A new study has found at least 100,000 Texas women may have attempted to self-induce abortion at some point in their lives.
According to the study released by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) Tuesday, between an estimated 100,000 and 240,000 women ages 18-49 have tried to end a pregnancy on their own without medical supervision. The study also indicates that Texas may have the highest rates of self-induction than any other U.S. State.
Researchers attribute a variety of factors to the increased number of self-abortions. However, restrictive abortion laws imposed in Texas in the past decade, most of all the three provisions of HB2 that went into effect in 2013, and availability of abortion-inducing medications across the U.S.-Mexico border, are considered by scientists to be the primary influences.
Texas throws up impossible barriers to abortion access &Georgia locks women up for self-induced abortion attempts. POC are the most affected
— Birth of a Lawyer (@BirthofaLawyer) June 9, 2015
Of the 779 females who were surveyed, 22 percent said that either they or someone they know has terminated or attempted to terminate a pregnancy on their own outside of a clinical care setting.
Rates were even higher for women that have reported barriers in accessing reproductive health services and women who identify as Latina living near the border.
Some of the common methods reported in self-inducing abortion include: alcohol or illicit drugs, alternative medicine, natural herbs, getting hit or punched in the abdomen, and the use of hormonal pills.
“Women have heard of a range of methods that are used to induce an abortion on one’s own, but misoprostol is the only effective abortion-inducing drug that was mentioned,” Researchers said. “Other methods, such as herbs or hormonal pills, are not effective, and some methods, such as getting punched in the abdomen, are potentially dangerous.”
The results of this study were released just after the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will take on a case challenging the constitutionality of the Texas state law HB2, which apply stricter standards to women’s reproductive health clinics that provide abortion services and limits Texas to just nine abortion providers statewide.
“As clinic-based care becomes harder to access in Texas, we can expect more women to feel that they have no other option and take matters into their own hands,” said Dr. Daniel Grossman, a TxPEP co-investigator and Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco.
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