While the Texas legislature debates some of the strictest abortion regulation in the country, low-income women in the state are already turning to "flea market" abortions, available just north of the Mexican border. The bill would close almost all of the abortion clinics in the state, severely limiting access for women. But local community health instructor Paula Saldana told Bloomberg News' Esmé E. Deprez, "Only people with money go to the clinics." Should the bill pass (and it very likely will), "flea market" abortions, which involve taking a stomach ulcer drug to induce a miscarriage, could become way more prevalent.
Texas women in the lower Rio Grande Valley have been illegally purchasing Cytotec, a stomach ulcer drug that can also induce a miscarriage, at an open-air bazaar in McAllen, Texas. Cost is the main motivator for using the drug. Women can buy Cytotec for about $40, while a pharmaceutical abortion at the nearest clinic costs $550. Texas's 24-hour waiting period for an abortion prices many women out of traveling to a clinic. The state's decreased funding for birth control (as of 2011) has also contributed to the prevalence of the drug.