AUSTIN, Texas — Texas began enforcing a new, restrictive law on abortion in September.
In that first month, abortions in the state fell by 60 percent, according to new figures that for the first time reveal a full accounting of the immediate impact.
The figures were released this month by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
Before the law took effect, there were more than 5,400 abortions statewide in August.
The law bans abortion once cardiac activity is detected, usually around six weeks of pregnancy.
Under the law, any private citizen is entitled to collect $10,000 or more if they sue someone who performed or helped a woman obtain an abortion after the limit — which opponents have condemned as a bounty.
So far, no anti-abortion supporters have filed any suits.
The law does not allow exceptions for cases of rape or incest.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the law does not force victims to give birth, however, abortion providers have called the law unconstitutional, considering many women won’t know they’re pregnant within six weeks of conception.
The Texas law conflicts with landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings that prevent a state from banning abortion early in pregnancy but was written in a way that has essentially outmaneuvered those precedents.
The Justice Department has said it will not tolerate violence against anyone who is trying to obtain an abortion.