AUSTIN (KXAN) — Three abortions were reported in Texas in August, down 99.9% from June, following the dismissal of Roe v. Wade, according to state data.
More than 2,500 abortions were reported in June, the same month that the US Supreme Court struck down a nearly 50-year-old constitutional right to abortion.
A Texas law banning most abortions did not go into effect until August 22. Despite this, the number of abortions registered in the state fell to 68 in July and then to 3 in August.
Texas law prohibits all abortions except in certain circumstances, such as “a life-threatening condition for the mother caused by pregnancy.” Abortion in the state is punishable by up to life imprisonment and a fine of at least $100,000 for each offense.
Data released by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) shows that all three abortions in August were for medical emergencies and to preserve the woman’s health.
The extended restrictions in the trigger law came less than a year after Senate Bill 8 went into effect in September 2021. At the time, it was considered the most stringent abortion law in the country. The law prohibits abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat.
The effect of SB8 can be seen in the diagram below. Prior to the bill’s entry into force, the number of abortions in 2021 outpaced the pace of 2020. The yellow line, showing the cumulative total in 2021, then lagged as the number of monthly abortions dropped from over 5,000 to under 2,500.
The impact of the overturning of Roe v. Wade is also clear: the state’s abortion rate has barely changed since the June ruling.
From January to August 2022, about 17,200 abortions were performed in the state. In both 2020 and 2021, Texas had already surpassed that figure by April.
The state is reporting the number of Texans who have abortions out of state, but not before all monthly data is released. HHSC has not yet released statistics for September-December.
In 2021, HHSC reported that 1,712 Texans had an out-of-state abortion, up from 1,226 in 2020. This figure is expected to be much higher in 2022.