Texas state’s attempt to safeguard women’s health has gone horrifyingly wrong. It has been cracking the whip on abortion clinics for not meeting health standards.
So, a few women, caught between the devil and the deep sea, have realised that maybe they could slip through the cracks by aborting their own unborn children.
On being asked why she attempted to terminate her pregnancy, a 24-year-old woman in Texas replied, “I didn’t have any money to go to San Antonio or Corpus [Christi]. I didn’t even have any money to get across town … I was just dirt broke.”
As reported by The Atlantic , some 1,00,000 to 2,40,000 Texan women between ages 18 to 49 have tried to terminate their pregnancies by themselves.
The numbers were found by a set of surveys aimed at finding the impact of the state’s reproductive policies. Of the women who took the survey, 1.7% replied that they have performed an abortion on themselves, while 4.1% claimed that their best friend had.
The state law requires these centres to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centres. But unable to meet the said requirements due to budgetary constraints, these centres are rapidly shutting down.
This has left a mere 17 clinics functional today in Texas as compared to 41 in 2012.
As a result, women who lacked resources or could not access reproductive services have turned to self-abortions. One of the most common ways to get the child aborted is by taking the drug called Cytotec or Misoprostol.
Some have gone as far as to engage in primitive ways such as “herbs or homeopathic remedies, getting hit or punched in the abdomen, using alcohol or illicit drugs, or taking hormonal pills.”
An abortion clinic now is at an average distance of 111 miles of a Texan county. The cost and trouble of travelling to a clinic so far has also been cited as one of the major reasons for the self-induced abortions. The survey authors fear that if these abortion clinics keep on shutting down at this pace, self-induced abortions are going to become more common.
The Supreme Court has been asked to determine if these abortion restrictions help women and keep them safe at all. These restrictions have made reproductive services so hard to access that women would rather perform an abortion themselves than travel all the way to a clinic.