The number of abortions performed in Texas each year dropped sharply between 2008 and 2013, declining steadily from more than 80,000 in 2008 to less than 64,000 in 2013, new state data shows.
The downward trend echoes a national pattern of fewer abortions, which pro-life activists attribute to increasingly stringent abortion laws, but which pro-choice activists attribute to fewer unplanned pregnancies thanks to better and more readily available contraceptives. (RELATED: Nearly 1 in 3 Abortions Happen At Planned Parenthood ‘Health’ Clinics)
New 2013 data released by the Texas Department of State Health Services shows 4,449 fewer babies were aborted that year than in 2012 alone. Since 2008, the number of abortions performed each year has declined by more than 17,000 — from 81,591 in 2008 to 63,849 in 2013.
Texas has some of the strictest abortion laws in the country, and voted to defund Planned Parenthood at the state level in 2011. A woman must undergo an ultrasound at least 24 hours before obtaining an abortion, and is required to receive informative counseling that includes a description of the ultrasound image.
The Supreme Court is considering a new law that would require all abortion clinics to have facilities equal to a surgical center and doctors to have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital, which more than a dozen abortion providers say would force them to shut down.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld both laws, but the Supreme Court ordered Texas not to enforce them until it issues a final ruling. (RELATED: Fifth Circuit Court Effectively Shuts Down 13 Texas Abortion Clinics)
Nationwide, abortions have declined by about 12 percent since 2010, a June Associated Press survey found, and in some specific states by as much as 20 percent. The declined happened in states with strict laws, such as Texas, and in states with more liberal abortion laws.
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