Inside a Texas abortion clinic after the Supreme Court overturned Rowe’s decision

On Friday, the Alamo Women’s Reproductive Services in San Antonio scheduled abortions for 27 patients.

Some were already waiting outside when the clinic opened at 9 a.m., doing their best to ignore the group of protesters at the entrance to the parking lot, yelling at them over a loudspeaker.

“You must not enter!” the activists pleaded with the women. “They’re killing babies!”

The permanent owner of the clinic, Dr. Alan Braid returned to his office when his daughter Andrea Gallegos, the executive administrator, burst in.

“It’s from. The decision has been made,” she said. “Complete coup.”

Damn scythe. Then he started whining.

The man is sitting in his office.

Dr. Alan Braid sits in his office in disbelief after just learning of the Supreme Court’s decision.

(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

At 77, he is old enough to remember what abortion was like before the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Roe. Wade in 1973. He treated women for infections caused by illegal abortions, including a 16-year-old girl who arrived with a vagina stuffed with rags, which he was unable to save.

Now with judgment abolition of the right to abortionBraid feared a return to those days.

“I have to decide what to do with these patients now,” he said before walking out into the hallway. “I never thought I’d live to see this day.”

His employees were confused.

So we don’t see anyone? the nurse asked Gallegos.

“I need to talk to the lawyers,” she replied before disappearing into the office.

Texas is one of 13 states where trigger laws instead of outlawing abortion after Rowe was deposed. His law won’t go into effect for a month, but the state’s attorney general has released a statement saying the pre-1973 ban on abortion has been renewed.

“This is crazy,” an employee wearing an “My Body, My Choice” T-shirt said as she sat at the front desk, wiping her tears.

woman wiping her tears

An employee of the Alamo Women’s Reproductive Services reacted to the news that the Supreme Court overturned the decision in the Roe case. Wade.

(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

She looked at the five women in the waiting room, where the news hadn’t arrived yet. The Netflix series Stranger Things was playing on TV as women filled out forms and scrolled through pages on their mobile phones.

Suddenly the front door whistled open and a young woman entered. She could be mistaken for a staff member, except for the fact that she was clutching a rosary.

“I just wanted to make an announcement that Roe vs. Wade just got flipped,” she said. “Abortion is illegal.”

She came from an anti-abortion group outside and trespassed. An employee ran out to shoo her away, yelling, “Stay away from the property!”

The employee then turned to the stunned women.

“Sorry, all of you. We are at an impasse,” she said. “This is very discouraging. We’re just waiting to see you and me.”

One woman could not control her anger. She came from Oklahoma on a referral from another clinic that stopped doing abortions this month after the state passed new restrictions.

Woman looking out the window of her car

Jaylin, 24, looks out the window of her car after she was denied access to the Alamo Female Reproductive Service on Friday.

(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

“Some of us have come too far for that,” she said.

Then Braid, who had previously consulted with lawyers, entered the waiting room.

“The Supreme Court just overturned Roe vs. Wade. You have been deprived of the right to choose what to do with your body,” he explained to the women. “There are states that it will not affect – New Mexico, Illinois, states on the coast. So if you want to stay, the girls can give you information.”

The Oklahoma woman, who declined to give her name, became even more upset.

“So you’re saying we can’t have an abortion today?” I just drove eight hours.”

“You can write to Judge Roberts,” Braid said.

“I don’t want to write to anyone,” she said. “Why did they wait until today?”

“This is what everyone thinks about,” said another patient who drove about 145 miles from Corpus Christi.

“Unfortunately, my hands are tied,” Braid said, explaining the risks of challenging the law. “I could go to jail for life and be fined $100,000.”

“Do you all have the Internet, where can I get at least pills?” said the woman from Oklahoma.

The employee handed out a list of out-of-state clinics and explained that they could also try to order mail-order abortion drugs from sites like Aid Access.

Women in the waiting room

Sitting in the waiting room, Liz contemplates her choice after being told that the Supreme Court has overturned “Roe’s” case. Wade closes a series of abortions at the Alamo Women’s Reproductive Services, where she had an appointment on Friday.

(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

“I wish they had called me about this last week,” said the irate patient.

