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The divided Supreme Court voted 5-4 to deny an emergency appeal from abortion providers to block a Texas law that bans abortion after an unborn child’s heartbeat can be detected. In other words, a ban on most abortions will take effect in the state of Texas immediately.
The Court’s decision has led some to speculate on just how many abortions Texas’ 6-week ban could prevent moving forward. According to preliminary estimates from Fox News, data suggests the number is high.
Projections from the outlet estimate that the Texas law could prevent roughly 132 procedures per day, or 4,009 per month.
Meanwhile, anti-abortion advocates say the number could actually exceed 132 a day, citing a Guttmacher Institute’s 2017 study.
Tessa Longbons, a research associate at the anti-abortion Charlotte Lozier Institute, found that, according to CDC data, “33,841 abortions took place at 7 weeks’ gestation or later in 2018” in the state of Texas.
“We can estimate that Texas’s protecting life from the first heartbeat could save more than 33,000 lives per year. The number is possibly even higher.”
Planned Parenthood all but confirmed those numbers since its lawsuit claimed that roughly 85-90% of abortions occur after six weeks gestation.
There are, however, complications in confidently calculating how many abortion procedures Texas’ law could prevent. Some Texas women may cross state lines to obtain abortions after six weeks, which experts expect to occur. Still, it’s a step in the right direction.