Statement from Amy Hagstrom Miller: “Today, my heart is filled with hope”

Hello, My name is Amy Hagstrom Miller, Founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health. We are the lead plaintiff in this case. I own and operate 8 high quality independent abortion care clinics in 5 states – Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico and Maryland.

Today is an exciting day for Whole Woman’s Health. We have been fighting this draconian law since 2013. After a series of appeals and emergency injunctions, here we are today, having heard from the highest court of the land that they will hear our case. I want to thank the Center for Reproductive Rights for continuing to partner with our organization in our continued fight to stand up for the reproductive rights for the women of Texas.

Today, my heart is filled with hope. Although this is the first step in a much longer process, I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will uphold the rights that have been in place for four decades and reaffirm that every woman should be able to make her own decision about continuing or ending a pregnancy. I have hope for my staff members, who, for years, have poured themselves into providing Texas women with high-quality and comprehensive reproductive health care. And most of all, I have hope for the families and communities all across Texas who now may be able to get the safe and comprehensive care they need from a clinic they trust.

This law is causing real harm to women across the state of Texas, and has been since 2013 – it’s creating higher costs, longer delays, and extra steps for women seeking abortion care, and in the process punishing women for their decision to exercise their constitutional right to end a pregnancy. A woman should be able to access the safe and legal abortion services she needs regardless of her zip code.

By forcing clinics to close, Texas legislators have multiplied the barriers women face when they need an abortion. Texas women are forced to go to multiple and unnecessary visits at clinics that are now farther away, take more days off of work, losing income, find childcare, and arrange and pay for transportation for hundreds of miles. For many women, the process of obtaining safe and legal health care has simply become unfeasible. No one should be denied safe and compassionate care based on her zip code, but that’s exactly what this law does. Legislators are effectively forcing these women to carry their pregnancies to term against their will.

Take for example a woman from Lubbock. Prior to HB 2, her community had a clinic. With the enactment of HB 2, she faced a 230 mile, 4.5 hour trip – EACH WAY – just to get a first trimester abortion. She was a working, single mother of 3 without healthcare. She faced layers of barriers – including find gas money for the drive and child care for the day she would be away. In the end she was pushed into the later second trimester and finally was unable to obtain the abortion she wanted.

Or take for another example a woman who visited our McAllen clinic on the Texas-Mexico border. Unfortunately she was scheduled for an appointment the day after HB 2 first went into effect. After HB 2 her appointment was immediately canceled. She was devastated by the absurdity of this law – noting immediately that if she had come just yesterday the same MD and staff would have been able to help her. She reached out to our hotline and said: “I will terminate this pregnancy. So how about I tell you what I have in my cupboards, under my sink and in my medicine cabinet and you tell me what to use and how to use it in order to do my own abortion.”

It’s stunning to hear stories like these, but that is exactly what is at stake. If the Supreme Court does not stop this deceptive, politically driven law we will hear more stories like these.

In 2003, Whole Woman’s Health made a commitment to provide quality and holistic reproductive health care in Texas. This is a commitment we intend to keep. To the women of Texas: Now, more than ever, we are here for you. We have been betrayed by legislators and vilified by anti-choice extremists, but we are still here for you, and are confident that justice will be on our side.  We are honored to stand up for Texas women and families and bring this case to the highest court in the land.

Amy Hagstrom Miller
President & CEO of Whole Woman’s Health

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44 thoughts on “Statement from Amy Hagstrom Miller: “Today, my heart is filled with hope”

    1. Amy…abortion is murder. It is not the woman’s body. It belongs to another human being. Women have a plethora of methods to prevent pregnancy. Sex is not an obligation. It is for pleasure and procreation. If you want to eliminate the procreation aspect, take precaution. Once one has become pregnant, barring any natural malfunction, that pregnancy will result in an independently functioning human, like yourself. When humans intervene in that process, it is a homicide. You support murder and you will reap what you sew. I hope and pray the Supreme Court rules against you. .

