(Reuters/Stephen Lam)

Here's the 500-mile drive Texas women have to take to get an abortion

The Fifth Circuit says HB 2's restrictions pose "no undue burden." One reporter has video evidence to the contrary


Jenny Kutner
October 6, 2014 5:57PM (UTC)

Last week, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that Texas' restrictive antiabortion law, HB 2, poses no undue burden to women seeking abortions in the state. The law, which was allowed to take immediate effect on Thursday night, has left open no more than eight clinics across the state, and will force thousands and thousands of women to travel hundreds of miles for basic healthcare.

To illustrate the harsh reality of HB 2's enforcement -- and to make the case that the court of appeals seems to have shown little regard for what an "undue burden" really looks like -- RH Reality Check's Andrea Grimes has come up with a highly plausible, fictional scenario that many Texas women will face in the months to come. She tells the story of Maria, a character drawn from "evidence gathered from talking to Texas travel professionals, parents, and child-care workers" and whose circumstances when facing a hypothetical abortion at nine weeks come "from calculations based on data from PayCheckCity, the U.S. Census Bureau, and Google Maps."

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Grimes made the 500-mile roundtrip journey that Texans like Maria will have to make in order to access abortion care, and it's worth watching -- that is, if you have three-and-a-half hours (each way) to spare. These videos, "Undue Burden Part 1" and "Undue Burden Part 2," are not time-lapsed, because that would deprive viewers of the painstaking clarity they should have of the situation in Texas. It's a dire one. 

Watch "Undue Burden Parts 1 & 2" below:


Jenny Kutner

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