Local Dallas News Reports Indisputable Evidence That Texas’ HB 2 Disproportionately Affected Latinas

In an analysis of Texas’ 2014 abortion statistics The Dallas Morning News found that as a result of the state’s anti-choice law HB 2, Hispanic women experienced the greatest drop in abortions of any demographic group.

Hispanic media outlets previously warned that the law would disproportionately affect Latinas, listing “immigration status, lack of dependable transportation, inability to take time off work, and lack of child care” as some of the major barriers to family planning and health services. Other outlets also stressed the importance of reproductive rights as a path to economic mobility and empowerment for Hispanic women specifically.

The July 18 article reported on Texas state data, which substantiated the Supreme Court’s 5-3 ruling that HB 2 constituted an undue burden on women’s access to abortion. According to The Dallas Morning News, the 2014 abortion data showed an 18 percent drop in the number of abortions among Hispanic women between 2013 and 2014, which was the year the law took effect. The Dallas Morning News noted that “no other demographic came close to seeing that impact,” reporting a 7.5 percent drop for black women and a 6.7 percent drop for white women. From The Dallas Morning News’ July 18 article:

The Texas abortion law struck down last month by the Supreme Court appears to have curtailed access to the procedure for Hispanic women far more than any other group, a Dallas Morning News analysis of state data has found.

In 2014 — the first full year since restrictions on abortion doctors, pills and clinics forced facilities to close — women in Texas had 9,000 fewer abortions than the year before. That's a 14 percent drop in abortions statewide, a much bigger drop than seen in previous years.

But among Texas' Hispanic women, the drop in abortions was especially steep: The number dropped 18 percent from 2013 to 2014, data shows.

That drop of about 4,400 abortions in one year is more than three times what Hispanic women were experiencing before the law took effect, an analysis of the last five available years of data shows. Most of that decline can be traced to abortion clinic closures in the Rio Grande Valley, which is predominantly Hispanic.

No other demographic came close to seeing that impact.

Before clinics closed en masse, abortions among black women were falling annually at a clip of about 5 percent, according to data published by the Texas Department of State Health Services. After the law took hold, the number of black women getting the procedure dropped by 7.5 percent in one year.

White Texas women were having about 9 percent fewer abortions each year before 2014. After the law, their abortion numbers dropped only 6.7 percent.

“The data shows not only that the drop in the number of safe, legal abortions provided was clearly linked to the elimination of access but also, and most especially, that the elimination of clinics disproportionately impacted Latinas,” said Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health in New York.

“The data shows exactly why the Supreme Court struck down the provisions” of the law, she added, “because they are harmful to women and their families.”