Archaic Texas Laws Have Led Up To 240,000 Women To Perform Their Own Abortions

The Supreme Court is set to hear a case out of Texas in the next session concerning the omnibus abortion law HB2, which has effectively closed more than half of the state’s women’s health clinics where abortions were available and safe. The law placed unimaginably strict rules on clinics, demanding they be equal in functionality to a surgical center, with doctors on staff having available hospital residencies close by.

The law made running a clinic in a poverty-stricken or rural area nearly impossible, sending Texas back to the age before Roe v Wade. In a new study by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, it was discovered that Texas has seen an increase of more than 300% in self-induced abortions.

In a study from 2008, about one percent of Texas women said they had attempted to end a pregnancy without medical assistance. The new study suggests that number was closer to seven percent in 2012 after Republicans imposed a series of laws inhibiting women’s access to safe health care.

The women affected almost all have the same demographic in common: Poverty. Latino women living near the border who no longer have access to a clinic anywhere near them, and women in poverty-stricken rural areas who don’t have the resources to travel hundreds of miles for treatment are finding themselves in the precarious position of getting one of the two recommended abortion drugs from over the border in Mexico, untested and unapproved by the FDA, both of which often lead to horrible side effects.

Women almost always cite economic reasons, with a very small percentage staying away from clinics because of the “stigma.” Being that we’re talking about Texas, “stigma” is probably code for lunatics standing outside ready to throw red paint at you while carrying signs that would make Carly Fiorina proud.

“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,” said Dr. Daniel Grossman, one of the study’s co-authors.

Amy Hagstrom Miller, the president and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, an independent abortion provider in Texas and the lead plaintiff in the HB2 case currently before the Supreme Court, lamented the rise in self-induced abortion attempts and blamed the Texas laws explicitly. “Nobody should be denied safe and compassionate care based on her zip code,” said Hagstrom Miller. “But that’s exactly what’s been happening.”

Hopefully the horrifying results of the “pro-life” texas laws have some swaying power with the Supreme Court. Treating women as secondary to the fetuses they carry is really just getting old.

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