Explore pregnant Texans’ decisions about where to obtain out-of-state abortion care
following the September 2021 implementation of Senate Bill 8 (SB8), which prohibited
abortions after embryonic cardiac activity.
To recruit Texans who obtained out-of-state abortion care after SB8, we provided flyers
to abortion facilities in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New
Mexico, and Oklahoma. Between October 2021 and February 2022, we conducted in-depth
telephone interviews with English-speaking participants ≥18 years of age who self-referred
to the study to explore their experiences seeking care. We used inductive and deductive
codes in our thematic analysis describing people's decisions about where to obtain
care and how they evaluated available options.
The 65 Texans who participated considered multiple factors when deciding where to
obtain out-of-state care. Participants prioritized facility proximity and appointment
availability. The majority called multiple facilities in surrounding states to find
the earliest appointment, and were often told the next appointment was 2–4 weeks away.
Some ultimately obtained care at a more distant location that had an earlier appointment,
and others waited because they could not travel farther. Participants considered the
economic hardships of caregiving responsibilities, lost wages, and travel expenses
when weighing the tradeoffs between appointment availability and facility proximity,
but few mentioned comparing abortion prices at different facilities. Informative facility
websites and compassionate scheduling staff solidified participants’ choice of care.
Pregnant Texans who could not get an in-state abortion after SB8 made difficult tradeoffs
when deciding where to obtain out-of-state care that made seeking services burdensome.