A new report by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) reveals a significant drop in the Texas abortion total between 2013 and 2014 (the most recent year for which comprehensive Texas Vital Statistics are available). This is good news in the wake of this week’s Supreme Court decision striking down important safety provisions of House Bill 2, the Pro-Life Omnibus Bill of the 2013 Legislative Session.
For the sixth consecutive year, the total has fallen to a new low. In fact, if abortion numbers had remained steady between 2008 and 2014, about 25,000 more abortions would have been committed in that time period.
A few takeaways from the 2014 report:
- The total number of abortions reported in 2014 was 54,902. This is a drop of nearly 9,000 compared to 2013, when the total number of abortions was 63,849.
- In 2014, 426 girls under the age of 16 underwent abortions in Texas. Some of these were 11 years old and younger.
- Unmarried pregnant women overwhelmingly outnumbered married women who underwent abortions.
One of the most notable changes from 2013 to 2014 was the drop in the number of pain-capable children killed by dismemberment abortion at 20 weeks’ gestation and beyond. Thanks to an unchallenged provision of House Bill 2, most pain-capable preborn children are protected from the torture of dismemberment in the womb after 20 weeks, which is the halfway mark of a typical pregnancy.
In 2013, 278 unborn babies suffered a barbaric “Dilation and Evacuation” (dismemberment) abortion death; in 2014, this number dropped to 20. During the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature, Texas Right to Life turned our attention to saving those 20 babies who remain targets of dismemberment abortion due to an exception in HB 2’s pain-capable protection which leaves babies diagnosed with an anomaly in utero vulnerable to abortion even if they have passed the 20-week developmental mark. However, the efforts of Texas Right to Life and committed Pro-Life elected officials were mercilessly thwarted by House Republicans In-Name-Only.
Nevertheless, we press forward in our commitment to protecting the most vulnerable Texans from the predatory antics of Big Abortion in our state. Texas Right to Life’s Priority Pro-Life Legislation for the upcoming 85th Session of the Texas Legislature in 2017 includes a Dismemberment Abortion Ban. This fetal life protection would outlaw dismemberment abortion on the grounds that the procedure is barbaric and inhumane.
Legal precedent for such a ban exists in the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban, which was enacted in response to the blatant inhumanity of the method. Of course, no abortion method is humane or dignified. What we know is that incrementally dismantling the abortion industry is the most effective strategy.