Up to 240,000 Texas Women Try To End Pregnancies on Their Own
Washington, DC — New research from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) reveals that up to 240,000 Texas women may have attempted to end a pregnancy on their own, without medical assistance (read more here and here). This research comes as clinics across the state have been forced to close. Approximately 20 health centers have already closed across Texas following passage of abortion restrictions in 2013. If the Supreme Court allows all of the 2013 restrictions to go into full effect, the 5.4 million women of reproductive age in Texas will be left with only 10 health centers that provide safe, legal abortion in the entire state — down from approximately 40 health centers before passage of this dangerous law. Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will review a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding the Texas law — which is partially blocked for now.
Participants in the study recounted their experiences and why they were forced to take such desperate measures: “I didn’t have any money to go to San Antonio or Corpus. I didn’t even have any money to get across town,” said a 24-year-old woman from the Lower Rio Grande Valley. A 26-year-old woman in Corpus Christi recounted, “I just wanted something to work. I didn’t want to have to spend the money again. I didn’t want to have to do the drive. Not to mention, you know, I don’t have other family. My family lives out of country so I’m stuck in this town by myself…. I have to find somebody who’s willing to drive me two and a half hours and back.” .
Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“We are getting a sense of the very real impact these restrictions have on women, and it's deeply disturbing. Most people thought we were well past the days of women taking matters into their own hands, but laws that make it impossible to get safe and legal abortion are taking us backwards. This important new research paints an alarming picture of what the future may be like for women across the country if the Supreme Court does not block this cruel law. As many as 240,000 Texas women have tried to end a pregnancy on their own, without medical assistance. These desperate measures will only become more commonplace if this law takes full effect.”
- Researchers estimate that between 100,000 to 240,000 women aged 18-49 in Texas have tried to end a pregnancy on their own without medical assistance.
- This is more common among Latinas near the U.S.-Mexico border and among women who report barriers to accessing birth control and other reproductive health services.
- Researchers project that self-induction will increase if more clinics in Texas are forced to close.
- Prior research from TxPEP revealed that women are already waiting up to 20 days to access safe, legal abortion in some parts of the state.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
November 17, 2015