AUSTIN (KXAN) — The number of Texans seeking an abortion out of state almost tripled in 2022, after a state law went into effect that bans the procedure in almost all cases.
New data from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission shows at least 4,718 Texas residents received an abortion in a different state last year, up from 1,712 in 2021.
Still, the total number of abortions for Texas residents more than halved in the same timeframe, state data shows. Fewer than 22,000 abortions were performed last year, down from more than 52,000 in 2021.
In the first four months of this year, just 17 abortions have been reported in Texas, all due to medical emergency and to preserve the health of the mother.
Texas receives reports from other states through the State and Territorial Exchange of Vital Events, a public health reporting system maintained by the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems.
Reporting abortion data to the system is voluntary, and not all states participate, according to a HHSC spokesperson. That means the total number may be higher than the 4,718 reported.
The commission does not maintain data on people who travel internationally to receive an abortion.
Earlier this year, data from the state of Kansas showed 2,978 abortions were performed in that state on Texas residents last year. That constituted a 1,178% increase from 2021 when just 233 abortions were performed on Texas residents.
The Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in a 6-3 decision on June 24, 2022, eliminating the nearly 50-year-old constitutional right to abortion. The ruling gave states the authority to limit or ban the procedure.
A trigger law in Texas went into effect in August 2022, banning most abortions in the state. Abortion is also banned in neighboring Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, meaning Texas women who want the procedure must travel to states like Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico.