Researchers from the Guttmacher Institute have found staggering data regarding the impact of the Texas abortion ban. The report highlights that Senate Bill 8 which outlaws any and every abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy has pushed Texas residents to reach far-away states for the procedure.
Researchers Rachel K. Jones, Jesse Philbin, Marielle Kirstein, and Elizabeth Nash, took the data from abortion clinics throughout the country except from the 4 bordering states to Texas, to find out how the Texas abortion ban is impacting procedures in other states. The data procured for the month of August and September 2021 alone shows, 11 states and DC have increased numbers of Texas residents coming for abortion procedures. Some of these states such as Washington and Ohio are hundreds of miles away from Texas.
Data was collected from 28 states, along with the Columbia District, which included close to 120 clinics. The findings in the research show how abruptly restricting a procedure can put thousands of people and hundreds of clinics at risk of being unable to serve those people who need the service.
Currently, the Texas abortion ban applies to almost all clinics, putting further pressure on the ones that are still currently serving patients. On top of monetary restrictions, and other hurdles, the law pushes people to look for alternatives for the procedure. Among those, people who can afford to travel farther have chosen to opt for the procedure in states far away from Texas.
Another clear negative impact of the law on bordering states to Texas is in-state patients looking for other options of clinics outside their own state since the incoming traffic of patients from Texas decreases chances of appointments and getting timely services. One clinic from Tennessee especially reported that “it had twice as many patients from Texas as during all of 2020—six in September compared with three in the entire previous year.”
Another cruel indication of the Texas abortion ban is the increased ratio of residents coming for the procedure with 12 weeks pregnancies or above. Data clearly shows that the likely need to cross states and travel hundreds of miles is adding to the raised number of pregnancy days. These stats that show many clinics being overwhelmed with the people coming in for abortions has done nothing to budge Texas lawmakers who have contributed towards the SB2.