The latest figures made available by the Texas Department of State Health Services indicate that 63,849 abortions were performed in the Lone Star State during 2013. These figures represent a decrease of 4,449 since the 2012 report, which showed that 68,298 abortions were performed in Texas that year.
An August 24 report in LifeNews attributed the decline to former Governor Rick Perry’s having signed SB7 — a bill removing state funding from Planned Parenthood — into law in July 2011. The legislation removed at least $34 million in state funding from the giant abortion provider. Another provision in the legislation prohibited local tax funding for elective abortions by hospital districts.
This was not the first report of laws passed in Texas that discouraged abortion having an impact. The New York Times reported on March 6, 2014 that the passage of legislation imposing new restrictions on abortions contributed to the number of abortion facilities in Texas declining from a high of 44 back in 2011 to 24, with several more expected to close when the law was fully implemented. Among the provisions in the law was that doctors who perform abortions have to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic and that abortion clinics must adhere to the same standards as surgical centers.
Former state Senator Wendy Davis received national attention when she staged an 11-hour filibuster against the legislation, SB5. Though her filibuster delayed passage of the bill, it ultimately was approved in a special session of the legislature and signed into law by Perry.
Davis later capitalized on her notoriety to secure the Democratic nomination for governor, but was defeated in a landslide by pro-life candidate Greg Abbott, 59-38 percent.
The success of these pro-life legislative events in Texas perhaps explains why the state has a much lower rate of abortion than the next-largest state in population, New York. As we noted, in Texas, which has a population of about 27.6 million, there were 63,849 abortions performed in 2013. In comparison, in New York, with a population of about 19.7 million, 138,370 women obtained abortions 2011. A note on the website of the Planned Parenthood Federation-spawned Guttmacher Institute notes: “New York does not have any of the major types of abortion restrictions — such as waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortions — often found in other states.”
Having a prevailing culture of life definitely improves the life expectancy of unborn babies.