Texas’s creative abortion ban has saved a surprising number of lives

On September 1, Texas’s heartbeat law went into effect. Under the law, it’s illegal to have an abortion once a fetus’s heartbeat is detectible, which occurs at about 6 weeks. Texas, however, denied itself the authority to enforce the law. Instead, the law allows private citizens to sue abortion providers for damages. States have successfully used “private attorney general” laws for decades to help police unfair commercial practices. That success seems to have translated to using private attorneys general to police illegal abortions in Texas, for abortion clinics are reporting a 70-80% decrease in abortions.

LifeNews reports with joy about an article in the Texas Tribune that, in a much grimmer tone, reports that abortion clinics in Texas are ghost towns:

Since the law went into effect, abortion providers have seen a significant drop in the number of women they are able to serve under the new restrictions, along with fewer calls for those services as well.

The four Whole Woman’s Health clinics in Texas are operating at 20% to 30% of their previous service levels, with only a fraction of patients coming in or qualifying for abortions under the new restrictions, said Amy Hagstrom Miller, president and CEO.

“It’s just becoming eerie,” Miller said. “I think when people kind of know they're seven or eight weeks pregnant or further pregnant, they're not even calling anymore ... a lot of folks are just, I think, going straight to calling Oklahoma and New Mexico and Louisiana.”

Intriguingly, Planned Parenthood reports “that demand for more reliable birth control has increased.” That seems to support a concern that the pro-life movement has long voiced, which is that too many women view abortion as just another form of birth control. In addition, Planned Parenthood is finally doing what it said all along it was doing, which is basic women’s health care, such as cancer screenings, hormone therapy (presumably for menopause and other conditions unique to women), and general sexual health.

Even if the Supreme Court reverses the law, explains the Texas Tribune, the clinics have lost employees who, concerned about future job security, moved on to other jobs. According to one person interviewed for the article, this means that there’ll be a long lead time to get clinics staffed again.

Image: Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing of a fetus (cropped). Public domain.

As I said, while the Tribune is depressed, Life News is ecstatic:

For the 80 days that the law has been in effect, thousands of babies’ lives have been spared from abortion. While abortion activists say some women are traveling to other states for abortions, they admit that others are having their babies instead.

“… recent studies show that the majority of women who are prevented from reaching an abortion provider due to travel distance give birth as a result,” a group of 154 pro-abortion economists and researchers told the U.S. Supreme Court in a brief.

During the first month alone, Texas abortion facilities reported a huge drop in abortion numbers, according to research from the University of Texas at Austin. Abortion facilities reported 2,164 abortions in September 2021, down from 4,313 in September 2020, according to the research. That equates to 2,149 babies’ lives.

Before I had children, I would have sided with the Tribune, not Life News. I grew up in completely pro-abortion circles, complete with the “blob of cells” approach to the fetus. The problem for me began with the sonogram. The moment that you see the little string of pearls that is a baby’s spine, you can no longer pretend that it’s not a life. It is.

And of course, once I had children, I could no longer pretend that the difference between the child before birth and after birth was so great that the child before birth had no right to life. Life is a continuum.

But honestly, the biggest change in my views about abortion is that, as the Life News article reports, in at least one state there’s been a pause in the absolute carnage taking place across America. I believed Bill and Hillary Clinton when they promised an America in which abortion would be “safe, rare, and legal.” The opposite has happened. Women “shout” their abortions and use abortion as backup birth control. Minority communities abort more babies than are born alive, and then wonder why their young men have such a cavalier attitude about the value of life.

The availability of abortion also devalues women, even as it promises to make their lives better. Its existence means young women don’t have an excuse to say “no” when pressured into sex. Abstinence, which is physically and psychologically good for young women, is a hard option in an abortion society.

Fundamentally, abortion has become a death cult and a healthy society cannot survive slipping into the habits of Moloch. So, what’s happening in Texas is a good thing and one that, we can only hope, the Supreme Court supports.

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