Abortion remains contentious, confusing 2 years after The Dobbs Decision

Briana Conner Image
Monday, June 24, 2024
Abortion remains contentious, confusing 2 years after Dobbs Decision
Lawmakers have been at battle over abortion laws since the end of Roe v. Wade, leaving pregnant women and their providers caught in the middle.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Exactly two years ago, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, making abortion an issue for states to decide.

Since then, judges, lawmakers, and voters have been at battle over the controversial procedure, leaving pregnant people and their providers caught in the middle.

Fourteen states, including Texas, have ended nearly all abortion services. At least nine states have no restrictions based on how far a person is in their pregnancy. When abortion has been on the ballot, voters have chosen to protect reproductive rights every time.

Zooming in on our state, abortions are only allowed if the person has a life-threatening condition or is at risk of "substantial impairment of a major bodily function."

Just last week, the Texas Medical Board adopted guidance on how doctors should interpret what that means. They stopped short of providing a list of cases or conditions in which the procedure would be legal.

SEE MORE: Texas adopts guidance for how doctors should interpret abortion ban

So, there's still no cut and clear instructions for doctors, who could lose their medical license, face up to life in prison, and receive a $ 100,000 fine for performing an illegal abortion. The end of Roe v. Wade has worked to reduce the number of abortions performed in Texas.

According to the Texas Tribune, there were about 4,400 abortions a month before the decision. Now it's down to five, which is a 99.9% decline. However, new numbers from the Guttmacher Institute show more than 35,000 patients left Texas to have an abortion in 2023.

Looking back on the last two years, Dr. John Seago, the president of Texas Right to Life, said, "There have been 10s of thousands of children born in Texas and other pro-life states that would not have been. We believe that abortion represents an act of injustice. A bigger, stronger party taking the life of a smaller, weaker party. So, this is a success. Obviously, there are a lot of things we are still working on to fully and properly implement our laws, but ultimately, this is a day worth celebrating."

"The same people who are against our human rights and being able to make decisions that are best for ourselves and our families are coming for all of it. So, that is something that we need to be acknowledging. We are experiencing this erosion of our democracy in tandem with the erosion of our human rights. This is not something we should be standing for," Oriaku Njoku, the National Network of Abortion Funds executive director, said.

Right now, abortion is before Supreme Court justices again. They must decide whether federal rules dictating abortion care in emergency rooms can supersede a state ban in Idaho. We expect a ruling any day now.

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