Texas Has Banned Abortions At About 6 Weeks. But The Time Frame For Pregnant Patients To Get One Is Less Than 2

Here’s how the timeline works.


Texas' new stringent abortion law has been described as a ban on abortions that kicks in as early as six weeks of pregnancy. But in reality, in the timeframe to get an abortion is much shorter.

Measuring the length of pregnancy

About two weeks from conception, and four weeks from their last period, someone could potentially test pregnant after missing the start of their new period. However, unless someone is intending to get pregnant or closely monitoring their period, it's unlikely they'll know they're pregnant within this neat time frame.

So what's the real window of time someone has to get an abortion under the law?

When can pregnancy be detected via ultrasound?

How developed is an embryo at six weeks' gestation?

"We put basically a Doppler detector where we see that heartbeat flickering and then we can turn on the speaker and then you can hear the blood moving, and so that’s the heartbeat that most people are able to hear and that’s usually more at the eight-week mark," she said.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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