When Politico published a draft opinion leaked from the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, the nation confronted the reality that Roe v. Wade and constitutional protections for abortion may be overturned as soon as this summer.
But for many in Texas, that day is already here. The second-largest state in the country has been living under the nation's most restrictive abortion law since Sept. 1, when legislators managed to skirt judicial precedent and ban all abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.
Another study from Abigail Aiken, a professor at the University of Texas' LBJ School of Public Affairs, found that requests for abortion-inducing medication from an international reproductive rights nonprofit skyrocketed after the law went into effect. Texas passed another law in 2021 that made it illegal to prescribe these medications via telemedicine or provide them through the mail, but that didn’t stop more than 130 Texans a day from requesting these medications.
These studies do not take into account pregnant people who sought abortion-inducing medication from other sources, went over the border to Mexico for an abortion or otherwise terminated a pregnancy.
"It's clear from this research and many studies that just because you make abortion harder to get, it doesn't mean the need for abortion goes away," Aiken told The Texas Tribune in February. "And many people, they will look for other ways of doing that."