For Immediate Release: Saturday, October 9, 2021
Washington, DC — Late last night, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed Texas’ abortion ban, SB 8, to go back into effect, reversing a lower court decision issued on Wednesday, October 6, in the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice. Reproductive freedom has again been ripped away under cover of darkness. The decision once again green-lights the most extreme ban on abortion in the country, a law that incentivizes people to spy on their neighbors and sue someone they suspect of “aiding and abetting” a pregnant person seeking abortion care after about 6 weeks of pregnancy.
NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Acting President Adrienne Kimmell released the following statement:
“By once again allowing this horrific ban on abortion to stand, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is depriving millions of people of their ability to access abortion care in Texas. Roe v. Wade is again essentially meaningless in the second largest state in the nation. And the ripple effect of this law extends beyond Texas, as lawmakers hostile to our fundamental freedoms clamor to follow Texas’ lead, despite voters’ widespread opposition to these bans. It’s past time for the Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and President Biden to sign it into law. We all deserve the freedom to decide, free from political interference.”
Texas’ SB 8 is one of 106 restrictions on abortion access enacted at the state level in 2021, making it the worst year for abortion rights since Roe v. Wade was decided. The people hurt most by these restrictions are women; Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and People of color; those working to make ends meet; members of the LGBTQ+ community; immigrants; young people; those living in rural communities; and people with disabilities.
In addition to letting this vigilante-enforced ban on abortion stand, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a direct challenge to Roe—on December 1.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), which would safeguard the right to abortion and stop bans like SB 8 from going 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.