Texas’ abortion ban spared nearly 10,000 babies from slaughter between April and December 2022 — a number likely much higher now, several months later.
SB 8, “The Texas Heartbeat Act,” went into force in the Lone Star State on Sept. 1, 2021, banning abortions after approximately six weeks, around the time a child’s heartbeat is first detectable. Texas previously prohibited abortions after 22 weeks of gestation.
A 2022 study published in JAMA involving an analysis of 80,107 abortions obtained between September 2020 and February 2022 revealed “a decrease in total in-state and out-of-state abortions in September 2021 compared with August 2021.”
A new peer-reviewed study published Thursday indicates this lifesaving trend continued well past 2021.
Factoring in monthly live birth data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health used statistical modeling to determine that there would have been 287,289 live births in Texas from April to December 2022 if SB 8 had not gone into effect.
Thanks to the ban, the actual number of births was 297,088, meaning 9,799 human beings were likely saved, over 1,000 babies a month.
The Texas Tribune reported that in December 2022, Texas had 5% more live births as a result of the Republican legislation.
John Seago, president of Texas Right to Life, told the Tribune, “Every baby saved from elective abortion should be celebrated. … This new study highlights the significant success of our movement in the last two years, while we look forward to helping the mothers and families of our state care for their children.”
Unlike Seago, the study’s authors found this apparent victory for life deeply troubling.
Suzanne Bell, assistant professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health and one of the study’s lead authors, said in a statement, “The study’s findings highlight how abortion bans have real implications for birthing people, thousands of whom may have had no choice but to continue an unwanted or unsafe pregnancy to term.”
“Birthing people” is a dehumanizing term some leftists now use as a stand-in for “mothers.”
“There has been a lot of speculation about how restrictive abortion policies will affect the number of babies being born. This research adds valuable information to that discussion,” said Alison Gemmill, another lead author on the study.
Gemmill attributed the survival of the 9,799 Texans to a failure of “a considerable number of pregnant individuals … to overcome barriers to abortion access.”
Since 14 other states have similarly introduced meaningful restrictions on abortion, Gemmill suggested that Texas’ success might be compounded nationally, noting, “If, previously, people were able to leave the state to go to a neighboring state to seek an abortion, that’s no longer an option. … So it’s possible that we could be seeing even greater increases post-Dobbs.”
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