Since September 1st, women and people who can get pregnant in Texas have effectively been barred from accessing needed abortions by Texas' anti-abortion SB 8. The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked twice to block this dangerous, unjust, and blatantly unconstitutional law. With today's decision-allowing Texas providers to sue a narrow category of state actors over the law, and dismissing the U.S. Department of Justice's lawsuit over the legislation-the highest Court in the land has done the bare minimum to protect an established legal and human right while callously ignoring decades of legal precedent. They've also left in place the provision allowing private citizens the power to block access to abortion, a provision they could and should block as a subversion of constitutionally protected rights.
100 days since this law was first passed people in Texas still cannot access abortion, creating a reproductive healthcare crisis that is falling most heavily on people already struggling to access healthcare, including People of Color, young people, rural communities, and people living on low incomes. Leaving people in one of the country's largest and most populous states with little access to abortion is already an undermining of the precedent set in Roe v Wade in 1973. After nearly 49 years of legal affirmation of this right, the most significant change to the legal landscape around abortion access is the make-up of the Court, which now includes a 6-3 hyper-politicized, anti-abortion majority. By allowing this terrible bill to stand, the U.S. Supreme Court is laying bare its agenda to continue to restrict access to abortion until it is all but inaccessible and/or criminalized, in Texas and around the country.
We know what happens in Texas or Mississippi-whose 15-week abortion ban is at the heart of the Dobbs v JWHO case that was just heard at the Court-will not stay in those states. North Carolina is already considered a hostile state for abortion access, with anti-abortion lawmakers ready to further restrict access as soon as they are able.
We don't know what the next few months will bring, but we do know that people will continue to seek access to abortion just as they have always done. The majority of North Carolinians who support abortion access will continue to support them, whether that is by donating money and skills to abortion funds and groups trying to ensure people can safely get to the care they need, escorting patients into their appointments at clinics, or electing pro-choice politicians to repeal anti-abortion laws and pass protections for reproductive freedom. You can also take the following actions now to protect abortion access in North Carolina, Texas, and across the country:
Call your North Carolina House Representative and Senator and tell them to uphold Governor Cooper's veto of the inflammatory anti-abortion HB453. Anti-abortion legislators in the NC General Assembly are still trying to pass this bill, and may try again early in 2022, instead of fixing the many actual pressing issues North Carolinians face.
Call your U.S Senators and tell them to pass the Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA). This federal law would bar states from passing medically unnecessary bans on abortion and ensure more equitable access to abortion in every state.
Speak out in support of abortion access on social media TODAY, tomorrow, and every day and stand with Texas, Mississippi, and all who are seeking and providing care! Share your pro-choice messages and use the hashtags #BansOffOurBodies, #AbortionIsHealthCare and #AbortionIsEssential to help spread the word about Texas’ anti-abortion law and the erosion of reproductive rights.
We'll never stop fighting for equitable access to abortion, and to all reproductive healthcare. Thank you for taking action!
*We are in touch with our partners in Texas to support them during this healthcare crisis. Please check these sites for ways you can directly support people in Texas seeking care.