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Texas' growth may be slowed by new abortion law, poll reports

Women gathered yesterday at the Texas Capitol to protest Senate Bill 8. (Progress Texas)

After a decade of steady growth, could Texas' new abortion law hinder Austin's Boomtown status?


The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to keep the law in place Wednesday, quashing any hopes from Austinites that the bill would be overturned. According to a poll by PerryUndem, 66% of college-educated workers said they would not take a job in a state that prohibits abortions after six weeks and around half of the respondents said they would move out of a state with such restrictions, coinciding with Senate Bill 8 that went into effect Wednesday in Texas.

Politicians and policymakers all over the U.S. and Texas opposed the bill, which is the most strict on abortion laws in the country, on social media, including President Joe Biden.

The vast majority of abortions occur after six weeks, as many women do not know they are pregnant before that mark. Local abortion providers like Planned Parenthood and Whole Women's Health are complying with the new law, making around 90% of the procedures are no longer permitted.

Austin has built a reputation as a hub for education in the South with one of the best public colleges in the nation, skyrocketing growth in the tech sphere and a growing urban population that is attracting talent from the Bay Area, New York City and Chicago. But the poll reported that 80% of respondents said they do not want Roe v. Wade to be overturned—the same amount said they felt that abortion rights were a core part of women's rights.

About 73% of working women and 53% of working men said they wouldn't even apply for a job in a state with a comparable ban. The new bill will not prevent abortions—around 51% of people in Austin have a bachelor's degree or higher and earn an average of $72,000 annually, which is more than enough to take a trip to a neighboring state for a procedure.

Around 65% of women work in Austin, the majority clustering from ages 22-44, according to the Census. Around 73% of the incoming workforce from Gen Z said they would not take a job in a state where their reproductive health was at risk. Likewise, 69% of millennials said the same.

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