Rio Grande Valley, and all but one closed in West Texas. Comparing November 2012–April 2013 to November 2013–April 2014, there was a 13% decrease in the abortion rate (from 12. 9 to 11. 2 abortions/1000 women age 15–44). Medical abortion decreased by 70%, from 28. 1% of all abortions in the earlier period to 9. 7% after November 2013 (pb0. 001). Second-trimester abortion increased from 13. 5% to 13. 9% of all abortions (pb0. 001). Only 22% of abortions were performed in the state’s six ASCs” (Grossman et al. 2014, p 496).
The numbers simply don’t lie. Even though this panel estimated that the law would not be a burden large enough to be considered an “undue burden,” it is quite obvious that whether or not the law is helpful or not, it has had detrimental effects to the clinics in the state. The results of this study concluded that, “the closure of clinics and restrictions on medical abortion in Texas appear to be associated with a decline in the in-state abortion rate and a marked decrease in the number of medical abortions.
Restrictions on medical abortion (a counseling session about risks, an ultrasound 24 hours before the procedure, the procedure, and a follow-up visit) had a profound impact on the decrease in the number of abortions during that time as well (Grossman et al. , 2014, p 496). This study was completed before the mandated ambulatory service center requirement went into effect later that year.
A similar study done a month later in the same journal found the following information: “For 38% of women, the abortion clinic nearest to them before the introduction of HB2 was closed after the law was enforced. The mean one-way distance traveled was 85 miles (median=35) among women whose nearest clinic closed after HB2, compared to 22 miles (median=15) for women whose nearest clinic stayed open (p?. 001). Women whose nearest clinics closed had a higher average out-of-pocket expenditure than those whose nearest clinic remained open ($134 vs. 80, p? 0. 01), and were also more likely to stay in a hotel in order to obtain an abortion (16% vs. 3%, p? 0. 01).
After controlling for confounding factors, women whose nearest abortion clinic closed after HB2 had nearly 3 times the odds of reporting that it was difficult to get to the clinic compared to women’s whose nearest clinic did not close (OR 2. 85, CI 2. 02, 4. 01)” (Fuentes et al. , 2016, p 470). Clearly these results prove the undeniable truth; the Texas Bill has made obtaining an abortion much more difficult.
Some may continue to argue for the safety of this bill, therefore, let’s take a look at whether these safety precautions are necessary. Abortion actually has been proven to be a fairly quick procedure that doesn’t have many complications. In an article, Hoffman (2016), featured on Gale, Science in Context, “A study published in January 2015 in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, looked at 54,911 abortions through California’s Medicaid program.
The overall complication rate was 2. 1 percent. Major complications (including hospital admission, surgery or blood transfusion) occurred in 0. 23 percent of the patients. The national mortality rate for abortions from 2008 to 2011 was 0. 73 per 100,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ” This study shows how safe abortions in clinics already are. Only . 23 percent of patients even need a hospital, and when they did, they were transported there.
Essentially, there is actually no persistent need for clinics to be ambulatory service centers or to have doctors to have admitting privileges. This information proves why many see the law as unnecessary. Although, the persistent issue is whether or not the Supreme Court will believe that the law actually causes an undue burden. This may be the reason that lawmakers have suggested sending the case back to smaller courts in order to find more evidence for the case. A decision is expected in 2017 when the court is scheduled to meet again.
Until that point, women in Texas are faced with being out of reach from clinics, waiting longer times for appointments, paying more, not having access to medical abortions due to the restrictions on it, and being forced to endure more complicated second trimester abortions. Fetal Research Allegations Made Against Planned Parenthood in Texas Many people at some point in time have heard about the illegal harvesting of human fetuses for profit. Planned Parenthood has been in the news before on such allegations.
These new allegations concern two anti-abortion activists who used fake ID’s to gain access to a clinic in Texas and record videos that allegedly show Planned Parenthood selling fetal tissue for profit. The investigation found David Robert Daleiden and Sandra Merritt guilty of second-degree record tampering and found Daleiden guilty of misdemeanor of attempting to buy human organs (Kopan, 2016). Republican Governor Greg Abbott has already said he will support banning selling or transferring fetal tissue, which could hurt research attempts (Weber, 2016).
The videos were edited and in some cases contained footage that was not aborted fetuses at all. In one, Daleiden used footage of a still-born child he found online with a narration about a Planned Parenthood abortion of a fetus the same age. ” Daleiden is the project leader of the Center for Medical Progress. This group made the videos that appeared to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the price of fetal tissue (Kopan, 2016). Planned Parenthood did not receive any charges because claims could not be proven (Weber, 2016).
