The Supreme Court is currently deciding whether or not Texas legislation imposes an “undue burden” on women seeking abortion. Now, that burden can be measured.
House Bill 2 (HB 2), the law currently under review in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, requires abortion providers to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers and to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Since it passed, over half of Texas abortion clinics have shut their doors.
Research from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) at the University of Texas – Austin has analyzed the effects of HB 2 and the clinic closures it caused. One study estimated that 100,000 or more Texan women, particularly Latinas in the Rio Grande Valley, have attempted to self-induce an abortion.
Another study found that wait times have increased drastically at some clinics as they struggle to accommodate a higher volume of patients. At some clinics in Austin, wait times were as long as 20 days. Comparable wait times statewide would almost double the number of second-trimester abortions, the researchers estimated.