Nearly six months since Texas adopted the most restrictive abortion law in the country, the number of procedures performed after six weeks of pregnancy has plummeted — but demand for self-managed abortion care in the state has increased substantially, according to a University of Texas study released Friday.
The study looked at requests for abortion medication made through Aid Access, a nonprofit based in Austria that sends abortion medication through the mail, in the weeks and months after the implementation of Texas Senate Bill 8, which prohibits abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
There was a dramatic increase in requests made to the nonprofit in the week after the law took effect on Sept. 1, and a sustained increase over the next three months, with the number of average daily requests more than doubling over that period.
"It is clear that when you place restrictions on abortion access, it does not remove the need for abortion," Dr. Abigail Aiken, an associate professor at UT's LBJ School of Public Affairs and lead author of the study, told the American-Statesman. "People don't suddenly not need abortions anymore. They still need them, and they will look for ways to find them."