While staunch pro-life advocates in the Republican Party are content to claim that their many, ludicrous measures intended to restrict abortion access are simply necessary to protect “women’s health,” a new study proves otherwise.
According to a survey conducted by the University of Texas at Austin's Texas Policy Evaluation Project, between 100,000 and 240,000 women in the state have attempted to perform abortions on themselves. This statistic is staggering and unbelievable when abortion has been legal in the U.S. for almost 50 years.
Texas and other red states have been consistently passing legislation to curb the number of abortion clinics available to women—by implementing arbitrary rules such as specific hallway widths and requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals, “The number of abortion clinics in Texas has shrunk by half since 2013,” as the New York Times notes.
Other states, such as New Mexico and Oklahoma, have only one abortion clinic in the entire state.
Mic reports that Texas, specifically, has seen “a rise in black market sales of misoprostol, which terminates pregnancy and makes it look as though it was a miscarriage.” Using such drugs without a doctor’s oversight is extremely dangerous, yet most women likely feel that they have no choice.
One woman told Reuters that the experience felt like, “we were back in the days of the Wild West, like we have to figure this out by ourselves and just grit our teeth and get through it.”
These terrible restrictions have disproportionately affected women of color; according to the study, Latina women living near Mexico were “significantly more likely” to self-induce abortion.
This is a worrisome trend, particularly when it’s likely not just Texas that is seeing an increase in DIY abortions. Women in the U.S. are legally able to receive abortions without “undue burden,” according to a 1992 Supreme Court ruling, and to see dozens of lawmakers attempt to circumvent this through loopholes and restrict access is disgusting.
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