(Headline USA) Abortions in Texas fell by 60% in the first month under the most pro-life law in the U.S. in decades, according to new figures that for the first time reveal a full accounting of the immediate impact.
The nearly 2,200 abortions reported by Texas providers in September came after a new law took effect that bans the procedure once cardiac activity is detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy and without exceptions in cases of rape or incest. The figures were released this month by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
In August, there had been more than 5,400 abortions statewide. State health officials said more data will be released on a monthly basis.
The numbers offer a fuller picture of the sharp drop in patients that Texas doctors have described in their clinics over the past five months, during which time courts have repeatedly shut down activists’ legal challenges and allowed the restrictions to stay in place.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to rule on the law and another pro-life law out of Mississippi in its current session.
Abortion profiteers are panicking over the recent development, which has essentially outmaneuvered earlier Supreme Court precedents including Roe vs. Wade by allowing private lawsuits.
Under the law, any private citizen is entitled to collect $10,000 or more if they bring a successful lawsuit against someone who performed or helped a woman obtain an abortion after the limit—which opponents have condemned as a bounty.
So far, no pro-life supporters have filed any suits.
With few options left, Texas abortion providers have acknowledged the law is likely to stay on the books for the foreseeable future.
Planned Parenthood issued a statement calling the numbers “the very beginning of the devastating impact” of the law.
Since the Texas law took effect, similar measures have been introduced in GOP-controlled statehouses nationwide, but none have passed. Arizona Republicans this month continued moving swiftly to outlaw abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
If the Supreme Court were to reverse Roe vs. Wade, as many as 26 states would likely institute abortion-access restrictions within a year, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute.
At least 12 states have “trigger bans” on the books, with restrictions that would kick in automatically if the justices overturn or weaken federal mandates on abortion access.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press