“We didn’t know,” the employee explained. “It took us by surprise. That’s why everyone is so emotional.”

Then one by one the women left.

Andrea, a Corpus Christi patient, was four weeks pregnant and already has two children, ages 3 and 6. She said she was planning to leave the state.

“If that’s what it takes, I’m going to travel,” the 26-year-old said.

Jerrica, 26, another patient visiting from Oklahoma, scanned the clinic’s flyer, focusing on an abortion specialist in Wichita, Kansas, about two hours from her Tulsa home. “I should have gone there,” she said. “I did not know.”

She said that she has two children aged 3 and 4, the older one is autistic, and that was difficult to deal with. She had already taken a leave of absence from nursing school to go to Texas. Now she had another trip to go.

According to her, if no clinic can accept her, she will have no choice but to keep the child.

As soon as the waiting room was empty, women with later appointments began to appear. The employee tried to tell one of them to turn around before her Uber left, but it was too late.

“You can’t stay. The law has been repealed,” she explained. “That was just a few minutes ago.

The 18-year-old patient was puzzled. The day before, she underwent an ultrasound at the clinic. She knew she was five weeks and two days pregnant and that the fetus had no heart activity, making her eligible for an abortion under a Texas law that went into effect last fall.

She had just graduated from high school and lived at home while she was about to go to college. She sat down with a friend who accompanied her to the clinic. “I can’t take care of the baby,” she said.

Crying woman talking to another woman

An employee is moved to tears when she informs a patient that the clinic can no longer provide abortion services.

(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

She didn’t have a car. As did her boyfriend. They did not tell their families that she was pregnant. Moving out of state was not an option.

“I am very embarrassed,” she said.

Another patient, Jaileen, 24, arrived in her pickup truck with her two daughters, aged 6 and 7. She was scheduled for a medical abortion.

She said she didn’t want to travel out of state for an abortion and would probably have a baby.

“For us girls, it’s really a mess,” she said. “In fact, we have no rights. They shouldn’t choose women.”

When another woman arrived at the clinic and heard the news, she collapsed into a chair and wept. Then she begged.

“Please, please, I’m in big trouble!” said the mother of three, the youngest is 7 months old, everyone was waiting outside in the minibus with her husband. “I have to go to India in a few days. We’re coming back.”

“I’m sorry ma’am, this is illegal,” the employee said, offering to call other clinics for her, but cautioning that “I can’t guarantee there’s an option right now.”

The woman grabbed her mobile phone and called her husband, who appeared in the waiting room seconds later. The staff explained the decision and suggested that he contact clinics in New Mexico.

Is there a place where we can try? he said.

“It’s completely illegal in Texas,” one employee said.

“Even because of a fetal anomaly?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“It’s draconian,” he said.

As he and his wife were leaving, they passed anti-abortion demonstrators. The police cruiser drove around the building. A man who appeared to be escorting a patient ran into an anti-abortion mob, cursing and recording a video on his cell phone.

— What are you doing here today? he said.

“Protect the weak,” said protester Michael Hernandez, 28, who later said the decision made him feel “excited” and that “we’ll be on a better path to a better future.”

The protesters said they plan to return in the coming days to see if the clinic is following the law. Some said they hoped the decision would force Braid to resign.

His daughter said they have no immediate plans but are considering moving to Colorado, New Mexico or tribal lands where they will face few restrictions. Braid also owns a clinic in Tulsa that had to stop doing abortions.

By noon the mood of the staff fluctuated between disappointment and determination.

One worker put her head in her hands. They notified all 27 patients whose appointments were canceled on Friday. Now they will have to call 45 patients and make an appointment next week.

    Protesters near the clinic.

Anti-abortion protesters pray in a circle outside a clinic just after the Supreme Court ruling.

(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

Among the latest patients to arrive on Friday was April Reese, a special education teacher and mother of three. The employee gave her a handout.

“So we need to get out of state?” said Reese, 41. “This is madness”.

At the fifth week and third day of her pregnancy, Reese said she was planning to travel.

Reese was about to leave when she noticed that the employee helping her was crying. As did some of the other clinic staff at the front desk.

“You guys have done so many good things for people. So keep it in your heart,” Reese said. “Do not give up.”