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You are here News Health Texas' anti-abortion heartbeat law aimed to save babies, but more infants died.

Texas' anti-abortion heartbeat law aimed to save babies, but more infants died.

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Texas abortion law results on more infant deathsTexas lawmakers touted their heartbeat law as an effort to save lives, but the state's near-total ban on abortion appears to have triggered an increase in infant deaths, according to a new study published Monday.

The findings in JAMA Pediatrics show that infant deaths rose after Texas’ Senate Bill 8, which banned all abortion after about six weeks from conception. S.B. 8 became Texas law in September 2021 and U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion just over nine months later, on June 24, 2022. The high court ruling in the Dobbs case prompted more than a dozen states to issue near-total bans on abortion. Observers speculate that evidence will also show increases in infant deaths in those states, akin to what Texas has seen, the study said.

“It just points to some of the devastating consequences of abortion bans that maybe people weren't thinking about when they passed these laws,” Alison Gemmill, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health who authored the study, told USA TODAY. She called the deaths following the Texas heartbeat law its “spillover effects on moms and babies.”

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