Abortion has been a controversial issue for a long time, and it has been tried to limit the numbers of abortions that women undergo due to any reasons. However, the attempts aimed at erecting barriers to gaining the abortion service, despite their popularity among various legislators, are rather notorious in their outcomes. The current paper discusses the issue of anti-abortion legislation in the state of Texas. The crux of this legislation is examined, its results are considered, and possible alternatives to such legal provisions are touched upon.
We will write a custom Essay on Anti-Abortion Legislation and Services in Texas specifically for you
301 certified writers online
An Overview of Legal Provisions Pertaining to Abortions in the State of Texas, and of the Effect of These Provisions on the Availability of Abortion Services
Currently, there are a number of laws in the state of Texas which restrict the provision of abortion services for the population. It is stated that much of the legislation related to abortions was adopted in 2013, as well as during several years prior to that year (Grossman et al., 2014). While initially the laws focused primarily on discouraging the “consumers” of these services by e.g. obliging physicians to supply their patients with a considerable amount of information related to abortions, in particular, telling them of the hazards and the possible negative outcomes which are associated with having an abortion, the legislation that was adopted later (mainly in 2013) was, to a large extent, aimed at limiting the provision of abortion services by imposing additional demands and restrictions on hospitals which offered abortion procedures to their clients, as well as requiring that patients follow more complicated procedures and utilize more expensive options of getting an abortion (Grossman et al., 2014).
As a result of more strict regulations pertaining to abortion provision, a number of clinics offering that service either were closed or stopped supplying it for the patients (Grossman et al., 2014). It is stressed that it had a particularly strong impact the hospitals outside large metropolitan areas, and 11 out of 13 clinics under the researchers’ observation were closed (Grossman et al., 2014). On the whole, the number of clinics which offered abortion service to their customers dropped by 46% within the span of only one year (Grossman et al., 2014).
The Effects of the Abortion Legislation on the Consumers of Abortion Services
It is not surprising that as a result of this, it became considerably more difficult for the dwellers of the state of Texas to gain abortion services (Grossman et al., 2014). In the wake of the new legislation, the number of abortions which were performed during 6 months after the new legal provisions came into effect reduced by 13% in comparison to the same period during the year preceding the moment when the discussed legislation was adopted (Fuentes et al., 2016).
In relation to this, the experiences of women seeking abortion services should also be discussed. It is stated that these individuals often experienced confusion due to the fact that the facilities where they were supposed to obtain an abortion stopped offering that service, and so these females were now forced to seek an alternative organization which would be able to carry out that medical procedure (Fuentes et al., 2016). It is also pointed out that the women who were unable to undergo an abortion at their originally intended facility now had to spend additional temporal and financial resources so as to get the service. They needed to travel to more distant clinics (Baum et al., 2015), which also resulted in compromised privacy of these individuals (Fuentes et al., 2016). Frustration was also a common consequence (Gerdts et al., 2016). Probably the worst of the outcomes was that a large percentage of these females were only able to get the abortion services considerably later than was originally intended; the average time of delay exceeded 1 week (Fuentes et al., 2016). In addition, in the study by Fuentes et al. (2016), a number of women who wished to gain abortion services are reported to have been unable to do so; several females considered undergoing a self-induced abortion, but an attempt to do so was made by none of them.
Therefore, it is clear that, while the new legislation did reduce the number of abortions that women had in Texas, that number was decreased primarily not because these persons reconsidered and made a decision not to undergo the procedure, but because they were simply unable to gain the abortion service due to the remoteness of abortion-providing facilities, as well as because of temporal, financial, or other limitations. In addition, the females who were still able to undergo the procedure of abortion were forced to do that at later stages of their pregnancy, which is known to be more detrimental to the health of a woman that the same procedure carried out at an earlier stage (Lowdermilk, Perry, Cashion, Alden, & Olshansky, 2016).
An Alternative Solution
It might be possible to state that the aim of the legislation adopted so as to limit the provision of abortion service for the population was to reduce the number of abortions carried out in the state of Texas. However, it is quite well-known that restricting the access to the procedure of abortion is often likely to result in negative outcomes for women seeking abortions; as has been noted above, the procedure was often delayed considerably due to the need of the patient to longer look for a supplier of the service. In fact, some of the females wishing to gain the abortion service might even make an attempt to obtain it from illegal providers, which may result in highly adverse consequences for the health of the individual that receives such a service.
Thus, it can be possible to conclude that the introduction of the legislation which limits the access of the population to the abortion service is rather likely to only result in outcomes that are worse for the patient. Instead of erecting barriers for women who seek abortion service, it would probably be better to lower the number of situations in which females do that. For instance, it is known that introducing sexual education at high school and improving the quality of such educational programs can lower the number of cases when an abortion is sought, especially among teenagers (Cherry & Dillon, 2014, p. 707). However, additional research may be needed in order to better determine the ways to prevent undesired pregnancies from occurring.
On the whole, the legislation pertaining to abortions in Texas is often aimed at restricting the provision of that service for the population, which results in limited access to this procedure. As a result, females are often forced to seek abortion providers for longer periods of time, and to undergo abortions at a later stage. Thus, the outcomes of such legal provisions might be stated to be mostly adverse. Instead of introducing such laws, it is recommended to consider ways which may lower the number of cases when an abortion is sought. This can be done by e.g. implementing sexual education at schools. Also, additional research may discover other ways to decrease the number of situations when an abortion is desired.
Baum, S., Grossman, D. A., Fuentes, L., White, K., Hopkins, K., & Potter, J. E. (2015). Women’s experiences with abortion services in Texas in the wake of restrictive legislation. Contraception, 91(5), 428. Web.
Cherry, A., & Dillon, M. (Eds.). (2014). International handbook of adolescent pregnancy: Medical, psychosocial, and public health responses. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.
Fuentes, L., Lebenkoff, S., White, K., Gerdts, C., Hopkins, K., Potter, J. E., & Grossman, D. (2016). Women’s experiences seeking abortion care shortly after the closure of clinics due to a restrictive law in Texas. Contraception, 93(4), 292-297. Web.
Gerdts, C., Fuentes, L., Grossman, D., White, K., Keefe-Oates, B., Baum, S. E.,…Potter, J. E. (2016). Impact of clinic closures on women obtaining abortion services after implementation of a restrictive law in Texas. American Journal of Public Health, 106(5), 857-864. Web.
Grossman, D., Baum, S., Fuentes, L., White, K., Hopkins, K., Stevenson, A., & Potter, J. E. (2014). Change in abortion services after implementation of a restrictive law in Texas. Contraception, 90(5), 496-501. Web.
Get your first paper with 15% OFF
Lowdermilk, D. L., Perry, S. E., Cashion, K., Alden, K. R., & Olshansky, E. F. (2016). Maternity and women’s health care (11th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.