As further threats to abortion access loom, Ibis’s Vice President for Research Daniel Grossman writes in the Austin American Statesman about the impact of abortion restrictions in Texas
June 24, 2013 – Texas’s SB 5, which combines several abortion restrictions into one bill, was passed by the state’s House of Representatives this morning despite the protests of a passionate crowd of 800 who registered to testify against the bill. The bill is now moving to the state Senate.
As Dr. Daniel Grossman writes in the Austin American Statesman, restricting access won’t reduce abortion demand. As part of the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, we have conducted research that shows current restrictions in Texas like the 24-hour mandatory waiting period, have no effect on whether or not a woman decides to obtain an abortion. Our research also shows that waiting to get an abortion creates additional logistical and financial barriers by forcing women to make more than one trip to the clinic, wait longer to get an abortion, come up with the money to pay for additional travel and childcare, and take more time off of work. One-third of study participants said that the barriers had a negative effect on their psychological or emotional well-being. In some cases, women may be trying to induce abortion on their own because of difficulties accessing care in clinics. Additionally, Texas has cut its family planning budget, making it harder for a Texas woman to get contraception. Our research shows that 45% of women seeking abortion were unable to access the birth control method they wanted.
SB 5 would significantly limit the number of abortion clinics in Texas and make it harder for women to access services. Our research shows that current restrictions are already having a negative impact on women’s health and their well-being. We are inspired by the many activists, providers, and Texas women who have stood up for women’s rights over the past few days, and we hope that legislators in the Senate listen to facts and support Texas women.