For Immediate Release: August 31, 2021
Washington, DC — Today, anti-choice lawmakers in the Texas State Legislature passed an extreme bill (SB 4) that seeks to further restrict access to medication abortion care, a safe and effective option for ending an early pregnancy. The bill will now move to Governor Abbott for his signature or veto.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Acting President Adrienne Kimmell released the following statement:
“It’s clear that Texas’ anti-choice, anti-freedom politicians are leaving no stone unturned in their crusade to end abortion access. Though medication abortion care is safe, effective, and has been approved by the FDA for more than 20 years, these extremists continue to peddle disinformation about it to push access to care out of reach—particularly for those already marginalized by our healthcare system. This cruel attack on essential care shows yet again that anti-choice politicians are motivated by their own quest for control instead of the health and well-being of their constituents.”
Among other provisions, SB 4 would prohibit medication abortion from being sent by courier, delivery, or mail service, pushing access to care out of reach for many, especially those in rural areas. The bill would also undermine access to care by placing extreme restrictions on the timeframe in which a provider is able to provide medication abortion care to their patient, reducing access to a point in pregnancy before many people even know they are pregnant.
This bill stands in direct contrast with recent actions taken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA temporarily suspended the in-person dispensing requirement for medication abortion care during the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently reviewing restrictions on medication abortion care in light of overwhelming evidence about its safety. SB 4 flies in the face of scientific evidence and medical consensus, which indicate that pregnant people can safely and effectively have medication abortion prescribed by their healthcare provider (including via telehealth) and receive their medications in the way that makes the most sense for them, in consultation with their provider—whether that is at a health center, their local pharmacy, or delivered to their home.
Although proven to be safe and effective, politically motivated attacks on medication abortion care have ramped up on the state level during this legislative session. These efforts to undermine access to care comes just months before the Supreme Court is set to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case involving Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that directly challenges Roe v. Wade, and less than 24 hours before Texas’ horrifying ban on abortion before many people know they’re pregnant (SB 8)—including a bounty-hunting provision that allows anyone to sue someone supporting a person seeking abortion care after approximately six weeks of pregnancy, for a reward of $10,000 or more—goes into effect.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, paid family leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination—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 8 in 10 Americans who support safe, legal abortion.