On CNN, Woman Says Worst Part Of Her Abortion Was Dealing With HB 2

Candice Russell: My Story “Illustrates How Much Burden Those Laws Were Putting On The Women Of Texas”

From the June 27 edition of CNN's CNN Newsroom:

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PAMELA BROWN (GUEST HOST): And my next guest, Candice Russell, was personally impacted by Texas' House Bill 2. She says it forced her to fly to California to end her pregnancy. Candice joins me now from Austin. So first off, Candice, tell us your story.

CANDICE RUSSELL: So I found out that I was pregnant the spring after Wendy Davis' filibuster and because I had an IUD which was stopping my period, I didn't find out until I was about 12 weeks along. I at the time had a job that didn't have [paid time off] and I called the clinics. Clinic closures had already started to happen in the state, so even though I lived in Dallas we where we still had our clinics open, the influx of people coming from other cities meant that when I called to make an appointment it was going to be a two and a half or three week wait. With the Texas laws the way that they are, appointments actually have to have two days and I was really concerned that if I made it to one appointment that I wouldn't get the next day off for work and then I was going to have to wait another three weeks and I was going to push up against that 20-week ban. So I was dating somebody who lived in California at the time and we called and made an appointment and I was back within the week. I had to take out a payday loan, it was really really high interest. I think I paid about $2,500 for a $600 loan to get on a plane but I also know how lucky I am to be able to do that. Not everybody has the privilege of even borrowing money to do that. I think it really kind of illustrates how much burden those laws were putting on the women of Texas.

BROWN: In the last hour, Candice, I spoke to an anti-abortion advocate who says this bill was not about stopping abortions but it was about keeping up the standards of women's health. Let's listen.


GENEVIEVE WOOD: This was not a case that said we're going to outlaw abortion. It simply said that if you're an abortion clinic you have got to meet certain cleanliness standards and sanitation standards so that the women walking through your doors are going to get the best health care possible.

BROWN: So to you this was just about women's health? It didn't have anything to do with stopping abortion in the state?

WOOD: There was nothing about the law that would stop an abortion. If a clinic didn't meet the right standards, there was nothing that said they couldn't come up to standards.


WOOD: We ought to be very concerned about what people are walking into. We ought to be as concerned about women's health as we are their right to abortion. And at the end of the day, the special interests won here, the abortion lobby, not women.


BROWN: All right so Candice, what is your response to that based on what you experienced?

RUSSELL: You know, for me it's -- I have had more invasive surgeries done at my dentist's office than my abortion. My abortion was very simple, it very easy. The most traumatic part of my experience was the stress of having to come up with the money to go out of state. The stress of travel, of having to get on a plane after having a very basic surgical procedure. And all of those things, all of the stressors that I went through with my abortion came from HB 2. It wasn't the abortion itself, it was from the law.

BROWN: All right. Candice Russell, we'll leave it there. Thank you so much for coming on, sharing your story with us.


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