Home abortions rise as clinics close for women who seek the controversial procedure in the state of Texas. Disturbing new data reveals that a large number of women between the ages of 18 and 49 are giving themselves self-induced abortions.
NBC News reports that it’s mostly poverty-stricken women who are in peril after a 2013 Texas law that began restricting abortions. This is leading more women to find their own alternatives. A study released by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project Fund on Tuesday reveals that “poverty, limited resources, and local facility closures limited women’s ability to obtain abortion care in a clinic setting and were key factors in deciding to attempt abortion self-induction.”
According to the report, researchers from the University of Texas Population Research Center, Ibis Reproductive Health, the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and the University of California at San Francisco were involved in the study.
The study finds that home abortions have risen due to clinic closures in Texas. This has resulted to increased cases of self-induced abortions; between 100,000 and 240,000 women have tried to give themselves the procedure after the law was implemented, according to analysis.
Methods for terminating pregnancies have been with the use of herbs, teas, and medications obtained in Mexico without prescription.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced on November 13 that it will grant challenges made by opponents of the Texas law. Cecile Richards, CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, issued a statement about the study on home abortions and its rise since clinics have been shut down.
“This important new research paints an alarming picture of what the future may be like for women across the country if the Supreme Court does not block this cruel law,” Richards said.
Amy Hagstrom Miller, chief executive of Whole Woman’s Health, is reportedly the main plaintiff in the challenge that the Supreme Court is willing to listen to.
Miller said, “By forcing clinics to close, Texas legislators have multiplied the barriers women face when they need an abortion.
“Texas women are forced to go to multiple and unnecessary visits at clinics that are now farther away, take more days off of work, losing income, find childcare, and arrange and pay for transportation for hundreds of miles.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton reacted to the Supreme Court’s consideration, stating that Texas has placed “elevated” standards on women’s health care with the law. Paxton went on to say that the state has “wide discretion to pass laws ensuring Texas women are not subject to substandard conditions at abortion facilities.”
Paxton added that the “abortion industry’s bottom line shouldn’t take precedent over women’s health, and we look forward to demonstrating the validity of these important health and safety requirements in Court.”
Paxton might be referring to one provision of the law which requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of a clinic. Supporters say this protects women by providing quality care, but abortion providers and medical experts disagree; they insist it has no public health value.
Paxton’s office hasn’t yet responded to the study on home abortions rising since closures of abortion clinics took place.
Six months after the law took effect, abortions in Texas were down by 13 percent. This statistic was compared to another statistic analyzed during the same period a year before.
As it currently stands, the wait time for an abortion is three weeks. This makes it more difficult for women who must travel several hundred miles to clinics or don’t have the resources to get there.
Prior to the Texas law, there were 42 abortion clinics and now there are 19, according to Planned Parenthood of Texas and Whole Woman’s Health.
Mother Jones added what one of the study’s co-authors said in relation to the study on home abortion rises.
Grossman is also a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco.
“This is the latest body of evidence demonstrating the negative implications of laws like HB2 that pretend to protect women but in reality place them, and particularly women of color and economically disadvantaged women, at significant risk,” Grossman said.
Either way, the home abortions rise over clinics being unavailable places more scrutiny on the law.
[Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jacqueline Martin]