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  • Ryan Wittler

Data Shows Most Women Denied Abortions by Texas’s New Law Got Them Another Way


Two new studies from separate research groups at the University of Texas at Austin suggest that the state’s sweeping ban enacted in September might not have stopped as many abortions as it seemed.

Some highlights:

According to October 2021 data, in the months following Texas banning all but the earliest abortions, in-state legal abortions fell by half. The drop appeared to be a win for proponents of the law, however, two new studies suggest that the bill’s true impact has been more modest.

In one study, researchers found an average of 1,400 Texas women went to one of seven nearby states for an abortion each month between September and December 2021.

  • According to the study, that’s over 10 times as many who sought out-of-state abortions each month between September and December 2019.

In another study, researchers found the daily requests for abortion pills from Aid Access, a nonprofit that provides access to medical abortion by mail, jumped by 1,180% in Texas the first week after the ban took effect.

  • Over the following three weeks (September 9-30), daily requests decreased, but remained 245% higher than before the ban.

  • Over the following three months (October-December), average monthly requests were 174% higher than before the ban.

Why it matters:

Taken together, the two studies suggest that while in-state abortions fell by half following the law taking effect, large increases in out-of-state abortions and requests for abortion pills place the actual decrease in the number of abortions among Texas women closer to 10%.

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