What has the impact of the Texas abortion law been?
Statistics from the first month after the passing of the restrictive law show a huge drop in the number of women getting abortions.
After the Texas abortion law came into effect in September 2021, data shows the number of abortions carried out in the state had a huge drop-off: 60 percent.
The month of September saw nearly 2,200 abortions carried out, far fewer than the 5,400 carried out in August 2021, the month prior.
According to Dallas Morning News, people from Texas have fled to neighboring states for the procedure. Abortion rights supporters the Guttmacher Institute released preliminary data showing this effect. There is a trend of Texas residents going as far as California and Washington D.C. to have the procedure done, and that states adjacent to Texas are having their clinics 'overrun' with patients from the Lone Star state.
The US Supreme Court has refused to block the law, known as Senate Bill 8, in part due to the outnumbering of liberal judges by conservatives. The Texas bill is at the forefront of the battle to overturn the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling, which in effect legalized abortion throughout the united states. 2021 saw some of the greatest challenges to the ruling yet, with 2022 set to be a pivotal year in the continued fight for the rights of women in the US.
What is the current Texas abortion law?
The legislation was pushed through the Republican-led Texas state legislature before being signed into law by GOP Gov. Greg Abbott in May 2021.
It is a new interpretation of the ‘heartbeat bills’ that are often forwarded by anti-abortion groups in order to prevent abortions once embryonic cardiac activity is detected. At six weeks, ultrasound scanners can detect the group of cells that will become the heart as they produce their first electrical pulses. However, this does not constitute a heart.
Anyone assisting an abortion after the six week limit can be privately sued by any citizen in the state, making it extremely risky for doctors to support women in need. There is no exception for cases of rape or incest.