Guest Column

Data show continued decline in abortions in Texas

Texas, el paso

(National Review) The Texas Health and Human Services Commission recently released abortion data showing that there were 2,251 abortions performed in the state in October 2021. With these statistics, we now know that the Texas Heartbeat Act — which took effect on September 1, 2021 — has significantly reduced the number of abortions performed in Texas. Data show that in both September and October of last year, the number of abortions performed in Texas fell by more than 58 percent from August 2021 levels.

Mainstream media outlets have thus far attempted to downplay the success of this pro-life legislation. Given how these outlets usually cover pro-life issues, it is unsurprising that they have been working so hard to downplay the efficacy of the Texas law. For instance, there have been a number of reports on the fact that Texas women have traveled to other states to obtain abortions. Earlier this month, the New York Times ran a story on its blog “The Upshot,” arguing that much of the abortion decline in Texas after the law took effect was offset by increases in mail-order abortions and Texas women obtaining abortions out of state.

READ: PRO-LIFE WIN: Texas Supreme Court effectively ends lawsuit involving Heartbeat Act

But as I pointed out in a Corner post at the time, the data that the Times used in that post was not official; it was self-reported by abortion facilities. Additionally, the number of chemical-abortion pills requested via mail is not necessarily equal to the number of chemical abortions that women actually obtained. Some number of women may well have obtained the drugs but not taken them. It is also worth noting that media coverage of the Texas abortion decline has ignored the work of Texas pregnancy help centers, which have ramped up their work to assist pregnant women in need.

Data on births to Texas women in March and April of this year will provide some useful information about the effects of the Heartbeat Act. Until then, mainstream outlets will continue to mislead.

Editor’s Note: This article was published at National Review and is reprinted here with permission.

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