AUSTIN, Texas - Whole Woman’s Health and Whole Woman’s Health Alliance join a broad coalition of Texas abortion providers, doctors, clergy, abortion funds, and practical support networks in suing to block Texas’ Senate Bill 8
The law is not just the most restrictive abortion ban in the country – banning abortions after approximately six weeks of pregnancy before many people even know they are pregnant — but also pits communities, neighbors, and even friends and family members against each other.
The law allows any person or organization to sue anyone for helping a Texan obtain abortion care, including physicians, clinic staff, abortion funds, and even family members who drive their loved ones to an appointment. It incentivizes these lawsuits through significant monetary rewards — $10,000 to anyone who successfully sues for "aiding and abetting" a person in getting abortion care and the law’s extremely limited exceptions do not even include provisions for victims of rape or incest.
President and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health and Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, Amy Hagstrom Miller says, "At the heart of this battle is a stark choice between a nightmarish future in which Texans are encouraged to turn on each other by politicians who seek total control over our most personal decisions, or a much brighter one in which people facing complicated decisions about their pregnancies can get the advice, support, and care they need."
"We know how badly this law will devastate the lives of people and communities across Texas because they are the people and communities we serve," Hagstrom Miller said. "This law will prevent people from getting critical care when they need it. It will tear apart families, friendships, and communities as politicians turn them against each other for monetary reward. It’s an affront to the values we share with the communities we serve, and with a majority of Texans statewide."
Recent polling shows that majorities of Texans from across the political spectrum reject all of the law’s major provisions, with 51 percent opposing the six-week abortion ban and 63 percent opposing the provision allowing out-of-state individuals and groups to sue Texans for helping people get abortion care.
"When our fellow Texans face the decision to continue or end a pregnancy, we seek to help them with sound advice, unconditional support, and compassionate care," said Director of Clinical Services of WWH, Marva Sadler. "We believe this is what most Texans would want for their families, friends, and neighbors, not a world in which our most deeply personal decisions are subject to meddling and legal action by people deputized to enforce the will of the extremist politicians who have hijacked our state legislature."
Research shows that nations where abortion is restricted have more than three times the unintended pregnancy rate as those where abortion is legal. When abortion is heavily restricted, women from poor, rural, and marginalized communities suffer most, as they are not able to afford to travel to places where abortion is legal or pay medical and/or logistical costs.
"The structural inequities that have diminished the options and outcomes available to people of color, immigrants, the economically disadvantaged, and other marginalized communities will be further hardened by SB 8," Sadler said. "This will mean even more disastrous and dire consequences for people already suffering under the harsh conditions created and exacerbated by the politicians responsible for this despicable law."
Whole Woman’s Health and Whole Woman’s Health Alliance also offered a warning to citizens of other states:
"People across the US had better take notice because if this law is allowed to stand in Texas, it won’t be long before it shows up in their own backyards," said Hagstrom Miller. "This law is yet another outrageous gambit in a deliberate, long-term, national strategy for systematically dismantling people’s options and ability to get safe and legal abortion care. We’re fighting to help stop it here before it shows up anywhere else."
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