For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 13, 2021
SB 8 would ban abortion before many people know they’re pregnant and would allow any Texan to file a civil suit against anyone who “aids and abets” a pregnant person seeking abortion care
Texas — Today, anti-choice lawmakers in the Texas Legislature passed an extreme bill (SB 8) attacking reproductive freedom and access to abortion. Not only would SB 8 ban abortion as early as six weeks—before many people even know they’re pregnant—it would also grant almost any person the power to file a civil suit, suing a person for up to $10,000 for “aiding and abetting” a pregnant person seeking abortion care if they are believed to have violated state abortion laws. The bill will now move to Gov. Greg Abbott for his signature or veto.
Emboldened by the anti-choice supermajority on the U.S. Supreme Court solidified by Trump, anti-choice extremists in state legislatures across the country are pushing blatantly unconstitutional bans and restrictions on abortion in hopes of rolling back or overturning Roe v. Wade. So far in 2021, anti-choice lawmakers have already introduced, moved, or passed more than 290 bills attacking reproductive freedom. The anti-choice movement’s push to ban abortion is unpopular in every single state in the country. These bills are out of touch with the vast majority (77%) of Americans who do not want to see Roe overturned.
In response to the passage of SB 8, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement:
“Anyone who believed that the defeat of Donald Trump would check the worst impulses of an extreme anti-choice GOP need look no further than my home state of Texas to be proven wrong. In fact, quite the opposite. With their lack of power at the federal level, anti-choice lawmakers across the country are ramping up their attacks on reproductive freedom at the state level and cruelty appears to be the point.
Instead of focusing on delivering Texans much-needed relief following the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented power outages, Republicans in the Texas legislature have pushed extreme bills to ban abortion and incentivize people to sue healthcare providers and anyone else who assists a pregnant person seeking abortion care. There’s no low these legislators won’t sink to in their efforts to gut Roe v. Wade and push abortion care as far out of reach as possible—regardless of the damage inflicted on the lives, health, and well-being of Texas women and families.”
Texas already has some of the most severe restrictions on abortion in the United States, including forcing delays before a person can receive abortion care and subjecting patients to mandatory biased counseling. These restrictions disproportionately harm Black, Indigenous, and people of color; low-income; and rural communities, and are part of a coordinated effort by the Right to maintain white patriarchal control at all costs.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.