Health

Abortion pills have risen in Texas as thousands of patients bypass the state ban

Access to abortion pills – which has recently become the dominant method of abortion in the US – has become a national battle between the Biden administration and progressive groups seeking to make the pills more accessible, and conservative activists. Elected officials across the country are working to impose new restrictions on where and how patients can receive them. Anti-abortion groups suggest pills will become more popular if Supreme Court repeals Vs. Rowe Wade At the end of this year, and worry about the future, where the fight over the procedure will shift from sidewalks around clinics to separate homes. New research largely confirms these fears and calls into question proponents of the state’s six-week ban that the law prevents thousands of abortions.

State Health Agency Reported earlier this month That abortions in the state were reduced by 51 percent in September 2021 – the first month after the law went into effect – compared to September 2020. Anti-abortion rights Activists used the data to say that the state was going “without abortion” and that it had been there for six weeks. Prohibition is “saving lives.”

Yet based on data from Aid Access, as well as reports from clinics in Oklahoma and other neighboring states, about the influx of Texas patients trying to terminate a pregnancy, Aiken and his fellow researchers believe that most people are prohibited from having an abortion after six. Pregnancy finds other ways in a Texas clinic.

State data show a reduction in abortion based on 2,149 clinics in September 2021. That same month, Aid Access received 1,831 requests for pills from Texas patients – a reduction of more than 85 percent.

“I do not want to say that the law does not force anyone to get pregnant,” Aiken said. “But I think it is very likely that out-of-state care and self-administered abortion made up the majority of the difference.”

Planned Parenthood, which operates clinics in almost every state in Texas, reported Thursday that it had seen Increased by almost 800 percent in Texas patients who plan to undergo the procedure in the fall and winter of 2021, after the new rule went into effect, compared to the same period last year.

Clinics in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas, Colorado and Missouri have the biggest jumps, but people are also traveling to Louisiana, Alabama and Arkansas.

For example, parenting clinics in Oklahoma reported that less than 10 percent of their patients were from Texas before the six-week ban took effect. They now make up more than 50 percent. In Colorado, Planned Parenthood clinics saw more than 1,000 percent Increased in patients with abortion by the Texas ZIP code compared to previous years.

Independent providers not affiliated with Planned Parenthood have also seen growth. Speaking to reporters Thursday, clinic administrator Kathleen Pittman of Hope Medical Group For Women in Shrewport, LA, said 18 percent of their patients were from Texas before state law came into force. Now it’s 64 percent.

“This is a situation where we are already struggling because we are behind only three abortion clinics,” he said. “The staff is exhausted. Phone calls are continuous. “We see women coming to us late during pregnancy because people find it very difficult to make an appointment.”

Abortion providers stressed in a press conference that many pregnant women in Texas are unable to travel outside the state for a variety of reasons, ranging from fears of child care pandemics to immigration status that threatens to cross state lines.

They said the teens also fell into that category. Abortion rights advocacy group Jane’s Due Process said juvenile abortions in the state had dropped by 70 to 90 percent since the restrictions were enacted. One aggravating factor is that Texas has parental consent law, and adults may need up to three weeks to obtain a court bypass permit if they do not have parental permission, which is why many have crossed the six-week mark.

Texans’ choice became even more limited when the state banned abortion pills earlier this year – from one of several states that did so later. The Biden administration has moved to lift long-standing federal restrictions On prescription of telemedicine and delivery of medicines by mail. Nevertheless, because Aid Access and other online providers ship medicines to patients’s homes in reasonable packaging, some of which are based outside the country and may not be targeted for breaking the law, the state has not yet been able to prevent this practice. .

“After going through the human mail, I do not know how it will be enforced,” Aiken said. “However, it can have a calming effect on people who send pills to a friend outside the state.”

The clinic’s challenge to the state’s six-week ban returned to court Thursday, this time before the Texas Supreme Court arguing that the state should not be allowed to revoke medical licenses for doctors accused of aborting after six weeks. . This is A narrow slice of their challenge Left the U.S. Supreme Court, which blocked most of their other legal avenues in December. Now, even if clinics win the case, the ban itself will remain in effect and any member of the community will still have the right to sue abortion providers and anyone accused of helping a patient in breaking the law.

Federal relief for clinics is also unlikely.

The Senate is preparing to vote Monday night on the Women’s Health Act, a bill that would ban states from passing abortion restrictions such as Texas and coding. Vs. Rowe Wade In federal law. But the bill is almost certain to fall far short of the 60 votes it needs to move forward, given the range of resistance from Republicans as well as a few Conservative Democrats.

Despite new data that many Texans are finding ways to circumvent state restrictions, lawyers are still pessimistic about the future of access to abortion as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on whether more states can follow Texas’s leadership.

“This nightmare has no end,” Mark Heron, a lawyer with the Reproductive Rights Center, who was arraigning the case before the state Supreme Court, told reporters. “This is a preliminary overview of what will happen on a much larger scale if Roe Is falling. “

Abortion pills have risen in Texas as thousands of patients bypass the state ban

Source link Abortion pills have risen in Texas as thousands of patients bypass the state ban

Back to top button