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Undue? Quantifying the burden of a restrictive abortion law on Texas women

Vinita Goyal, University of Texas at Austin, 2016

Project abstract

Texas House Bill 2 (HB2), enacted in 2013, placed targeted restrictions on abortion providers which resulted in closure of more than half of the state's abortion clinics. Using patient-level data from approximately 60,000 patients seeking care at eight abortion clinics in the state before and after passage of HB2, we will evaluate differences in travel distance and time, the proportion of low-income and racial/ethnic minority women receiving care, gestational age at time of abortion, and type of abortion procedure obtained by women in Texas during the two time periods. We will use geospatial maps to illustrate the effects of this law on hypothesized outcomes, including: increased length of travel; later gestational age at the time of care; decreased use of medication abortion particularly among rural women; and relative inaccessibility of care among low-income and racial/ethnic minority women since passage of this law. Our results may be used by the general public to understand the implications of HB2, including geographic and social inequities in the distribution of abortion services in Texas, by researchers and public health officials seeking a rigorous assessment of the harmful effects of this law regarding safe and timely access to abortion care, and by policymakers to evaluate women's health needs and inform future abortion legislation.


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