Demand for abortion pills sent from abroad more than tripled in Texas after September 1, according to a study released Friday. Since that date, the American State has drastically limited access to abortion.
Texas law, introduced last September at the instigation of a conservative majority, prohibits termination of any pregnancy once the embryo’s heartbeats are detected, after about six weeks of pregnancy. Yet, at this point, most women don’t even know they’re pregnant.
1.180% more requests
The article published Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association draws on figures from Aid Access, an Austrian company that provides abortion pills (for medical abortions) to women in the United States. Before this new legislation, between October 2020 and May 2021, Aid Access received 10.8 requests for pills per day from Texas. The week following the application of the law, 137.7 requests were received daily, an increase of 1,180%.
During the following three weeks, the company received 37.1 daily requests, or 3.4 times more than during the reference period. The following quarter (October to December 2021), it was still processing 29.5 requests per day, an increase of 173%, higher than other American states.
A law challenged in court
The Guttmacher Institute, which campaigns for abortion access, estimated on Thursday that in 2020, for the first time, abortion pills were responsible for more than half of abortions in the United States (54 %). Combining a drug, misoprostol, and a synthetic steroid, mifepristone, these pills were introduced to the American market in 2000. In April 2020, to avoid exposing patients to Covid, the American Medicines Agency (FDA ) had temporarily authorized their sending by post, a possibility made permanent in December 2021.
Texas passed a law restricting their access last December, but experts interviewed by the local press believe it will be difficult to enforce. In addition, the law is being challenged in court by advocates of abortion in the United States, who point out that it opposes Supreme Court case law, which allows American women to have abortions until about 22 to 24. weeks of pregnancy. The question has not been definitively settled by American justice.