142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Assessing the acute impact of new abortion restrictions in Texas: A qualitative policy evaluation

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM

Liza Fuentes, MPH , Ibis Reproductive Health, Oakland, CA
Sarah Baum, MPH , Ibis Reproductive Health, Oakland, CA
Joseph E Potter, PhD , University of Texas at Austin, Population Resource Center, Austin, TX
Kari White, PhD , Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Kristine Hopkins, PhD , Department of Sociology, University of Texas Population Research Center, Austin, TX
Liza Fuentes, MPH , Ibis Reproductive Health, Oakland, CA
In 2013, the Texas Legislature enacted one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the US.  The parts of this legislation that went into effect on November 1, 2013 restricted use of medical abortion, banned abortions after 22 weeks gestation, and required physicians performing abortion to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.  Twelve of 34 abortion providers immiediately closed because they did not have admitting privileges. To assess the acute effects of these restrictions on provision of and access to abortion care, we conducted qualitative, semi-structured interviews with 14 staff of closed clinics and 12 women who had or sought appointments after the clinic closures. Clinic staff described emotional difficulties notifying women of their cancelled appointments.  Helping women make arrangements to obtain care elsewhere was a challenge because travel to another clinic was an impediment for women, especially for undocumented immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley who could not pass border checkpoints further north. Staff also reported that many women thought abortion was now illegal. Women expressed disappointment and fear after learning the clinic was closed and were frustrated by the additional cost and travel required to go to another provider. Those who obtained an appointment elsewhere reported driving between 4 and 14 hours further, spending between $40 and $800 more, and being seen days or weeks later than their original appointment. Two women reported being unable to overcome these barriers and could not obtain the abortion they wanted. The 2013 Texas abortion restrictions resulted in immediate, costly obstacles to abortion care.

Learning Areas:

Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Discuss policy evaluation methods for rapid assessment of state-level abortion policy Describe women’s experiences seeking abortion services immediately after the enforcement of abortion restrictions Evaluate the intended and unintended consequences of restrictive abortion laws

Keyword(s): Abortion, Public Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed the data collection instruments, conducted a portion of the interviews, and analyzed the data for this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3062.0: Abortion at the state level