Are pregnant Texans heading to Mexico for abortions?

Demonstrators rally against anti-abortion and voter suppression laws at the Texas State Capitol on October 2, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Montinique Monroe

Veronica Hernandez, manager of Whole Woman’s Health of McAllen, has long worried about the patients she sees walk in through the front door.

Now, though, her concern is focused on those she doesn’t see.

A Texas law that went into effect in September outlaws abortions after a cardiac activity is detected in an embryo, usually at six weeks of pregnancy, and is considered the nation’s most restrictive abortion law.

The law, which the Supreme Court has so far refused to block, makes no exception for victims of rape or incest and does not call on public officials to enforce it. Instead, it allows private citizens and groups to sue anyone who has provided an abortion or aided someone seeking an abortion in Texas. If the private citizens win the case, they are entitled to damages of at least $10,000.

Since the law passed, clinics statewide have experienced its chilling effect, reporting that they have performed fewer abortions.

The McAllen clinic has seen a 35 percent drop in patients under the law, and as the last remaining abortion center along the Texas-Mexico border, the law places it in a situation, unlike others. “I don’t know where those women are going to or doing instead,” said Hernandez.

That’s because the area it serves is farther from an out-of-state U.S. abortion provider than any other Texas clinic and at the same time is also the closest clinic to Mexico—less than an hour’s drive away—where abortion was decriminalized in September.

A week after Texas’ abortion-restricting law was enacted, Mexico’s Supreme Court-dissolved a Coahuila state law that made abortion a crime.

Hernandez worries that patients who once would have come to her clinic are now traveling to Mexico for the procedure or for a medication abortion, which usually involves taking a combination of the abortion-inducing drugs mifepristone and misoprostol. She is concerned that the patients may not get adequate care.

Click here to read the complete original article (in Spanish) on SDP Noticias

Source: SDP Noticias

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