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“Each of these provisions is an opportunity to try to shut down a provider, and they’ll be mining it for all it’s worth,” said McLaughlin. “We know Life Dynamics will be out there trying to trip people up.” Denton-based Life Dynamics Inc., an anti-abortion organization, most recently gained notoriety for having an adult woman call clinics posing as a teenager with an adult boyfriend and asking how to get around Texas’ four-year-old law that minors must notify a parent or get a judicial bypass to receive an abortion. The tape of a phone conversation recorded by Life Dynamics, in which one clinic worker promised to help break the law, was introduced during the debate on the parental consent bill as evidence that clinics were covering for pedophiles. Putting aside the hyperbolic claims of Life Dynamics, Susan Hays, a board member of Jane’s Due Process, an organization that helps minors negotiate the judicial bypass process, says there’s good reason to tell a girl in that situation what she wants to hear. “If I had a 13-year-old calling with a 24-year-old boyfriend [as the Life Dynamics woman claimed], I would say whatever I had to keep her from hanging up so I could get her into the clinic and away from that guy,” she said. HB 15 also requires that all abortions after 16 weeks to take place in an ambulatory surgical center or hospital, instead of a clinic. Proponents say this will make women safer. But Dave Kittrell, vice chair of the Texas section for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that HB 15, which he characterizes as “stupid,” will have no impact on the safety of abortions. “This bill is absolutely not medically necessary,” he said. “There are clinics in Texas performing abortions up to 23 weeks, and there has not to my knowledge been a single death.” He agrees with pro-choice groups that the bill will only reduce access, since having the procedure performed in an ambulatory surgical center quadruples the cost. Moreover, since few of the approximately 250 ambulatory surgical centers in Texas currently perform abortions, access will be problematic even for women who can afford the fees.As Romberg points out, there’s a strong incentive for things to stay that way. “Pro-life groups have made [providing abortions] pretty difficult,” she said. “However sympathetic ambulatory surgical centers may be to the situation these women are in, the last thing they want is picketers harassing the staff and the patients, and the doctors having to wear bullet-proof vests to work.” A proposed amendment that did not pass would have allowed women to go to a clinic if they could not find a center willing to do the procedure. That’s what happened this session with any attempt at compromise. A prime example was the debate on Rep. Senate transportation bill. Wohlgemuth offered an amendment to sell “Choose Life” license plates to fund organizations that provide counseling and material assistance for pregnant women who plan to place their babies up for adoption. While the organizations were often characterized as “adoption charities,” this term is somewhat misleading, since many of them are not licensed to place children for adoptionthey only help women continue their pregnancies. a second “Choose Choice” plate that would send money to offered an amendment that would change the words on the plate to “Adopt a Child” and send the money to the state fund the state adoption agency but without changing the “Choose Life” wording of the license plates. After that failed, she offered a second amendment, this time sending the money to licensed adoption agencies. Each time someone tried to amend Wohlgemuth’s license plate project, she curt 6 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 6/20/03