Patients flocked to an abortion clinic in Fort Worth, Texas a day before the state's new pro-life law took effect. The heartbeat bill, which criminalizes abortions made after six weeks of pregnancy, is one of the strictest abortion laws in the country, causing up to 67 women to get last minute abortions on the evening of Tuesday.
Christian Headlines reported that the Whole Woman's Health clinic in Fort Worth was packed with patients waiting to get an abortion on the evening of Tuesday, as the heartbeat bill was set to take effect on midnight of Wednesday.
The clinic's director for clinical services Marva Sadler said that they had to perform "eight abortions an hour with only one doctor on duty, an octogenarian who had been working since 7 a.m."
"We are not the bad guys here," Sadler told her team. "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."
According to Faithwire, one of the many women who sought an abortion a day before the Texas heartbeat bill took effect was a woman who was a drug user and was 12 weeks pregnant. The woman was set to serve a five-year prison sentence the following week and begged the clinic to get an abortion, as she did not want to deliver her child in prison. She was also a mother of three.
The woman, who was 12 weeks pregnant and may no longer get an abortion when the heartbeat bill takes effect, reportedly "dropped to her knees on the cold tile floor in front of Sadler, begging her to take her, to perform the abortion."
Sadler commended the abortion doctor who had perfomed 67 abortions in just 17 hours, saying that other physicians half his age would not have been able to carry out such a gigantous task. She said that even if he had just performed one abortion, it would have been a victory to help the women.
The following day when the Texas heartbeat bill took effect, Sadler expressed her grief that the clinic was now forced to turn away four women who were five weeks and six days pregnant.
"How unfair that those women yesterday were helped, and the women today don't have any help," Sadler mused.
Pro-life activists saw the bill's enactment as a major victory, especially when Supreme Court did not act on an emergency request by pro-abortion groups to block it.
According to the New York Post, Planned Parenthood filed an emergency request with the Supreme Court to block the Texas heartbeat bill from taking effect. However, the request was not acted upon by the court. Planned Parenthood was forced to stop scheduling procedures when the measure took effect.
Some abortion clinics in the state said they had been fully booked for weeks before September 1, when the new measure would take effect. Employees at Houston Women's Reproductive Services were also working overtime to squeeze in as many appointments as they could and that up to 27 women were still trying to get an appointment just before the heartbeat bill took effect on Wednesday. In Texas, up to 90% of abortions occur after the six week mark of pregnancy.