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The Lilith Fund Statement on HB 3994 and SB 575

May 26, 2015

This session, lawmakers have shown no hesitation to further destroy access to Texans who need abortions. Proposed bills HB 3994 and SB 575 are directly in line with last session’s successful attempts to further restrict access to safe, legal, and timely abortion care services. HB 3994, an omnibus bill that would severely dismantle the judicial bypass process, will make it virtually impossible for young people under the age of 18 to utilize this trusted safety net. This bill will also enforce a highly discriminative ID requirement for all Texans seeking abortion. The Lilith Fund hears from Texans of an array of ages, including minors who are survivors of incest, abuse, and neglect from their parents or caretakers. We are extremely concerned that provisions under HB 3994, including delays and automatic denials, will create further harm for vulnerable young people at a time when they seek protection, support, and compassion. As an abortion fund who hears from over 3,000 Texans a year, we recognize this bill as yet another attempt to create barriers that our callers will have to overcome to access a safe abortion. We are proud to work alongside our partners at Jane’s Due Process (JDP), a non-profit organization that works tirelessly to help neglected and abused minors navigate the judicial bypass process. We are united in solidarity with JDP as they spearhead the fight against this malicious legislative attack, which blatantly singles out some of our state’s most vulnerable Texans.

SB 575 bans health insurance coverage for abortion. While defending this policy, some opponents say that abortion funds will be able to “pick up the slack” if the insurance coverage ban is passed, but we know that this will not be the case. While we do our best to help every client who calls us, the reality is that we can only offer funding to a fraction of the people who reach out for help. Last year, we were able to provide assistance to one third of our callers. The Lilith Fund sees firsthand the devastating impacts
of denying low-income Texans coverage for abortion under the Hyde Amendment. Expanding such restrictions on abortion coverage will further jeopardize even more Texans’ health, safety, and well-being.

We are #HereForJaneTX and all Texans who need abortion.