By Dave Andrusko, National Right to Life
We knew that abortions had decreased in Texas since passage of S.B.8., but updated statistics from Texas Health and Human Services released Monday “show[ed] the number of abortions reported in the state decreased almost 60% in the first month after new restrictions went into effect,” according to BeLynn Hollers of The Dallas Morning News.
“There were 2,197 abortions reported in Texas the first month after the new law went into effect Sept. 1, compared to 5,404 in August 2021,” Hollers reported.
An October report from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project at the University of Texas at Austin “showing that abortions fell by 50 percent in September was off by almost 10%.”
Hollers quoted Texas Right to Life, which said “the success of the Texas Heartbeat Act is embodied by every child saved.”
“For over 150 days, our work has saved an estimated 100 babies per day,” director of media and communication Kimberlyn Schwartz said in the statement. “Our impact is only just beginning as more states seek to replicate our success and as we look to the Mississippi case that could overturn Roe this summer.”
S.B.8.—Texas’s Heartbeat Law—has been up and down the legal chain ever since it took effect September 1. U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin, the trial judge briefly blocked S.B.8. in October. His order was put on hold by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The appeals court in turn “sent the case [Whole Woman’s Health vs. Jackson] to the state Supreme Court for certification, saying they couldn’t answer the enforcement question, which they say is a matter of state law,‘” Eleanor Klibanoff wrote. Pro-abortionists desperately wanted the case send back to Judge Pitman.
The narrow issue before the Texas Supreme Court is “whether the state officials specified in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month have the power to enforce the abortion law,” The New York Times’ Adam Liptak reported. The Supreme Court, in its December 10th opinion, said the legal challenge could continue but only against Texas licensing officials who oversee nurses, physicians and pharmacists.
“[T]he U.S. Supreme Court threw out most challenges to the law and left only state medical licensing officials as possible lawsuit targets because they can revoke a doctor, nurse or pharmacist’s license if they violated the law,” according to Klibanoff.
The Heartbeat Law took effect September 1 and, with the exception of Judge Pitman’ short stay, has been effect ever since.
Rep. Bryan Hughes, author of SB 8, said in a message to The Dallas News, “these numbers are proof that the Texas Heartbeat Law is working. Texas is now the first state to effectively stop most abortions.” He added, “There is still more work to do, and in Texas we will continue to save the baby and support the mother.”