Republicans Are Actually Promoting Later Abortions

Anyone who’s been listening to GOP talking points recently knows that the party has decided to head into the 2020 election by claiming that Democrats are the party of “infanticide.”

They’ve made up nonsensical scenarios in which pregnant people allegedly go through some of the worst parts of pregnancy — morning sickness, exhaustion, hormone fluctuations and more — only to decide within the last few weeks before birth that, no, they really don’t want to have a baby at all.

And Republicans argue that the left is refusing to support bills that would prevent abortion providers from willingly slaughtering children, even after delivery.

But the reality is that when it comes to later abortion — especially abortions close to or after viability — well, that’s entirely the responsibility of the Republican Party. If they don’t agree, well, the data even proves it.

According to a new study conducted by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP), right-wing efforts to limit abortion are actually the leading cause of people seeking out the procedure in the second trimester and beyond. Using Texas abortion data both before and after the state closed many of its abortion clinics and implemented a number of other restrictions in 2013, researchers found that rate of second trimester abortions — abortions after about 15 weeks — increased, even as abortion overall went down.

“The 2013 law created even more barriers to abortion in Texas, and we can clearly see the result–women seeking services were pushed into the second trimester,” Kari White, lead author of the study, explained in a press release. “Women’s health policies should focus on ensuring women have access to timely, evidence-based care, not on creating obstacles that delay it.”

While it’s good to have the data to back up such statements, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Closing clinics means more patients waiting longer to be able to obtain a termination. After all, if the number of patients doesn’t decrease, each clinic will be forced to book more appointments per provider, causing longer scheduling delays.

But while clinic closures are the number one way that Republicans have driven pregnant people to later abortions, it’s just one of their strategies. Restrictions on medication abortion, which allows safe, very early abortions, also made it difficult for patients to get care in a timely manner. For instance, Texas legislators required an outdated protocol requiring multiple unnecessary trips into a clinic for the drugs.

According to Rewire.news:

After analysis they found that before HB 2 went into effect, medication abortions made up 28 percent of all abortions in Texas. After HB 2, this decreased to 10 percent. Once the FDA protocol was updated, the proportion rebounded, with medication abortions accounting for 33 percent of all abortions. As [Sarah Baum, the study’s lead author] explained, “This is similar to what we see in national statistics, and it is essentially a return to the proportion of medication abortion before the barriers of HB 2 were implemented.”

The outright ban on telemed abortion in Texas – and other red states – has had a direct impact on how late people have abortions, too. When Iowa implemented a telemed abortion program, years of data showed that, despite right-wing concerns to the contrary, the number of abortions in the state never increased. What did change was how early people were obtaining abortions, with second trimester procedures declining.

The GOP-dominated state Board of Health responded by banning the telemed program.

If Republicans were really as concerned as they pretend to be about “late term abortions” — as they erroneously call them — well, they would fight to make abortion more accessible, not less. The party would back the new EACH Woman Act, which would end barriers to abortion care, allowing people to access abortion and use insurance to cover the procedure like any other health care need. Conservatives would make medication abortion available over the counter or via the internet — not criminalize its use. And of course, they would be supporting more access to free, easily available birth control — especially long-lasting reversible contraception — in order to ensure less unwanted pregnancies to begin with.

But they won’t. Because Republicans don’t really care about “later” abortion at all, except as a campaign issue. And that is never, ever going to change.

Photo credit: Robin Marty

60 comments

Patricia A
Patricia A2 days ago

Thank you.

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Susanne R
Susanne R19 days ago

Dan?

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Susanne R
Susanne R23 days ago

Dan B. - (Continued...)

"Deep in the heart of those deserts, more than 1 million women in need live in counties without a single health center that offers the full range of contraceptive methods. It's time to bring these deserts back to life and restore the power to decide for the people living there."

Enjoy the read, the charts, the maps, and the intensive research: https://powertodecide.org/what-we-do/access/access-birth-control

Please note: " Power to Decide is a public, non-profit, non-partisan organization. This governing body is supported by several advisory panels, including a non-partisan Congressional Advisory Panel and Public Policy Advisory Group, the State and Local Action Advisory Group, the Health Equity Advisory Panel, and the Health Care Advisory Group. Power to Decide's daily efforts are championed by a remarkable team of more than 30 Power to Decide team members."

And Dan, what was the source and the year of the "70%" information you provided?

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Susanne R
Susanne R23 days ago

Dan B. - You said, " Over 70% of woman in their childbearing years have access to a public clinic offering a full range of contraceptive methods." Please provide the year when that information was true.

Consider this: "Lack of Access = Lack of Power to Decide"
"Ninety-seven percent of women of reproductive age in the US live in a contraceptive desert. That means that 64.6 million women age 13-44 live in a county that does not offer reasonable access to health centers that offer the full range of contraceptive methods. Among those women living in contraceptive deserts, 19.5 million are in need of publicly funded contraceptive services, meaning their options for services are even more limited. For young people who intend not to get pregnant, living in a contraceptive desert creates a significant roadblock on the path to opportunity."

"More than 19 million women in need live in contraceptive deserts, meaning they lack reasonable access to a health center with the full range of methods. "Reasonable access" is defined as at least one health center or provider for every 1,000 women in need of publicly funded contraception. Seeing a provider, accessing trusted information, and finding the right birth control becomes nearly impossible. Deep in the heart of those deserts, more than 1 million women in need live in counties without a single health center that offers the full range of contraceptive methods. It's time to bring these deserts back to life and re

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Leo C
Leo C23 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Maria P
Martha P24 days ago

thank you for posting

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Sheila D
Sheila D25 days ago

Quite often the Rabid Right is obsessive about a woman carrying to term, then has nothing to do with her or the child once it's born. Women need to be able to make decisions regarding their own bodies, preferably with a licensed doctor who is able to take are of those needs.

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Chad A
Chad Anderson25 days ago

Thank you.

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Leo C
Leo C27 days ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan B27 days ago

Rhoberta E.
lol

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