The figure comes from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, which is tracking the effects of House Bill 2, the 2013 law that severely restricted access to abortion facilities in the state. In their survey of women seeking abortions in 2012, 7 percent of participants reported trying to end their pregnancy themselves, well above the national average of under 2 percent. Nearly as many women used homespun treatments—including herbs, caffeine, and vitamin C—as those who turned to misoprostol, a drug that induces labor and can be bought at pharmacies in Mexico.
One of the most common reasons for trying abortion at home was the difficulty and cost of getting to a clinic, which isn’t surprising: Since April 2013, 23 of Texas’s 41 licensed abortion facilities have shut down. “I didn’t have any money to go to San Antonio or Corpus,” one woman told the researchers. “I didn’t even have any money to get across town. Like I was just dirt broke. I was poor.”