CV NEWS FEED // The New York Times published a report that Texas has reduced abortions by half since the passage of the state’s Heartbeat Law, which bans abortions after a heartbeat can be detected.
“In September, after Texas enacted the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation, the number of legal abortions performed there dropped 50 percent from the same month in 2020, according to data released Friday by a group of researchers at the University of Texas at Austin,” the New York Times reported.
“No prior Texas abortion restriction has been followed by a drop so steep,” the report said. “Clinic directors and outside scholars say they expect the number of abortions in Texas will keep falling as long as the law remains in effect.”
The Times quoted a number of abortion groups decrying the effectiveness of the law, but also acknowledged that the “sharp decline is in keeping with the goals of the bill’s authors,” and represents a massive success from the perspective of the pro-life movement.
“The last two months have been a phenomenal success for the pro-life movement,” John Seago of Texas Right to Life told the Times. “We are the first state to be able to enforce a heartbeat bill, and lives are being saved every day because of this work.”
The report also noted a surge of pro-abortion activity in the aftermath of the new law. Approximately half of pregnant women unable to get abortions due to the heartbeat legislation end up aborting their babies nonetheless, sometimes by going out of state, the report claimed. In addition, abortion groups are flooding the state’s abortion clinics with donations, while abortionists have hurried to make themselves more available to women earlier in their pregnancies.
“At Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center in Dallas, about half of patients who thought they were early enough to receive an abortion have been ineligible because fetal cardiac activity was heard, said Dr. Allison Gilbert, a physician and the medical director there,” according to the Times. “The earliest Dr. Gilbert has detected cardiac activity since the law was enacted was at five weeks and four days. Another patient she saw had an IUD, a form of birth control, that had failed.”
Abortions at Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center “have declined about 75 percent,” according to Gilbert. If the law remains in effect, many abortion clinics will likely go out of business.
“Other conservative-leaning states may follow Texas’ lead,” the Times reported:
Another case before the Supreme Court this term will challenge the [Roe v. Wade] standard of prohibiting states from banning the procedure before fetal viability (or before around 23 or 24 weeks). Should the Supreme Court weaken the standard, abortion would probably quickly become illegal in 22 states.
Many left-leaning commentators have argued for years that outright bans of abortions would be counterproductive even from a pro-life perspective, recommending that the pro-life movement instead work to bolster social spending programs to eliminate the “need” for abortions among women driven to it by factors such as poverty and career stagnation.
Pro-life experts, however, welcomed the news from the New York Times on social media, and pointed out how the success of Texas’ law seems to have disproved the arguments of its opponents.
“But, but I thought that pro-life laws don’t work and that the best way to reduce the number of abortions is to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on contraception programs,” quipped pro-life researcher Michael New, sharing the report of the reduction in abortions in Texas due to the law.
“Banning abortion lowers abortion rates,” wrote pro-life activist Samantha D.
“This is validation and affirmation to every pro-life activist, voter, and donor,” added Andy Kirchoff. “Every abortion that doesn’t happen is a life saved from a gruesome death. 2,000+ lives saved? Awesome.”