Study Proves Texas Laws Have Significantly Reduced Access to Abortion
The Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) released a study in the medical journal Contraception finding that access to abortion has been significantly reduced since the state enacted it omnibus anti-abortion law HB2.
The study, released last week, details the striking impact that HB2 has had on abortion access in Texas. The researchers collected data on abortion services for the first six months after one of HB2's four provisions, which requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic, went into effect in November 2013. They found that the abortion rate decreased at an unusually rapid rate of 13 percent, likely because of the large number of clinic's that closed or stopped providing abortion care. In May 2013, there were 41 facilities providing abortion throughout the state, but 20 of those clinics have now either closed to stopped providing abortion services.
When another provision requiring facilities to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers goes into effect this September, the researchers predict that the six or seven facilities that already meet the standards are the only ones that will be able to remain open. But less than one-fourth of abortion procedures took place at an ambulatory surgical center during the research period, so they do not expect those clinics to be able to handle a four-fold increase in abortion procedures.
HB2 was passed by the Texas legislature in a special session in July 2013, after earlier being defeated by a filibuster. Its two other provisions ban abortion at or after 20 weeks post-fertilization, and require providers to use the Food and Drug Administration's outdated protocol for medical abortions.
Media Resources: The Texas Policy Evaluation Project 7/1/14, 7/23/14; Contraception Journal; ThinkProgress 7/23/14; Feminist Newswire 6/26/13, 7/1/13, 11/27/13, 3/6/14, 4/18/14