortions for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

In collaboration with abortion funds, including Lilith Fund and our own Stigma Relief Fund, we will be assuring our patients have the financial and logistical assistance they need to get to one of our Texas clinics (Austin, San Antonio, McAllen, or Fort Worth). This assistance includes travel and lodging, if necessary.

If you live in a community that’s been affected by Hurricane Harvey, call our EmpowerLine at 877.835.1090 to see how we can help.

The need for abortion care does not stop for natural disasters. Your contribution eliminates another barrier for a woman who needs care.

To help cover the cost of abortion care for someone affected by Hurricane Harvey, donate to Stigma Relief Fund today.