Analysis: Texas Heartbeat Law Prevents Thousands Of Abortions

Although pro-abortion activists have attempted to portray the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade as a de facto repeal of abortion rights, national statistics reveal that there has only been a roughly 3% decline in pregnancy terminations in the year since that ruling.

In some states that adopted more restrictive laws about abortion, however, there has been a marked increase in the number of births. According to researchers in Texas, that state welcomed nearly 10,000 babies between April and December of last year that would have otherwise been killed in the womb.

Prior to the Supreme Court’s action in the Dobbs v. Jackson case last year, Texas law permitted abortions up to 22 weeks into a pregnancy. Since then, the state enacted the “Heartbeat Act,” which bans the procedure after a fetal heartbeat is detected — as early as five weeks after conception.

According to an estimate compiled by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, this fundamental change in policy has resulted in 9,799 more live births than the state would have seen under its previous law. The researchers established a model by which they compared prior live birth statistics to the most recent data.

Michael New of the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute conducted his own research that mirrored these findings.

“In my Lozier Institute study of November 2022, I analyzed Texas birth data from January 2019 to July 2022 and found that the Texas Heartbeat Act resulted in approximately 1,000 more births every month,” he wrote. “In a later study, which I presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, I analyzed Texas birth data until November 2022 and found, again, that the Texas Heartbeat Act saved over 1,000 lives every month.”

Although a number of Republican-led states had “trigger laws” in place that were set to go into effect in the event that federal abortion rights were overturned by the high court, the Texas law was enacted in 2021 after the Supreme Court struck down an appeal to block it.

While pro-life Americans applauded the move, many on the left denounced it as an attack on women’s rights.

Some critics, including “Star Wars” actor George Takei, conflated vaccine hesitancy with ending a human life in the womb.

“Let me get this straight,” he wrote. “We can’t tell you that you need to wear a mask during a deadly pandemic because ‘your body, your right’ but you’re allowed to police whether a woman is pregnant and seeking an abortion?”