      1. “Functional maturity of the cerebral cortex is suggested by fetal and neonatal electroencephalographic patterns, studies of cerebral metabolism, and the behavioral development of neonates. First, intermittent electroencephalograpic bursts in both cerebral hemispheres are first seen at 20 weeks gestation; they become sustained at 22 weeks and bilaterally synchronous at 26 to 27 weeks. By 30 weeks, the distinction between wakefulness and sleep can be made on the basis of electroencephalo- graphic patterns.” http://www.cirtl.org/pain.htm

        What this scholarly article is saying is that before 20 weeks (5 months) gestation, the fetus is undeniably brain dead, as its cerebral cortex has not matured electrophysiologically. Any responses made by the fetus before this point are reflexive and mediated by more primitive parts of the brain. The point I’m making is that abortion is only murder after the fetus has developed to the point where it can’t be considered brain dead. So no, abortion is not necessarily murder. Do your homework. If you want to stop people from murdering the unborn, then share this information so that they get their abortions before their fetuses develop functioning cerebral cortices.

      2. Patrick, The year is 2015 not 1815 nor Nazi Germany. Your body is your body. A women’s body is her body. It is too bad that you do not understand the basic concept of human rights. You are very well entitled to your feeling regarding abortion. Notice they are your feelings, not to be imposed upon another human being. When and if a woman has to make a decision about her body, the decision is between her and her partner and her doctor. You are nowhere in that equation. Can I assume that you feel rape is for pleasure and procreation? Perhaps you should educate yourself before making ignorant statements.

      3. Hey Patrick no one asked you .. Your a man you are not involved .. It’s not your body or rights were taking about here so take my advice and stay out of an issue that I will never hear the side of someone who doesn’t even have ovaries .. It’s women’s issue .. It’s not a mans issue and it’s not gods issue .. So guess what your ignorant statement just made me decide to send money to support Amy’s organizations !! So thank you and know go fuck yourself .. Sincerely a single mom of two children living in California who has been too silent in her support for this effort until now .. Keep commenting negatively and all you do is make us young women want to fire back !! Thanks for putting the fire back in me! You dumb fuck

  1. “woman from Lubbock. Prior to HB 2, her community had a clinic. With the enactment of HB 2, she faced a 230 mile, 4.5 hour trip – EACH WAY – just to get a first trimester abortion. She was a working, single mother of 3 without healthcare. She faced layers of barriers – including find gas money for the drive and child care for the day she would be away.

    You’re highlighting this mother of three as if she is a victim, and not as an adult who is capable of taking responsibility for her own actions. She is a mother of three, so I assume she is aware of how babies come about, yet you say nothing about the precautions she took in order to avoid something that she seems to desperately not want. You could be here advocating for free birth control methods, but you’re not. Probably because you know that despite health education and all efforts to encourage the safe use of birth control, people still fail to take responsibility. And then expect everyone else to work to accommodate them when they want to avoid the consequences. Yes, taking a few days off of work and paying for childcare might be bothersome, but life isn’t easy. We all have to deal with the outcomes of our choices, this seems about a sense of entitlement and not actually a sense of right.

    1. Yes Julia…killing a child is failure to take responsibility …it is the cowards way of getting out of responsibility. ..so sad ….
      Someday all valued will face the responsibility of all the unborn children they helped to kill.. ..that is so sad also…

      1. I wanted to leave a reply to Tom Waddell’s comment: “Mo. It is 100% impossible to kill an un-born child. Stop a zygote or fetus from developing, yes, but zygotes and fetuses are not children”, but the comments section is not set up for this.

        Just a bit of history about me so you know…I have been an RN for 17 years and am educated as a Family Nurse Pracitioner with an MSN for 15 years. I have taught Maternal Infant Nursing, Growth and Development, and Pediatric Nursing classes at a local nursing school for the past 6 years.

        #1) Definition of fetus from Oxford Dictionary: An unborn offspring of a mammal, in particular an unborn human baby more than eight weeks after conception. Ovum/Egg/sperm, zygote, blastocyst, embryo, fetus, neonate, infant, are all terms used to describe the different gestational stages of development of the unborn human baby and the newborn human baby.

        #2) Definition of child: “a young human being below the age of puberty or below the legal age of majority” Hmmmm….if you use this definition, then you might be correct that the unborn baby is not a child in the developmental sense. They have to go through the infant stage, the toddler stage, and the preschooler stage before they become a child.

