Planned Parenthood is already decrying the “devastating impact” of a Texas law that has banned abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.
New figures released by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission reveal that in the first month since the Texas law went into effect, abortions fell by 60% in the state, the Associated Press reported.
Figures showed there were more than 5,400 abortions across the state last August. The new law took effect in Texas in September and that month the numbers plunged with almost 2,200 abortions reported by Texas providers, according to KHOU.
According to AP:
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 allowed the restrictions to stay in place. It has left some Texas patients traveling hundreds of miles to clinics in neighboring states or farther, causing a backlog of appointments in those places.
In a statement, Planned Parenthood lamented “the very beginning of the devastating impact” of the law.
“Every day that this devastating abortion ban remains in place means more Texans are denied the ability to determine when and how to become a parent along with increasing risk of poverty and negative health and educational outcomes,” a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas told the Dallas Morning News. “It is unconscionable that thousands of Texans continue to be forced to travel hundreds of miles out of state to Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, and other farther states to access their fundamental right to safe, legal abortion.”
The Heartbeat Act bans most abortions after a heartbeat is detected which is generally around six weeks into the pregnancy. Despite the outcry from pro-choice advocates, the U.S. Supreme Court did not act on a requested injunction and would not keep the law from taking effect while lawsuits are pending.
“The success of the Texas Heartbeat Act is embodied by every child saved,” pro-life Texas Right to Life told the Dallas Morning News in a statement. “For over 150 days, our work has saved an estimated 100 babies per day. Our impact is only just beginning as more states seek to replicate our success and as we look to the Mississippi case that could overturn Roe this summer.”
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