Abortions in Texas decreased by 60 percent in the first month after the state passed the most restrictive abortion ruling in the United States in decades, according to new numbers that disclose for the first time a comprehensive assessment of the immediate effect.
The roughly 2,200 abortions recorded by Texas clinics in September occurred as a result of new legislation that prohibits the operation once heart activity is found, which is normally around six weeks of pregnancy and without exceptions in situations of rape or incest, as well as other circumstances.
The data were issued by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission earlier this month.
In August, more than 5,400 abortions were performed across the state. State health experts said that additional information would be made available every month.
The figures provide a complete picture of the dramatic decline in patient volume that Texas physicians have reported in their clinics over the last five months, during which the judges have regularly upheld the limitations’ status quo.
Some Texas patients have been forced to travel hundreds of miles to clinics in neighboring states or even farther away, resulting in a backlog of appointments in those locations.
In contradiction with major the United States Supreme Court opinions that prohibit a state from prohibiting abortion early in pregnancy, the Texas statute was crafted to virtually outmaneuvered existing precedents, according to legal experts.
According to the legislation, any private individual who brings a successful lawsuit against someone who performed or assisted a woman in obtaining an abortion after the limit is entitled to a reward of $10,000 or more, which opponents have decried as a bounty. So yet, no lawsuits against abortion have been launched by anti-abortion activists.
Because there are few alternatives available, abortion providers in Texas have conceded that the ban is likely to remain on the books for the foreseeable future.
It comes at a time when the Supreme Court of the United States has shown a propensity to weaken or overturn the historic Roe v. Wade decision in a decision that will be issued later this year.