DALLAS, TX—Joanne Underwood stood quietly outside a Dallas abortion clinic and prayed in the cold Sunday air. Underwood, who has been a sidewalk counselor for a decade says she is disturbed to see women, some of them six months pregnant entering the clinic. "We know they go in there for abortions, but to see them visibly showing the pregnancy is so sad".
Late term abortion services are being offered to women at the Southwestern Women's Surgery Center on Greenville Avenue. The center opened recently and is the only facility in Dallas to offer an abortion up to the 24th week of the pregnancy.
In a YouTube video, clinic owner, Dr. Curtis Boyd can be seen talking about the day that abortion was legalized by the US Supreme Court. By law, Boyd is required to have a surgery center to perform the late term procedure. Dr. Boyd did not return repeated phone calls.
Pro-life advocates say they are devastated to see the return of the late term abortion procedure. "There were 14 months where we didn't have this horrible practice", says director of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee, Karen Garnett.
Garnett says Dr. Boyd stepped in when another facility closed and brought the procedure back to North Texas. "He predicts that he will perform 2000 late term abortions in this facility each year".
The late term abortion debate has also seen a spike in Houston, where a Planned Parenthood clinic is set to open. The clinic is being called the largest abortion facility in the country and will offer late term procedures. Pro-choice advocates dispute that there is an expansion taking place. "There are 254 counties in Texas and less than 10 have abortion services", says Dallas attorney, Susan Hays.
Hays says abortion providers are consolidating, not expanding. She says partly out of fear after high profile cases like the shooting of Kansas abortionist, Dr. George Tiller. "Health care providers have had to build their own facilities so they can provide that security", says Hays.