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After six-week ban, Texans went out of state to get abortions, new records show

Planned Parenthood health centers in neighboring states saw a nearly 800% increase in abortion patients from the Lone Star State.

AUSTIN, Texas — Between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021, abortion patients with Texas ZIP codes increased nearly 800% in neighboring states, following an effective ban in Texas after six weeks pregnancy.

Newly released data from Planned Parenthood show a nearly 2,500% increase in Texas patients in Oklahoma compared to the previous year. Texans made up more than half the total number of abortion patients in the state’s Planned Parenthood clinics, while in 2020, Texas patients amounted to less than 10%.

Other nearby states that saw overwhelming increases in Texas patients include New Mexico, Colorado, Louisiana, Kansas and Missouri.

But hefty travel and procedure expenses have created challenges for women in need of an abortion, and long wait times have some women going to the West and East Coast for care.

“Some patients are going as far as California, Florida, New York, either because the availability of nearby clinics out of state is too limited or they have family and friends in another state that makes traveling feel more comfortable,” Paige Alexandria, who serves on the Lilith Fund’s board, told KVUE sister station KENS last month.

In Colorado, there was a more than 1,000% increase in Texas abortion patients, while Louisiana saw an increase of around 347%, according to Axios.

Meanwhile, abortions in Texas fell by around 60% in the first month since the law came into effect in September, according to figures from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

The Texas law conflicts with landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings that prevent a state from banning abortion early in pregnancy, but was written in a way that has essentially outmaneuvered those precedents.

Under the law, any private citizen is entitled to collect $10,000 or more if they bring a successful lawsuit against someone who performed or helped a woman obtain an abortion after the limit – which opponents have condemned as a bounty. So far, no anti-abortion supporters have filed any suits.

With few options left, Texas abortion providers have acknowledged the law is likely to stay on the books for the foreseeable future.

It comes as the U.S. Supreme Court has signaled a willingness to weaken or reverse the landmark Roe v. Wade precedent in a ruling that is expected later this year.

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