The National Health Law Program expresses its outrage that Texas’s radical and dangerous new law, SB 8, was allowed to go into effect today. As recently as last year, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the constitutional right to abortion. Despite this, the Court failed to block Texas’s unconstitutional law, banning abortions at six weeks, which is pre-viability and before most people know that they are pregnant.
The Supreme Court’s inaction in blocking this law marks the first time such a ban has been allowed to go into effect since the Court decided Roe v. Wade. Anti-abortion lawmakers have passed and attempted to implement similar bans before, but SB 8 is different. SB 8 enables anyone, including a stranger, to bring a private civil suit against abortion providers and anyone who helps people access abortions.
Abortion is health care and a constitutionally protected right. While abortion is still legal in all 50 states, implementing this inhumane law will acutely impair access, especially for Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, and other underserved communities who live on low incomes in Texas.
The law and the Court’s failure to intervene underscore the urgent need to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, end the Hyde Amendment, and enact other critical federal policies to make abortion access real for everyone. Meaningful and sustained investments in on-the-ground work, from state and local policy advocacy to grassroots organizing and mutual aid, including abortion funds, is also crucial.
We extend our unequivocal support to Texas abortion patients, their families, and communities and stand in solidarity with abortion providers and reproductive, health, and justice advocates. We acknowledge the ongoing commitment of everyone working to defeat this law and thank abortion funds operating in Texas that are helping people get the care they need. We will continue to fight so that anyone can access abortion, regardless of their income or zip code. Finally, we specifically affirm that those who bear the brunt of systems of oppression in our country must have access to this health service.
NHeLP will continue to advocate for the right to abortion, as we do for any other health service, and invite everyone to use our resources like our Abortion is Health Care webpage.