At Hope Medical in Shreveport, Louisiana, two-thirds of patients now come from Texas, up from one-fifth before the Texas law took effect. The clinic used to perform the majority of abortions before nine weeks, but now most patients are in their late first or early second trimester due to longer wait times for appointments.
“What ultimately happens is because we’re so busy and can’t work any faster, we’re seeing women whose pregnancies were further along,” said clinic administrator Kathaleen Pittman. “It’s not just happening to women in Texas, it’s also happening to women in Louisiana because they have to wait too.”
Still, clinics are bracing for an even bigger increase if Roe is overthrown, planning to expand capacity if abortion remains legal in their state — or, if not, to open across state lines where it is legal; offer more advice through telemedicine; or offer pre-abortion care.
Kristina Tocce, medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said the influx of Texas patients gave a glimpse of a possible future, in which Colorado, which should keep abortion fully legal, could become a center post-Roe abortion. .
“What will happen when this happens to more and more states? ” she says. “I don’t know, but we can’t absorb 26 states going dark.
Sound produced by Adrian Hurst.
Note: Our calculated decline in total abortions compares recent numbers to a baseline of abortion numbers before the legal change. For legal abortions in the state and requests for abortion pills, we compared the period from March to July in 2021 with the period from September to December in 2021.
For out-of-state abortions, we compared March through July in 2021 with a monthly average for 2019. (Figures from early 2021 were not available.)
Because the number of abortions in Texas increased in August 2021 in anticipation of the new restrictions, we did not include this figure when compiling historical numbers.