What Senate Bill 8 means for Texans
Is abortion still legal in Texas?
➡️ Yes! Abortion is still legal in Texas and all 50 states.
➡️ Visit needabortion.org for more information on accessing abortion care in Texas.
➡️ Senate Bill 8 (SB 8) is set to go in effect on September 1, 2021, however, there has been a federal lawsuit filed challenging the Texas 6-week ban that may affect the implementation date. Lilith Fund is a co-plaintiff in the suit.
What is Senate Bill 8, the 6-week abortion ban + harassing lawsuits law?
🚨 Senate Bill 8 bans abortions when cardiac activity is detectable in an embryo, which typically is around six weeks gestation. This is before many people even know they’re pregnant. For those with regular menstruation cycles, this bill would ban abortion only two weeks after a missed period.
🚨 The bill makes no exceptions for rape or incest. The only exception is for a medical emergency when the life of the pregnant person is at risk.
🚨 The bill creates a private cause of action that allows anyone, anywhere (including non-Texas residents who have no connection to the person having an abortion) to use frivolous lawsuits to harass anyone who assists Texans in accessing abortion care after 6 weeks.
If implemented, who could sue under SB 8?
➡️ Anyone, anywhere (including non-Texas residents who have no connection to the person having an abortion).
➡️ The person suing does not even need to be connected to the person having an abortion.
If implemented, who could be sued under SB 8?
🚨 Anyone who helps someone access abortion care in Texas after 6 weeks of gestation could be sued. That could include an abortion provider, an abortion fund, or a friend or family member of a person accessing abortion care who helps by giving them money or a ride to an appointment.
If SB 8 is implemented, could I be sued for getting an abortion after 6 weeks gestation?
➡️ No. The person who obtains an abortion after 6 weeks gestation cannot be sued under SB 8.
Isn’t SB 8 unconstitutional?
➡️ Yes. A six-week ban on abortion is clearly unconstitutional and is in direct conflict with the 45 years of Supreme Court jurisprudence since Roe v. Wade that has continuously and systematically upheld the right to abortion care pre-viability.
➡️ Even though many other states across the nation have tried, no 6-week ban on abortion is in effect because it is unconstitutional. However, SB 8 is unlike no other abortion ban passed in other states—primarily due to the enforcement mechanism. The private cause of action provision of SB 8 is engineered to help the state of Texas evade constitutional accountability.
➡️ We are hopeful for a positive outcome in the federal lawsuit challenging SB 8.
How would SB 8 impact abortion access?
🚨 Even before this law is implemented, millions of Texans will hear that abortion has been banned, and they’ll be more confused about their right to access abortion care than they were before. Many will think they simply cannot get an abortion, even though abortion is legal in Texas and all 50 states.
🚨 If the law is implemented, SB 8 could take away Texans’ right to make their own medical decisions before they even know they have a decision to make. A recent study by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project shows that SB 8 would prevent more than 8 in 10 people from obtaining abortion care.
🚨 Even if Texans find out they are pregnant before 6 weeks, other restrictions on abortion in Texas make it difficult for patients to see a provider as soon as they would like. Upon scheduling, patients must navigate many existing restrictions, including a 24-hour forced delay and mandatory sonogram. This 6-week ban will be especially harmful for Texans in rural areas who have to travel extensively to get care. It could also completely bar undocumented people in border towns from accessing abortion care after 6 weeks since they will not be able to travel out of state to access care due to immigration checkpoints.
❤️ Abortion funds will be here to help Texans access abortion care before 6 weeks gestation within the state, and we will help people access abortion care outside of the state after 6 weeks gestation.
Abortion funds and advocates will be here for Texans no matter what.
❤️ Abortion funds will continue to fund abortion for Texans whether or not SB 8 is implemented
❤️ If SB 8 is fully implemented, abortion funds like Lilith Fund will fund abortion for people up to 6 weeks gestation in Texas, and we will fund abortion for Texans who need to travel out of state to access abortion care after 6 weeks gestation.
🌹 We will continue to bust abortion stigma and to organize and build the community power we need to fully restore access to abortion care. We will continue to fight for proactive abortion policies like Rosie’s Law, which would restore insurance coverage of abortion care.
We will need your help to fund abortion now more than ever!
Do Texans support SB 8 and bans on abortion care?
➡️ No. A majority of Texans believe that abortion should be accessible and that all people should be free to determine the course of their reproductive lives. Nobody should face fear, stigma, or unnecessary barriers when seeking reproductive healthcare, including abortion care.
➡️ A recent poll found that a majority of Texans from across the political spectrum opposed the extreme measures in SB 8.
➡️ More than 370 members of the Texas legal community, including city, county and state officials, sent an open letter to the House Speaker and members of the House urging that they oppose SB 8.
➡️ SB 8 is part of a nationwide, extremist strategy to push access to abortion care completely out of reach—and will especially harm Black, Indigenous, and people of color, low-income people, rural Texans, LGBTQIA people, young people, and immigrants.
➡️ The politicians supporting this abortion ban are ignoring the real health needs of Texans, such as Medicaid expansion, COVID relief, finding solutions for our failed energy grid, and addressing Black maternal mortality.
Do medical experts support SB 8?
➡️ No. Medical groups like ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) have said: “It puts doctors in an impossible situation between the law & providing evidence-based, individualized, & medically necessary care to their patients.” “[Six-week bans] are both unconstitutional and unnecessary political interference in the practice of medicine.”
➡️ More than 200 physicians in Texas signed an open letter to the House Speaker and members of the House demanding that they stop this dangerous bill from passing—because it poses a serious threat to our healthcare system.
➡️ Someone experiencing a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy may need emergency treatment to prevent serious damage to their health or to save their life. This legislation could tie doctors’ hands, rather than allowing them to treat their patient without fear of civil lawsuits.