Texas's abortion rates fell 60% the first month of new limits

According to new data, abortions in Texas dropped by 60% within the first month of the most restrictive abortion law in America in decades.

Texas's abortion rates fell 60% the first month of new limits

A new law in Texas bans abortion if cardiac activity is detected. This happens usually within six weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for cases of rape or genital. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission released the figures this month.

There had been over 5,400 abortions in August. According to state health officials, more data will be available on a monthly basis.

These numbers give a better picture of the dramatic drop in patients that Texas doctors described in their clinics in the past five months. During which courts repeatedly allowed restrictions to remain in place, the numbers provide a more complete picture. Some patients have had to travel hundreds of miles for appointments in Texas, while others are forced to seek out clinics in nearby states.

Planned Parenthood released a statement calling these numbers "the very beginning" of the law's devastating effects.

The Texas law is in conflict with U.S. Supreme Court landmarks that prohibit states from banning abortions early in pregnancy. It was written in a way to essentially outmaneuver these precedents.

The law allows any private citizen to claim $10,000 or more for bringing a successful lawsuit against anyone who helped or performed an abortion after the limit. This is something opponents consider a bounty. No anti-abortion activists have filed any lawsuits so far.

Texas abortion providers recognize that there are few alternatives and the law will likely remain in force for the foreseeable future.

Similar measures were introduced in GOP-controlled statehouses across the country since Texas's law went into effect. However, none of them have passed. The Arizona Republicans continued to move quickly this month to ban abortion after 15 weeks of gestation.

This comes as the U.S. Supreme Court signaled its willingness to reverse or weaken the Roe v. Wade precedent. A ruling is expected later in the year. According to the Guttmacher Institute (a research organization that supports abortion rights), 26 states could impose restrictions on abortion access within one year if that happens.

Minimum 12 states have "trigger banning" laws. These bans are designed to prevent abortion access from being denied in any state.

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