Texas S.B. 8 Has Been Devastating. Other states are hitting copy/paste.
By now you’ve heard us talk about Texas S.B. 8, a law that bans abortion care at approximately six weeks in pregnancy and effectively undermines Roe v. Wade’s protections for folks in Texas. This cruel law has been in effect for over 90 days. And our Supreme Court has declined to intervene over and over again. We are still waiting for the Court to issue its decision about whether it will let this blatantly unconstitutional abortion ban continue to stand.
It is no surprise that other states have started to take notice–they’ve seen that they can ban most abortions in their state, too, if they just simply copy what Texas has done. As of right now, the state policy landscape is bleak:
- Florida (HB 167) – Lawmakers in Florida introduced the first copycat bill in September 2021.
- Ohio (HB 480) – Ohio introduced the second of these copycat bills; however, Ohio legislators took it one step further and introduced an all-out abortion ban just 24 hours after the Supreme Court heard challenges to the Texas law.
- Arkansas (SB 13) – Arkansas launched a special legislative session allegedly dedicated to passing income tax cuts, but Republicans in the state Legislature took the opportunity to introduce an S.B. 8 style ban. Fortunately, thanks to advocates on the ground the Legislature voted to go home rather than extend the special session to pass SB 13.
- Alabama (HB 23) – On December 8, Alabama prefiled its copycat ban.
It’s not going to stop here. Legislators in Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia have suggested they will follow suit as soon as state legislative sessions begin in 2022.
These laws hurt. And their intent is clear–to prevent anyone from accessing abortion and to try and intimidate providers from providing this essential health care to their patients. And make no mistake–these laws will fall hardest on those already experiencing the most barriers to care. We don’t have to imagine this harm–we’ve already seen the devastating impact S.B. 8 has had in Texas and the ripple effects it has had across the country.
Now is not the moment to back down. PRH will keep working for a world where people are able to get the health care they need, which will always include abortion care, free from harmful barriers and free from discrimination. We really need you with us. Here is what you can do:
1. Prioritize supporting and caring for folks on the ground. Abortion funds, abortion providers, and the communities they serve need us. Let’s show up for them.
- Donate to abortion funds who are providing resources and financial assistance to help people accessing abortions.
- Support independent abortion providers who are doing everything they can to get people the care they need.
- Support organizations in the states who have been raising the alarm about these laws and anti-abortion strategies for YEARS. We must invest in state and local efforts to stop abortion restrictions.
2. When these laws are introduced in your state, do not be silent! You must show your opposition. Contact your representatives, talk to your family and friends, post on social media, volunteer with local groups organizing opposition to these harmful bans.
3. Call your Senator and tell them we need a vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act now! It cannot wait!
- The House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health Protection Act in September, and now we need the Senate to act! If signed into law, this bill would provide the tools advocates need to undo abortion restrictions, like S.B. 8, and would help stop other states from enacting similar bans.
- Send a message to your Senator! Urge them to support and have a vote on WHPA!
4. Share resources that are helpful and medically and scientifically accurate. Do not spread misinformation.
- Check out our Reporter Resource Guide, which has helpful messaging guidance for anyone who wants to talk compassionately and accurately about abortion care.
Reliable health resources:
- Planned Parenthood
- Society of Family Planning
- Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health
- Gynuity Health Projects
- Ibis Reproductive Health
- If you want to have compassionate, evidence-based conversations about abortion, check out our new reporter resource.
Information about where to find abortion care:
- Plan C
- M+A Hotline, the miscarriage and abortion hotline can be reached by phone or text and will connect you with physicians who can provide expert advice on self-managing your miscarriage or abortion.
- Women Help Women and SASS (Self-Managed Abortion; Safe and Supported)
Information about self-managed abortion:
- AMA, Oppose the Criminalization of Self-Induced Abortion, Resolution
- ACOG, Oppose Criminalization of Individuals During Pregnancy and the Post Partum Period, Policy Statement
- ACOG, Decriminalization of Self-Induced Abortion, Position Statement
- The World Health Organization has put misoprostol on the list of essential medicines and created a protocol for how people can manage their abortion with misoprostol without direct provider supervision
- If/When/How’s Repro Legal Helpline provides legal information, legal advice, legal representation and/or local attorney referrals to people who have questions about the law and self-managed abortion.
- Understanding and Advocating for Self-Managed Abortion, ReproAction.
- Medication Abortion & Self-Managed Abortion, Abortion On Our Own Terms
- Self-Managed Medication Abortion: Expanding the Available Options for U.S. Abortion Care, Guttmacher Institute
- Self-Managed Abortion: What Healthcare Workers Need to Know, Bixby Center, UCSF
- Fact Sheet: Self-Managed Abortion, Stop Criminalizing Self-Managed Abortion
- Open Letter – Medication Abortion Access Should be Based on Science Not Politics
- Meet the 21-year-old helping to fund abortions in Texas, Prism
- Ordinary Equality podcast, nonbinary storyteller with We Testify
- SMA Podcast, storyteller with We Testify
- VIDEO: Get the Basics About Self-Managed Abortion – Rewire News Group
- Abortion is an Essential Service Comic in The Nib by Caitlin Blunnie, storyteller with We Testify
We know this moment is difficult. Thank you for all you are doing to stand with us, and our colleagues, friends, family, and communities in states grabbling with devastating abortion restrictions.
MiQuel Davies, Assistant Director of Public Policy