Texas — Yesterday, anti-choice Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law HB 1280, a measure that would automatically ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned and criminalize doctors who provide abortion care. This move comes after the U.S. Supreme Court recently announced that it will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case centered around Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that directly challenges Roe.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Acting President Adrienne Kimmell released the following statement in response:
“Anti-choice politicians across the country have launched an all-out assault on reproductive freedom. They have used every tool in their playbook to pass extreme anti-choice bills, and now they’re preparing for an end to the legal right to abortion itself. Gov. Abbott, and the anti-choice movement behind him show a complete disregard for Texans and their freedom to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. When abortion care is criminalized, lives are on the line and Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color; LGBTQ people; and those with low incomes will be impacted the most by these heartless overreaches.”
“Trigger bans” like these are a direct effort to criminalize abortion in the absence of Roe. HB 1280 is an extreme ban that threatens doctors with jail time, a civil penalty of no less than $100,000, and the loss of their license if the Supreme Court or a federal constitutional amendment gave states the authority to prohibit abortion.
Thanks to the confirmations of Trump’s justices—Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch—cementing an anti-choice supermajority on the Court, the anti-choice movement believes the end of Roe is on the horizon and is escalating its attacks on reproductive freedom. While New Mexico expanded access to abortion care this legislative session by repealing its pre-Roe abortion ban, Texas’ other bordering states tell a different story. In addition to Texas’ new ban, 11 other states—Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah—have similar “trigger” bans that would ban all or nearly all abortion care. If Roe fell tomorrow, 24 states would likely take action to prohibit abortion outright.
So far in 2021, anti-choice lawmakers have already introduced, advanced, or passed more than 315 bills attacking abortion access. While abortion remains legal in all 50 states, for now, anti-choice extremists are doing everything in their power to change that despite the fact that their push to ban abortion is unpopular in every single state in the country. Efforts to overturn Roe and criminalize abortion are wildly out of touch with the values of the vast majority of people (77%) who believe that abortion should be legal.
Gov. Abbott recently signed into law another extreme bill (SB 8) which bans abortion as early as six weeks—before many people even know they’re pregnant. It would also grant almost any person, even a stranger, the power to sue someone for “aiding and abetting” a pregnant person seeking abortion care.
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, Latinx, and other communities of color; LGBTQ people; those with low-incomes; 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.