The U.S. state of Texas created a firestorm of controversy when it banned abortion in 2014.
This move caused outrage and severely underscored a woman’s right to choose, which is protected by U.S. law in the historic Roe v. Wade legislation. The U.S. Supreme Court recently reversed the ultra-conservative Texas legislature’s ban on abortion, which was in place for a little over a year.
However, The Dallas Morning News just released results from an extensive investigation, which focused on how low-income black women in Texas were affected by the state’s year-long abortion ban. According to the facts from this investigation, there was a 7.5 percent drop in abortion rates for black women during the year-long ban.
Comparatively, there was a 6.7 percent drop in abortion rates for white women during the year-long ban on abortion in Texas. Further analysis of the data showed that this ban affected poor black and minority women far worse than it affected white women as a whole.
The Texas abortion ban imposed severe restrictions on legal abortion providers that operated in the state. The law required the doctors that provided abortions to have admitting access at local hospitals, and for their facilities to practice the same standards that ambulatory surgical centers had to legally abide by.
The Texas anti-abortion law would have forced all almost all of the abortion clinics in the state to close except for around 10 of them. Many of the abortion clinics that would have had to close primarily serve low-income women with limited access to adequate health care.
In a media interview, Clare Murphy, a woman’s advocate with the British Pregnancy Advisory Service said that poor minority women suffer the most when overzealous abortion opponents in government begin imposing their anti-woman shenanigans.
“Poorer women are always disproportionately affected by restrictions on abortion,” Murphy said. “They are less likely to be able to afford the time off work to travel long distances and foot the bill for accommodation and childcare, and that’s before the cost of the treatment itself,” she continued.
There’s no telling how many black and minority women were adversely affected after the state of Texas imposed its sexist abortion law. Luckily, the U.S. Supreme Court finally came to the rescue by overturning the law in June 2016. Hopefully, that sends a message to other ultra-conservative state legislatures in the U.S. that have similar plans.
These states must know that their trampling of women’s rights, particularly those of poor black women should not and will not be permanently tolerated.