Discussing the Importance of Fetal Tissue Research and how it relates to the Texas Bill Many researchers receive donated fetal tissue from abortions and use it to test for studies of HIV, human development, and other diseases. Wadman (2015) includes a statement made by Carrie Wolinetz, the NIH’s associate director for science policy saying, “Fetal tissue is a flexible, less-differentiated tissue. It grows readily and adapts to new environments, allowing researchers to study basic biology or use it as a tool in a way that can’t be replicated with adult tissue.
The article also notes that fetal cell lines have been used in many medical advances, such as the production of a blockbuster arthritis drug and therapeutic proteins that fight cystic fibrosis and hemophilia in the past 25 years. US law states that fetal tissue can be obtained for research and that donors can charge money for the expenses of handling the tissue, but not for the actual tissue. Also, women getting abortions cannot be doing the procedure in order to donate the organs. Women must also give consent to allow the fetal tissue to be used for research purposes.
The plain and simple fact is that abortion is legal and therefore it will continue to happen. Why not use the fetal tissue for research rather than disposing of it. The article points out various ways that the tissue has helped in areas and had a profound effect on the medicine and treatments we have today. The article cites Shari Gelber, a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine at Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York City who has argued the value of fetal tissue research, saying, “People are talking about fetal tissue, but really what this discussion is about is abortion.
Honestly who would argue with that statement? The claims and laws point toward one similar quality: the moral issue of abortion. Many people still have an inherent issue with abortion and that’s why they also don’t support fetal tissue research, which has been proven to be more valuable than other types of research (Wadman, 2015). In a House of Representatives Committee on March 9th, 2000, the issues of fetal tissue being sold for profit was the discussion. Chairman Bliley made the following statement in his opening during the meeting: “Let us be clear.
Today’s hearing is not about whether fetal tissue research is a good or bad thing, and it is definitely not about whether a woman should have the right to choose an abortion, which is the law of the land. Rather, we are here today to gather information about whether fetal tissue brokers and others involved in this industry are complying with Federal Law. Whether we are pro-life, pro-choice, Republican, Democrat, or Independent, I think and hope we can all agree that present federal law which allows for this research should be both respected and enforced” (United States, 2000).
Chairman Bliley brings up, what I believe, is the most valid point concerning not only the issues with abortion and fetal tissue research in Texas, but all over the US. Whether you agree or disagree with abortion or fetal tissue research, both are the law of this Country. Women have the right to choose what they do with their own bodies and if they choose abortion then they have the right to donate the fetal tissue for the purposes of research.
Also, those involved in fetal tissue research must comply with the laws governing it, but with all laws, people will break them and must suffer the consequences for those actions. These recent laws and scandals put biomedical research at risk and hinder the developments that could be taking place. They also hinder the law: a woman has a right to an abortion. Many scientists are worried about the future of research due to so many controversies around the issue, but one fact remains: fetal tissue is successful and has led to many developments.
The Texas Bill 3994 cites safety being its main devotion. It hopes to prevent tragedies and provide women with the medical assistance they deserve. Through research, these claims just do not add up. The law is idealistic and ultimately caused closings and left many women who wished to have abortions stranded with no options. Abortion is legal in this Country and should therefore not be continuously fought against. The moral issue of abortion is just that, a moral and personal issue that should be up to each and every person to decide, not governments.
Being that Texas has implemented several abortion laws in the past, it is clear that the state government has their own moral issues and is serving a different political agenda, one that hurts a woman’s right to choose her fate and the fate of a fetus within her body. Fetal tissue research shows many advances in medicine and has led to many discoveries, as pointed out in the previous articles. Those who wish to ban fetal research seem to just have an issue with abortion itself because why would they wish to dispose of fetal tissue instead of use it for something beneficial to those suffering from diseases?
This essay has shown the implications and effects that the Bill has had on women since being implemented into law. The evidence has been shown and now it is up to the Supreme Court to determine whether or not the law violates the 14th amendment and puts an undue burden on those women seeking an abortion in Texas. The larger issue here is that many other states are also following suit with Texas, which proves that this is something the Federal government may need to spend more time on.
Federal government must also hold those responsible who break the laws concerning the obtainment of fetal tissue. Those people must suffer the consequences for breaking the law and jeopardizing the benefits that fetal tissue research can provide to science. These articles have served the purpose to shed light on the real effects that laws have on people and how breaking them can lead to a suffering of an entire people. One can only hope that the Supreme Court will decide what is actually best for Texas and the United States as a whole.