Abortions in Texas fell by nearly 60% in the first four weeks following the implementation of the state's new heartbeat law, AP News reported on Thursday.
The state enacted a law banning the majority of abortive procedures once a health care provider can detect a fetal heartbeat — usually around six weeks' gestation.
What are the details?
The new law, widely believed to be the most restrictive abortion law in the country in decades, is said to be responsible for reducing abortions in the state by approximately 60%.
The outlet reported that there had been more than 5,400 abortions carried out across the state in August, while just 2,200 over the course of September. According to the state's department of health, abortions in the state peaked in March at more than 5,600 when the law was first introduced.
The new law went into effect on Sept. 1 after the U.S. Supreme Court failed to take up an injunction request by abortion providers. It authorizes citizens to file private lawsuits against abortion providers and their aides after the six-week cutoff mark.
No lawsuits have been filed at the time of this reporting.
The outlet reported that many women are likely traveling to other states in order to obtain abortions after the six-week mark.
The Dallas Morning News also reported that such women seeking abortions have traveled to surrounding states including Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
The Women's March on Wednesday tweeted about the plummeting rates and called for the law to be abolished.
"The first month after #SB8 took effect, abortions in Texas dropped almost 60% — not because people stopped needing care. Instead, Texans started traveling 300+ miles to out-of-state clinics, which struggle to keep up with demand. AbolishSB8."
Earlier in February, pro-life advocacy group Texas Right to Life issued a statement on the news, which said that “the success of the Texas Heartbeat Act is embodied by every child saved.”
"For over 150 days, our work has saved an estimated 100 babies per day," sadi Texas Right to Life director of media and communication Kimberlyn Schwartz. "Our impact is only just beginning, as more states seek to replicate our success and as we look to the Mississippi case that could overturn Roe this summer."