Now that Gov. Rick Perry (R) and his anti-choice supporters have succeeded in making abortion and reproductive health services nearly impossible to access in Texas desperate women are crossing the border into Mexico in search of drugs they hope can terminate their pregnancies.
According to the Texas Tribune, more reproductive health providers are treating women who have taken Misoprostol, a drug used to treat ulcers but can be used in medical abortions, but are still pregnant. These women got the drugs from pharmacies in Mexico with very little, if any instruction or supervision. The drugs are safe, but in order to work properly women must take the appropriate dosage.
Abortion-rights advocates are concerned that more women will go underground and risk their health in this way. In 2011, Texas lawmakers made deep cuts in financing for family planning for low-income women. And a new law that requires a woman seeking an abortion to receive a sonogram 24 hours ahead of the procedure — that is, to make at least two visits to the abortion clinic — may be prompting some to seek alternate abortion methods.
Ultimately any additional delay, expense or hurdle a woman must clear to access reproductive health services puts her at greater risk for a poor outcome, either in terms of an aborted pregnancy or carrying that pregnancy to term. The fact that women in Texas are going to Mexico for services they cannot access in this country is an abomination and the real legacy of the Perry administration. Poor women and women in crisis are quite simply expendable to the Perry administration.
Photo from Gage Skidmore via flickr.