In the weeks since Texas Senate Bill 8 became law, women seeking an abortion have taken on extra costs, such as paying for travel or missing work, to get an abortion out of state. Their experiences demonstrate what it will be like for Texans seeking abortions for the foreseeable future. Countings of their expenses and other difficulties they have to face now were published in the article by a Bloomberg editor on her Twitter page.
The law bans abortions once a cardiac activity is detectable in an embryo, typically four weeks after conception, which is often before many women know they’re even pregnant. It also criminalizes ‘aiding and abetting’ an abortion, which has prompted some providers to shut down services rather than risk being sued.
Cutting off abortion in Texas means women in the state would now need to drive an average of 247 miles to get to a clinic, up from 17 miles previously, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which studies abortion policy and demographics. According to Franz Theard, the director of the Women’s Reproductive Clinic, soon after the bill was passed, he saw two women who drove 12 hours from Houston to get to his clinic. Another patient drove 811 miles to Theard’s clinic from her home in the Rio Grande Valley.
The author of the article warns that women who aren’t able to get the desired abortion can face enormous costs, both financially and psychologically. According to Delma Catalina Limones, the communications manager with Avow, a Texas abortion-rights organization, the law criminalizes anyone aiding an abortion and isolates pregnant women who are afraid to reach out.