Texas abortion ban leads to additional 10,000 births, paper concludes

Prior law allowed abortion up to 22 weeks of gestation.

Published: June 29, 2023 9:21pm

An abortion ban in the state of Texas has led to nearly 10,000 additional live births in the state, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health estimate.

Between April and December of 2022, the researchers conclude that the state witnessed 9,799 additional births that would not have been occurred but for the existence of the state's abortion ban, the researchers concluded. The state's previous law allowed abortion up to 22 weeks of gestation, while the current legislation prohibits abortion on detection of embryonic cardiac activity, i.e. the detection of a fetal heartbeat. This can occur as early as 5-6 weeks into pregnancy. 

Texas one of a handful of states to adopt a so-called "trigger law" designed to ban abortion upon a hypothetical Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. Such a decision came the following year in the form of the Dobbs v. Jackson decision, which returned authority to regulate abortion to the states.

During the period, the researchers created a "synthetic" Texas using monthly live birth data from every state and the District of Columbia in prior years, which they then compared to the actual birth numbers. They found that their hypothetical Texas would have witnessed 287,289 births from April to December 2022 had the abortion ban not taken effect.

In reality, Texas witnessed 297,088 live births, making a difference of 9,799. The publishers of the study note that its findings are unique to Texas and cannot be nationalized.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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