Eight months after a state law restricting access to abortions went into effect, the number of abortions in Texas has decreased by 13 percent, and nearly half of all abortion clinics in Texas have been shut down.
House Bill 2 was passed in July 2013 and went into effect in November, banning most abortion procedures after 20 weeks post-fertilization and requiring physicians to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The law also requires all abortion facilities to meet the requirements of ambulatory surgical centers (ASC) by September. Medical abortion providers must also use the protocol for medical abortion included in FDA regulations for mifepristone, a pill commonly used to end a pregnancy.
Due to the new regulations, the number of facilities providing abortions in Texas has decreased from 41 to 22 between November and April, a 46 percent decrease. According to a study released Wednesday by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, researchers credit Texas’ 13 percent abortion rate decrease to these clinic closures. All of the clinics in the Rio Grande Valley south of San Antonio have closed, and only one clinic remains open in West Texas.