For Immediate Release: Monday, September 20, 2021
Washington, DC — On Friday, just weeks after the Supreme Court refused to block Texas’ vigilante abortion ban (SB 8)—the most extreme ban on abortion in the country—anti-choice Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed into law SB 4, a law that further restricts access to medication abortion care, a safe, effective, and FDA-approved option for ending an early pregnancy.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Acting President Adrienne Kimmell released the following statement in response:
“Anti-choice politicians in Texas are launching their attacks on abortion access from every angle imaginable. This law blatantly tramples on Texans’ fundamental freedoms and pushes access to care further out of reach.
These efforts to undermine access to care come just a few weeks after Texas’ SB 8—the harshest and most extreme ban on abortion in the country—went into effect in the middle of the night. Anti-choice politicians have made their intentions abundantly clear, and they will stop at nothing to strip away reproductive freedom.”
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.
Texas already has some of the most severe restrictions on abortion in the United States, including SB 8, a draconian ban on abortion that took effect on September 1. This law bans abortion before many people even know they’re pregnant and grants almost any person the power to sue someone for “aiding and abetting” a pregnant person seeking abortion care and be awarded $10,000 or more for their vigilantism. Earlier this year, Gov. Abbott signed HB 1280, a measure that would automatically ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned and criminalize doctors who provide abortion care. 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 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.