Abortion in Texas in 2021 – Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to commonly asked questions following the passage of a new abortion law in Texas earlier this year.
AT WHATPOINT IN PREGNANCY ARE ABORTIONS NO LONGER PERMITTED IN TEXAS?
As of September 1, 2021, a new Texas abortion law (SB 8) restricts abortions after fetal heartbeat can be detected. A fetal heartbeat may be detected by vaginal ultrasound between 5 ½ to 6 ½ weeks from the first day of the last menstrual cycle. *
WHAT IF I SEE A FETAL HEARTBEAT?
In Texas, once a heartbeat has been detected, abortion is prohibited, regardless of gestational age.
WHAT IF I DON’T SEE A FETAL HEARTBEAT?
There are many reasons why a woman can have a positive pregnancy test and a heartbeat cannot be detected on a sonogram.
- It may be too early in pregnancy for a heartbeat to be detected.
- It may not be a viable pregnancy. About 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage.**
- It may be an ectopic pregnancy, which can be life–threatening when left untreated.
- Our recommendation is to obtain an additional sonogram within a week to confirm the pregnancy is in the uterus.
WHAT IF I GO TO THE ABORTION CLINIC?
Effective September 1, 2021, once a heartbeat is detected by sonogram, an abortion can’t be performed in Texas.***
The abortion provider is required to perform a sonogram to determine if a heartbeat is present and must record the findings. If further appointments are required, another sonogram must be performed to confirm the heartbeat status.
If a fetal heartbeat is found and the abortion provider still performs the abortion, they are in violation of the law.
WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO HELP ME GET AN ABORTION?
Texas law now says that any person(s) who knowingly aids and abets in an abortion after a heartbeat is detected can be held liable in a civil suit. This includes the abortion doctor, nurse, or other individuals employed by the abortion clinic. This can also include friends, boyfriend, or family member(s) who provide transportation to the abortion or pay for the procedure.
CAN I OBTAIN “ABORTION PILLS” FROM AN ALTERNATIVE SOURCE?
It is prohibited by Texas law to obtain abortion-inducing medications from any source other than a medical provider. Before seeking a chemical abortion, Texas law requires you to have a sonogram 24 hours before starting the medication. This must be done in person by the physician providing the chemical abortion.
WHAT IF I TAKE THE PILL AND CHANGE MY MIND?
The abortion pill is a 2-part process. If someone begins the chemical abortion process and has only taken the first pill, there is still a chance to change your mind and allow your pregnancy to progress. Call 1-877-558-0333 ASAP to connect with a medical professional who can help with the reversal process. The sooner the reversal process begins, the greater the likelihood of preserving the pregnancy.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF TRAVELING TO OBTAIN AN ABORTION?
There are potential risks when choosing an abortion provider outside your local area. It is important that the medical provider be easily accessible in the event of complications such as hemorrhaging, infection, etc. It is also very beneficial to go back to the same medical provider for follow-up appointment(s) to ensure the abortion is complete and monitor for possible complications. ****
WHAT IF I ALREADY HAD AN ABORTION?
First, know that you are not alone. There are many feelings associated with abortion, that can make it hard to talk about. At FWPC we are here to help you through a variety of platforms including individual consultation, referrals for professional counseling, support groups, abortion recovery retreats and more. We care about YOU and we are here to help!
CALL OR TEXT us at (817) 924-9110 to request a consultation on your options and schedule a sonogram to assess your pregnancy.
Medically reviewed September 2021