Repro Wrap: Legal Abortions Way Down in Texas, But What About Illegal Ones?

About one year after the passage of HB 2 in Texas, anti-abortion activists are seeing exactly what they hoped to see. Half of the clinics in the state have already closed, with most of the rest expected to follow in the next two months, and the number of legal abortions being reported has dropped drastically as a result.

One thing everyone can agree on, based on the newest study of abortions in Texas, is getting to a provider is a multi-hundred mile effort. “Researchers… determined that the number of women living in a county more than 200 miles from an abortion facility increased from 10,000 in 2013 to 290,000. In September 2014, that number is expected to rise to 752,000,” reports one news source.

Reported abortions in the state have dropped 13 percent, according to the study, but that isn’t entirely accurate. It shows only those who abort legally, and who do it in the state, versus traveling outside the state to get a termination. The study also notes that the number of later in gestation abortions is rising, a sure sign that people are finding it much more difficult to end a pregnancy as quickly as they would like.

Now, we wait a little longer, and see if there is a resulting surge in the birth rate to accompany this. If not, we know that the abortions are still happening, they’ve just become clandestine affairs.

One business owner in Jackson, Miss., confiscated a number of large, graphic anti-abortion signs placed outside his building. Now, local police are being sued over not stopping him from doing so. Also, anti-abortion activists in Huntsville, Ala., are now claiming the city is breaking zoning rules in order to let the relocating local abortion clinic reopen, and may sue as well.

In Wisconsin, Republican Governor Scott Walker is pushing to have the state stop enforcing the new birth control mandate that requires no copay contraceptive coverage in insurance plans. Gov. Walker is likely just the first to start this campaign, so it is a good thing that the Administration is already looking for a new way to cover birth control for those whose employers may object to it.

Also in Wisconsin, a judge has clarified that the state’s medication abortion law does not require a doctor to be present while each of the medications in a medicated abortion are ingested, a question that had local abortion providers unsure how to best offer the procedure. Abortion opponents claim that the intention of the law was never in doubt, that accused reproductive rights advocates of engaging in “frivolous lawsuits” and wasting taxpayer’s dollars, without, apparently, the slightest trace of irony.

In other wasting taxpayer dollar legal news, Idaho wants to appeal their 20 week ban, which was blocked in the court as unconstitutional, and Arkansas is still pushing ahead with challenges on its unconstitutional 12 week ban. Both bans directly violate Roe v. Wade, which says that you cannot ban abortion outright prior to viability, which is still around 24 weeks gestation.

Should men get to have a say in whether a person aborts? So says the folks behind this “MENistry.” And a MENistry sounds much like what you will encounter if you read the very, very fine print on this misleading new crisis pregnancy center ad in Chicago subways.

The debate is heating up in Tennessee over a ballot amendment that would allow the state to put more restrictions on abortion. Now the fight is trickling down into local races and could have a huge impact on the fall out from the midterms for the state. There are also national implications on abortion rights for everyone, as ThinkProgress explains.

In New Orleans, a week long conference of some of the most extreme anti-abortion protesters ever has been wrecking havoc on the area, where clinics, churches and even daycares are seeing their services interrupted by protests, street preaching, graphic signs and calls for redemption. Meanwhile, the city accidentally gave the group a letter of commendation for their work. I’ll explain more about Operation Save America, who they are, and their history in the movement this weekend.

Finally, in good news, it has been a year now since North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory traded women’s rights away for support from the far right wing, and he brought a plate of cookies to activists in exchange for supporting a bill that was meant to close all the clinics in the state. Happy anniversary, and thank goodness there are still no new regulations to be seen.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Jim Ven
Jim Ven10 months ago


Jerome S
Jerome S10 months ago

thanks for sharing.

ERIKA SOMLAI2 years ago


Heather G.
Heather G3 years ago

What Linda M said.

jan b.
jan b3 years ago

I WONDER. If these anti-abortion states will print how many women will die from back-alley abortions. Will they print how many women die from childbirth or print how many women end up with heart conditions, weakened kidneys and many problems stemming from pregnancies. Will they EVER agree that women are truly putting their lives on the line to give birth to others and that women only should be the ones to decide whether they want to let a fetus develop potentially into a human being.

Adrea Craft
Adrea Craft3 years ago

I am lucky to be here. My grandmother was forced to have a back alley abortion in 1939 by my grandfather because he "wasn't ready to be a father". Abortion will happen, legal or not, but the death toll will rise for both women and the unborn as a result of this regressive legislation. I WOULD RATHER MY TAXES PAY FOR PREGNANCY PREVENTION(ie, birth control) THAN FOR MEDICAID, FOOD STAMPS AND OTHER FORMS OF WELFARE THAT ARE NECESSARY TO SUPPORT THESE "MIRACLES OF GOD"!!! If "Pro Life" people are truly that, they would be lining up to adopt these children!!!! Other wise you are just "Pro Birth". After that kid is born, you are ON YOUR OWN!!!

Tricia Hamilton
Tricia Hamilton3 years ago

Texas would leave people for dead if they could kill it with a gun!! What the hell is wrong with you? Do you want more gun killing children in your state? Are you going to pay to take care of these children from rape & mistakes? Go F---K Yourselves!

Linda McKellar
Past Member 3 years ago

Cont - Martha says - "Let's stop the finger pointing & name calling".
What in hell is calling pro choice people PRO ABORTION but name calling? Oh, it's OK for YOU to do it, just nobody else. As someone who is pro choice, I'm neither for nor against abortion depending on the circumstances but it's not MY right or anyone else's to decide.
Pious jerks who can't mind their own business cause more problems than they solve.
What do you suggest for the men who spew sperm in every direction? Of course women are sluts, men are studs. As usual, society places the onus on women.
You said "Sex is going to happen". You did NOT say, shit happens as a result, but it does.
MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS until such time as you invent the 100% foolproof method of contraception for men or women. Abstinence won't happen for 90% of the human race.
Are you the type who sits in your living room spying out the windows & checking out what all your neighbours are doing & spreading gossip? I wouldn't be in the least surprised since you seem to think you have all the answers for everybody else as if we are too stupid to decide our own fates. How unfortunate for them that your neighbours & even strangers are so incompetent that YOU have to run their lives for them.

Linda McKellar
Past Member 3 years ago

posting lost - hope it doesn't repeat.
Using the term PRO ABORTIONIST is
#1 - slanderous
#2 - inaccurate &
I suspect VERY few say, I'll fu@k today & have an abortion tomorrow.
YOU have 4 children. That is irresponsible in today's world where there are 7 billion plus people starving & polluting. Could I tell you you're not allowed to have 4 kids? NO. You would tell me to butt out - none of my business. Could I tell you after 2 kids you must abort? NO. Then what gives YOU the right to stick your head up vaginas? Nothing does.
Accidents happen with birth control. Married people might abort out of medical or financial necessity. Who are YOU to tell them otherwise when BC fails? Sucks to be SO perfect! Is it safe to assume YOU & your partner, whoever it was, had sex ONLY to spawn? Yet you condemn anyone who has sex for pleasure!

Martha Ferris
Martha Ferris3 years ago

unwanted pregnancies. We need to focus on providing aggressive education about contraception, insuring that low cost/no cost contraception is readily available and pressure people to use it each time and every time.
Let's stop the name calling and the finger pointing and actually do something about the problem.