        #3) If fetuses are not children, then what are they? Did they magically transform into children as they passed through the mother’s birth canal? When they are born prematurely, they are called premature babies or premature infants. When fetuses die in utero and are vaginally birthed by the mother, they are called stillborn babies. If you think fetuses aren’t children, then you are seriously uneducated.

        #4) The FOB has no say and no rights here in Texas in regard to abortion of the unborn child. MOB gets to make ALL the decisions, including if she wants to keep/raise the child. FOB baby has no say in whether he has to pay child support or not. If MOB can choose abortion/life, then FOB should be able to choose to pay child support/no support. Whose rights are we protecting? Certainly not the rights of the baby and certainly not the rights of the father…let’s keep putting women up on a pedestal and oppressing the rights of everyone else just so they can make a decision about THEIR body. P.S. The unborn child is not a ‘part” of your body! It has it’s own circulation and mom’s blood does not mix with baby’s blood. Mom’s body supports the baby until it is developed enough to live outside the womb.

    2. Julia. Do you think is is realistic to expect everyone to do the exactly appropriate thing at the exactly appropriate time? Sounds like this woman did not qualify for Obamacare (thank a conservative) or she lives in an area where the only sex-ed she got was abstinence only (again, thank a conservative). It seems to me the country needs universal health care now, including federally funded abortions, so everyone can get the health care they need.

      1. Tom, how many of your little zygotes have you had a hand in killing? The only difference in a zygote and you is location and time. You are practicing Newspeak. Wake up!

      2. TexasRN, I have a question about something at the end of you argument.

        “Let’s keep putting women up on a pedestal and oppressing the rights of everyone else just so they can make a decision about THEIR body”.

        Can you please explain to me how someone having an abortion oppresses you? If we put back the laws we had prior to give women options how will that oppress you or anyone else? I don’t think you know the meaning of the word. Let me break it down for you.

        Definition of “oppress”.
        “Keep (someone) in subservience and hardship, especially by the unjust exercise of authority.

        If you don’t like abortions, don’t have one. And saying YOU’RE oppressed is laughable, no one is oppressing you, yet people LIKE YOU, have no problem oppressing women who need this service. See how that works? You are making it where women have to jump through endless hoops to get the medical care she requires. You are oppressing these women by removing options for her medical care. These women are not oppressing you in any way, shape, or form. If we brought the old laws back Just because the law comes back doesn’t mean suddenly every woman is forced to have an abortion – that would be oppression – if you don’t want one, don’t have one, done. Easy.

      1. Yeah, I won’t. And I will also forget about the millions of babies killed by their own mothers. And I will forget that for over 40 years we have looked the other way. And I will try to forget that I am an American, that I, personally, am responsible for this to some degree.

  2. This is such a hard situation for everyone involved. I myself am pro-life. But…. When my best friend was pregnant alone and raising 2 other children…….. I was the one who was quick to suggest it. So yeh….. I’m a hypocrite. Nobody walks into an abortion clinic saying yeh me….. I’mhaving an abortion. Now I also had the privilege of holding my 18 week fetus in my arms for 27 life changing minutes. No one wins here.

  3. I may not be for abortion myself but I am one of those who thinks it is a choice…may not be a good one IN MY OPINION …. but I also believe that the father of the unborn child should also have a say on whether or not HE would like to keep the baby. Yes the mother goes through all the work and what not (I would know I have one myself) but if the father wants to keep the baby alive well I think she should have to have the baby and give up all rights to the baby since she didn’t want it in the first place……..

    1. Yes, MoMo, obviously the father should have a say in the question of whether or not his kid is killed. But, of course, the pro-choice people will never have that. It is a woman’s sacred right to choose. Life or death. These young women, often in difficult circumstances, must be given the choice.

      We can do better. We must do better.

