Most Texas women were able to get abortions despite new law: studies
Two new studies suggest that abortions among Texas women fell by only 10 percent following the state’s restrictive abortion law, with many women traveling to nearby states or buying abortion pills online.
The modest decline in abortions was less than earlier measurements suggested. The new law prohibits abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected, or around six weeks of pregnancy.
One of the studies published Sunday from the University of Texas at Austin showed an average of 1,400 women per month traveled to nearby states, a 12-fold increase on out-of-state abortions compared to before the law was enacted in September. Those states included New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi and Colorado.
The other study published in JAMA open network last week found that an average of 1,100 women ordered abortion pills online each month. However, the study could not conclude if every order resulted in an abortion.
“The numbers are way bigger than we expected. It’s pretty astounding,” Kari White, the principal investigator of the university’s Texas Policy Evaluation Project, said of the findings, The New York Times reported.
But advocates for the law say that they count any reduction as a win.
“There’s no hesitation from our side to declare this a victory for actually protecting pre-born children from elective abortion,” John Seago, the legislative director of Texas Right to Life, told the Times. “We’re realists around here, so the best we can do is incentivize women to have their children.”