HOUSTON — It was Sept. 1, 2021, when Texas Senate Bill 8, banning abortions around six weeks of pregnancy, became law.
“Beginning Aug. 31, our phone call volume went through the roof," Zach Gingrich-Gaylord, with Trust Women Clinics, said.
Gingrich-Gaylord said they have two abortion clinics, one in Kansas and one in Oklahoma. They noticed the influx immediately.
“We’re only seeing a small part of the volume that is actually being outsourced by SB8," Gingrich-Gaylord said.
Data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows abortions for Texas patients nearly quadrupled last year - from 341 in 2020 to 1,327 in 2021.
In Louisiana, abortions for Texas patients nearly doubled, from 871 in 2020 to 1,481 in 2021, most of them happening in the months after the Texas law went into effect, with each month increasing 300 to 400 percent.
And, up in Colorado, abortions for Texas women also jumped significantly -- from 233 in 2020 to 400 in 2021 -- most also happening at the end of the year.
“I don’t think that data undermines the Texas Heartbeat Act or the fact that it has saved so many lives in Texas," Rebecca Parma, with Texas Right to Life, said.
Instrumental in getting SB8 passed, Texas Right to Life said it's not surprising to hear women are heading out of state, but said this means their work is not finished.
“We want to be abortion-free and fully pro-life and the fact that women are going to other states and getting an abortion means that we still have work to do in Texas to make our state fully pro-life," Parma said.
As for the clinics in other states, they, too, are fighting their own battles, like Trust Women in Oklahoma. They can no longer offer abortions after the state enacted a ban similar to the Texas law.
“It’s a very difficult situation, because like I said, not everybody can travel," Gingrich-Gaylord said.