On November 1st, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for two cases challenging Texas’ egregious abortion ban, SB 8. For 61 days and counting since the ban took effect, Texans have been unable to get care they need in their home state.
As attacks on abortion access mount, we’ll continue supporting abortion funds. Show your support for Texas abortion funds today!
SB 8 bans most abortions in Texas and makes abortion funds, providers, and anyone who helps someone access an abortion after six weeks in the state vulnerable to a civil lawsuit with minimum damages of $10,000. Texas providers stopped doing abortion after six weeks on September 1 because of the very real threat of a drawn-out lawsuit or ruinous judgment. This is what was debated in yesterday’s proceedings as a “chilling effect.” Previously protected constitutional rights were cut overnight, and the number of abortions has dropped by nearly half, according to a University of Texas study.
What are the challenges to SB 8 before SCOTUS?
The Supreme Court is not reviewing whether SB 8 is constitutional. Abortion funds and providers will be in Texas state court next week to argue that SB 8 is unconstitutional under both the Texas and US Constitutions. As we await a decision on the two federal cases outlined below, we are reminded that we must not rely on the courts alone to guarantee rights and safety.
- Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson. Abortion funds, providers, and advocates are challenging how SB 8 is enforced. They argue that it incentivizes harassment, surveillance, and financial threats against anyone who helps someone seek an abortion after six weeks in the state.
- United States v. Texas. You may remember that SB 8 was temporarily halted in October, a decision that was almost immediately reversed by a higher court. In this challenge the Biden Administration argues that states don’t have the authority to implement unconstitutional laws without judicial review (including abortion bans that undermine the constitutional protections in Roe v. Wade). The Supreme Court is only weighing whether the Administration can bring this lawsuit.
When institutions fail, abortion funds step up. This moment calls for us to fight for the values we believe in, with people who have our backs.
What you can do today:
The bottom line is that no one should be forced to travel hundreds of miles to get the abortion they want or need. Access to abortion shouldn’t depend on where you live, how much money you make, or the whims of the courts.
Abortion funds have been navigating the difficult terrain of abortion restrictions and bans for decades, because for too many people the right to have an abortion under Roe v. Wade was never enough.
Whatever the outcome of the cases challenging SB 8, people will continue to want and need abortions, and Texas abortion funds will continue to assist callers as they navigate barriers. They are the experts. Texas funds, and funds across the network, are digging even deeper as they receive an unprecedented number of requests for assistance. As a member of a Texas abortion fund, we need your support.
Adrienne Ortega, Texan born and raised
NNAF Organizing Manager
Texas Abortion Clinic Worker
Board Member and Clinic Defense Coordinator, Texas Equal Access Fund