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Tipsheet

Texas Clinics Have Seen a Massive Decline in Abortions Since 'Heartbeat' Law Took Effect

Timothy Tai/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP, File

Clinics in Texas have seen a massive drop in abortions since S.B. 8, the state’s law prohibiting abortions after fetal heartbeat detection, took effect.

In a report published by the Texas Tribune, abortion provider Whole Woman’s Health, which operates four locations in Texas, has been operating at 20 percent to 30 percent of their service levels compared to before Sept. 1, the day S.B. 8 took effect.

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Amy Hagstrom Miller, the president and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, told the Tribune that it is “eerie” and that pregnant women are “not even calling anymore.”

“It’s just becoming eerie,” Miller said to the Tribune. “I think when people kind of know they're seven or eight weeks pregnant or further pregnant, they're not even calling anymore ... a lot of folks are just, I think, going straight to calling Oklahoma and New Mexico and Louisiana.”

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, on the other hand, announced that they will be “expanding access” to abortion care, including support for out-of-state travel expenses and financial assistance to “reduce the cost of their medical care.”

“Texas’ abortion ban (SB 8) takes decision-making away from patients in such a devastating way. These resources are intended to put some health information and assets directly back into the hands of patients without political interference,” Lead Clinician of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Elizabeth Cardwell said in a press release. “This is one way we can support patients as we fight to overturn Texas’ abortion ban.”

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In October, a study published by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project showed that abortions in the state decreased by half after S.B. 8 took effect. States like California, as I covered, are looking to expand their “abortion infrastructure” to accommodate more out-of-state patients.

Whole Woman’s Health filed one of the two lawsuits surrounding S.B. 8 that made its way to the Supreme Court. The other is the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) lawsuit against Texas over S.B. 8.

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