Heartbeat law has saved thousands of lives in Texas

President Joe Biden declared in June that “Roe is on the ballot.” Indeed, on Election Day, several Republican governors who had proudly signed strong pieces of pro-life legislation were re-elected by wide margins – despite facing well-funded opponents. This includes Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Texas Governor Greg Abbott. But are these recently enacted pro-life laws actually saving lives? New research says yes! My new analysis of the Charlotte Lozier Institute shows a historic increase in the number of children born in Texas. This demonstrates that the Texas Heartbeat Act has already saved thousands of lives.

In fact, prior to the Dobbs decision, the application of Texas Heartbeat Act on September 1, 2021 was a huge victory for pro-lifers, marking the first time since Roe vs. Wade that a law protecting children born long before viability was allowed to take effect.

The Texas Heartbeat Act had an immediate short-term impact. term in the number of abortions performed in Texas. Data from the Texas Department of Health Services indicate that between August and September 2021, the number of abortions performed in the Lone Star State dropped by more than 60%.

That said, the impact of the Texas Heartbeat Act on the overall incidence of miscarriage has been disputed. A March 2022 analysis that appeared in the Upshot section of the New York Times argued that the law was having only one marginal impact on the number of abortions performed on Texas women. Their analysis found that most of the decline in the state was offset by Texas women getting abortions in other states and an increase in requests for online chemical abortion pills from the Aid Access group.

However, analyzing out-of-state abortion numbers and online orders for chemical abortion pills is a methodologically problematic way to assess the impact of the Texas Heartbeat Act. Out-of-state abortion data were self-reported by abortion centers. Therefore, there is no way to verify the accuracy of these statistics. Additionally, some women who order chemical abortion pills online may have changed their mind about having an abortion or may want to have abortion pills available in case of a future unplanned pregnancy.

A more reliable method of assessing the impact of the Texas Heartbeat Act would be to analyze Texas birth data. If the pro-life law resulted in more pregnancies being carried to term, there would eventually be a rise in the Texas birth rate.

Actually, that’s exactly what it found my Charlotte Lozier Institute analysis looking at Texas birth data. Data from the Centers for Disease Control on the timing of abortions and the length of pregnancy indicate that the Texas Heartbeat Act would begin to have a significant impact on the birth rate in mid-March. With that in mind, I compared births in Texas from March 2022 to July 2022 with births in the state for the same period. of the last three years.

I found that between March and July of 2022 more than 5,000 additional children were born in the Texas. That number represents almost half of the ten thousand children who were subject to abortion and who were protected by the Texas Heartbeat Act in the first five months of pregnancy. While it is true that some women have circumvented the law by getting abortions in other states, many other abortion-prone Texan women carried their pregnancies to term. These recent birth data provide a compelling statistical indication that the Texas Heartbeat Act likely saved thousands of lives.

Previous analyzes of birth data have demonstrated the effectiveness of other pro -life. Months after the enforcement of parental involvement laws in Massachusetts and Texas, separate academic studies found a short-term increase in each state’s birth rate among minors. In addition, separate studies looked at Medicaid programs [programa de saúde social dos Estados Unidos destinado a famílias de baixa renda] in Texas, Ohio and Illinois – each of which stopped covering elective abortions in various situations in the late s 1970. Each study found that, months after the policy change, there was an increase in the birth rate in the program. All of these studies provide strong statistical evidence that pregnancies are more likely to terminate after pro-life laws are enforced.

It should come as no surprise that organizations that support legal abortion have argued that the Texas Heartbeat Act had only a marginal impact. Downplaying the effectiveness of pro-life laws has been a long-standing strategy of legal abortion advocates. However, there is a strong body of research that indicates that the incidence of abortion is sensitive to its legal status and that incremental pro-life laws reduce abortion rates. Pro-lifers should continue to take advantage of the recent Dobbs ruling by seeking additional opportunities to enact strong protections for pre-borns and their mothers in more states.

©2022 National Review. Published with permission. Original in English.

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