  4. I am pro choice. If people are so concerned about aborting zygotes and fetuses, then please make contraception freely available everywhere; there are many different types available but they cost, especially if no health care. Then make sure everyone, especially girls have detailed sex ed including the costs involved in raising and educating a child. Maybe even some economic truths of what it is like raising kids alone, together with relationship advice like “just because a man has sex with you, doesn’t mean he loves you, wants to marry you or to take care of his kids, he can just walk away and leave you holding the baby…” Then make sure that safe abortions are available in the first trimester, in case of any accidents. If you are against abortion, then don’t have one. But you are not entitled to make that decision for anyone else. For goodness sake don’t punish women because of their biology.

  5. ‘Your heart is filled’…..by stopping the hearts of these babies! Real cool! You call them different names like fetus, zygote, or whatever yet a baby in the womb can move away from pain as early as 6 weeks. FACT! Call it what you want but killing is killing. I hope that you grow to care about others besides yourselves. I hope that you can see the damage you do to life for the mere purpose of convenience. I’m not judging you but I’m hopeful that before this hearing that you can become rational and see that this isn’t about you or your body or your rights. No life is more important than another. No gender, no race, no age, no social standing, etc.

    “It seems to me clear as daylight that abortion would be a crime.” – Gandhi

  6. not only do people need to keep in mind thatb another persons CHOICE does NOT affect YOU. but nobody here is considering the women who dont want the baby because its not their fault they got pregnant. not every rapist wears a condom!

  7. With the movement of SCOTUS of late, I’m pretty sure the court will return to that passage on abortion in the Constitution and find that abortion is not only legal, the Constitution in fact mandates it.

  8. I am pro choice – if you don’t want a pregnancy then choose to not have sex. Or use a more than one form of contraception. Why does this crap constantly get thrust in my face? And why aren’t these facilities held to ambulatory care procedure standards? You have sex, you know what can happen, deal with it appropriately without these disgusting pseudo medical procedures. Good God what the fuck is wrong with people who support this?

    “Oh snap I’m pregnant…well I don’t want to take responsibility for my actions, so I’ll just pay a dirty facility to vacuum the fetus out of womb and then I can keep my risky sexual behaviors without the burdensome consequence of raising a child which I created! How convenient!”

    1. In a perfect world, Jason, abortion wouldn’t have a place. We would have everyone involved willing and able to take responsibility for their actions. Men wouldn’t promise the world to a woman to get in her pants and women wouldn’t fall for it! Every potential parent would embrace their situation and would have the economic wherewithal to happily raise their offspring, or the welfare state would be extended to cover all those little love children running around. Until that day comes, women should have the choice to have a safe termination in the first trimester. You make it sound like it is all down the woman and she deserves to be punished for being a fool. Believe me when I say that abortion is not an easy option for any woman, and that is “punishment” enough.

  9. How many babies a day do your clinics murder? How do you sleep at night? How do you justify what you do for a living? God knows what you do and He is really the only one you have to answer to at the time of YOUR death.

  10. Good luck, your case is clearly going to be a very important one for your country in the years to come and I hope SCOTUS sides with the rights of women.

    I also read that article by one of the clinic escorts on her role greeting patients and running interference against the self-appointed religious police laying seige to the clinics. I know that they tend to be very aggressive in pushing their dogma, but do they ever step over the line to actual assault (i.e. any kind of physical contact)? Frankly I’m amazed there aren’t more bloody noses (or worse, but then the most aggressive in these scenarios aren’t the ones holding the moral highground).

    For my part, I live in a rather civilised place where abortion is legal (with some regulation for late-term abortions, which personally I think is stupid and pointless, but people tend to panic a bit on this topic. We do still have some of these crusaders around and one murdered a security guard a decade and a half ago, but at least that terrorist supporter, Newman, was told to take a hike. We haven’t forgotten the plight of so many across the pond, though. So no matter how loud the local fascists get, there’s broader support beyond them. 🙂

    [To the religious zealots; don’t bother, you lost the ability to convince me when you concluded that your religion gives you the right to abuse, assault, torture and even kill women. You don’t even have the guts to admit that the religion is an excuse and you really just want to control them and enslave them. Cowards all. I expect rabid offense will be taken to this little comment and I may not respond (or notice), but don’t worry there will be a better opportunity in the future and in a better field that doesn’t commandeer someone else’s blog. So save your vitriol and recrimination for a time to come. You’ll need every ounce of it.]

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