Pregnancy-related deaths doubled in Texas after abortion clinics closed

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Texas Booklet Tells Pregnant Women Dubious Claims About Abortion



In 2012, 148 women died from complications from pregnancy and childbirth in Texas — nearly double the number the state reported in 2010, according to a study in the September issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology. And although researchers have discovered no causal link for the rapid increase (which they call "puzzling"), it happens to coincide with legislation passed in Texas in 2011 that closed 82 family-planning clinics in the state, one-third of which were Planned Parenthoods.

The closures eliminated 8,000 appointment spots, as well as the last place women could get abortions between Fort Worth and El Paso, according to NPR. (For those unfamiliar with Texas geography, the distance between the two cities is a little more than 600 miles.) Two years after the closures, researchers found that the number of Texas women's-health program served was cut in half — and low-income women in particular had more unwanted pregnancies and more babies. What's more, a survey conducted in 2015 found that, since the closures, an estimated 100,000 women in Texas have attempted to self-induce abortion.

In the study, researchers note the closures: "There were some changes in the provision of women's health services in Texas from 2011 to 2015, including the closing of several women's health clinics," they write. But they go on to say that, "In the absence of war, natural disaster, or severe economic upheaval, the doubling of a mortality rate within a two-year period in a state with almost 400,000 annual births seems unlikely." A future study will look at the state separately and divide its population by race and ethnicity to better explain the "unusual" data.

Thanks to a recent Supreme Court decision, Texas might be able to replenish its depleted number of women's health clinics, but that will depend on health-care providers challenging the laws already in place in the state and trusting state judges to go along with SCOTUS's precedent. Then they'll have to repurchase property, rehire employees, and make sure they have the resources to serve patients — all of which cost money.

Supreme Court strikes down restrictive Texas abortion law

24 PHOTOS
US Supreme Court strikes down restrictive Texas abortion law
See Gallery
US Supreme Court strikes down restrictive Texas abortion law
Demonstrators hold signs outside the U.S. Supreme Court as the court is due to issue its first major abortion ruling since 2007 against a backdrop of unremitting divisions among Americans on the issue and a decades-long decline in the rate at which women terminate pregnancies in Washington, U.S. June 27, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A demonstrator wearing a cowboy hat with a uterus symbol holds a sign outside the U.S. Supreme Court as the court is set to rule on a legal challenge by abortion providers to a Texas law requiring doctors performing the procedure to have "admitting privileges" at local hospitals and clinics to meet hospital-grade standards in Washington, U.S. June 27, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Demonstrators hold signs outside the U.S. Supreme Court as the court is due to issue its first major abortion ruling since 2007 against a backdrop of unremitting divisions among Americans on the issue and a decades-long decline in the rate at which women terminate pregnancies in Washington, U.S. June 27, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Demonstrators hold signs outside the U.S. Supreme Court as the court is due to decide today whether a Republican-backed 2013 Texas law placed an undue burden on women exercising their constitutional right to abortion in Washington, U.S. June 27, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A woman wearing a cowboy hat with a uterus symbol demonstrates outside the U.S. Supreme Court as the court is set to rule on a legal challenge by abortion providers to a Texas law requiring doctors performing the procedure to have "admitting privileges" at local hospitals and clinics to meet hospital-grade standards in Washington, U.S. June 27, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Pro-abortion rights protesters and anti-abortion protesters jostle with their signs as they demonstrate in the hopes of a ruling in their favor on decisions at the Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S. June 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Pro-abortion rights protesters and anti-abortion protesters jostle with their signs as they demonstrate in the hopes of a ruling in their favor on decisions at the Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S. June 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Pro-abortion rights protesters and anti-abortion protesters jostle with their signs as they demonstrate in the hopes of a ruling in their favor on decisions at the Supreme Court building in Washington, U.S. June 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
A protester holds up a sign in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on the morning the court takes up a major abortion case focusing on whether a Texas law that imposes strict regulations on abortion doctors and clinic buildings interferes with the constitutional right of a woman to end her pregnancy, in Washington March 2, 2016. Picture taken March 2, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 27: Pro-choice activists wait for rulings in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. A ruling is expected in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, a Texas case the places restrictions on abortion clinics, as well as rulings in the former Virginia Governor's corruption case and a gun rights case. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 27: Pro-choice activists wait for rulings in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. A ruling is expected in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, a Texas case the places restrictions on abortion clinics, as well as rulings in the former Virginia Governor's corruption case and a gun rights case. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 27: Pro-life activist, Ryan Orr, 17, of Manassas, Va, waits holds a silent vigil as he waits for rulings in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. A ruling is expected in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, a Texas case the places restrictions on abortion clinics, as well as rulings in the former Virginia Governor's corruption case and a gun rights case. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 27: Pro-choice activist, Jaimie Ermak, 24, from Washington, D.C., waits for rulings in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. A ruling is expected in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, a Texas case the places restrictions on abortion clinics, as well as rulings in the former Virginia Governor's corruption case and a gun rights case. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
Abortion rights activists hold placards outside of the US Supreme Court ahead of an expected ruling on abortion clinic restrictions on June 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. / AFP / Mandel Ngan (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Abortion rights activists hold placards outside of the US Supreme Court ahead of an expected ruling on abortion clinic restrictions on June 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Abortion rights activists hold placards outside of the US Supreme Court ahead of an expected ruling on abortion clinic restrictions on June 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 23: Pro-choice and pro-life protesters clash in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on a day where two important decisions on immigration and affirmative action were handed down by the court, on June 23, 2016 in Washington, DC. A decision in the case over a Texas law requiring clinics providing abortion services to meet the same building standards as walk-in surgical centers had been expected but was deferred. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 23: Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life, center, and other pro-life protesters clash with pro-choice protesters in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on a day where two important decisions on immigration and affirmative action were handed down by the court, on June 23, 2016 in Washington, DC. A decision in the case over a Texas law requiring clinics providing abortion services to meet the same building standards as walk-in surgical centers had been expected but was deferred. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 20: Pro-choice and pro-life demonstrators rally outside of the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday morning, June 20, 2016. The court is expected to hand down their decision on a Texas law which requires clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers and forces doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 23: A pro-life protester holds a sign in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on a day where two important decisions on immigration and affirmative action were handed down by the court, on June 23, 2016 in Washington, DC. A decision in the case over a Texas law requiring clinics providing abortion services to meet the same building standards as walk-in surgical centers had been expected but was deferred. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
Activists demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 27, 2016, as the justices close out the term with decisions on abortion, guns, and public corruption are expected. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Demonstrators on both sides of the abortion issue stand in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 20, 2016, as the court announced several decisions. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Activists demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, June 27, 2016, as the justices close out the term with decisions on abortion, guns, and public corruption are expected. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

"Rebuilding is not something that is going to happen overnight," Amy Hagstrom Miller, the president of one of the state's largest abortion providers, Whole Woman's Health, told ThinkProgress. "A lot of us have gone through a lot of disruption over the last three years, and we don't necessarily have the resources to say, 'Boom! I'm going to reopen tomorrow.'"


What's next for Texas abortion rights activists
Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners