Texas released its 2014 abortion data only days after the Supreme Court struck down two major provisions of HB2, which is being credited with reducing abortions. The numbers show a striking reduction that both sides attribute to the law.
The 2014 data is significant because it is the first year to reflect the impact of Texas’ anti-abortion law, House Bill 2, on abortion providers and patients across the state.
The numbers for medical abortions decreased at an astounding rate:
In 2013, 16,189 Texans got medical abortions; in 2014, that number dropped to almost 5,000. (Medication abortions became easier to access earlier this year, when an FDA label change enabled more providers to issue the drugs under the law.)
The law also appeared to impact minorities, who are often those targeted for abortions as minority neighborhoods house a large number of abortion centers when compared to white neighborhoods.
In 2013, over 24,000 of Texans who got abortions were Hispanic; in 2014, that number decreased by 18 percent to under 20,000. The numbers also show a 7.7 percent decrease among black Texans who got abortions.
The decrease in abortions was at every juncture:
Overall, the number of abortions in Texas decreased by 14 percent from almost 64,000 in 2013 to almost 55,000 in 2014. The data also show that the number of abortions performed in clinics dropped by 21 percent from 2013, and the number performed at ambulatory surgical centers increased by 12 percent, reflecting the closure of half the state’s non-surgical center clinics after parts of HB 2 took effect in 2013.
The results largely reinforce what health providers have both warned and documented since the passage of HB 2: A drastic drop in medication abortion and the law’s disproportionate impact on Latinas.
What abortion advocates see as an “I told you so” impact of the law, is actually a reality of saved lives. Nine thousand more babies were allowed to live in one year year alone. The impact of the law cannot be overemphasized.
In all likelihood, abortion rates will increase again since the Supreme Court has removed two major restrictions being credited with the lower numbers. While abortion advocates celebrate their freedoms, they neglect the obvious–real lives have been saved. To do anything other than celebrate lives being saved only perpetuates the clear culture of death that is the focal point of the abortion industry.