Abortion and Practical Support Funds Join Legal Challenge to Cruel Texas Abortion Ban
07.13.21 (PRESS RELEASE) – Half a dozen abortion and practical support funds earlier today joined a coalition of abortion providers and clergy in challenging Texas’ ban on abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy.
The restriction encourages any private individual —including anti-abortion protestors with no connection to the patient—to “enforce” tahe law by filing frivolous, destructive lawsuits against anyone who assists Texans in accessing abortion care after six weeks, including abortion and practical support funds.
The Afiya Center, Frontera Fund, Fund Texas Choice, Jane ’s Due Process, Lilith Fund, and Texas Equal Access Fund provide a broad range of services to pregnant people seeking abortion care throughout Texas, including funding, emotional support and abortion doula services, transportation, accommodation, childcare, legal representation, and judicial bypass support for young people.
This is not the first time abortion and practical support funds have challenged unconstitutional abortion restrictions. In 2018, many of the same funds joined the legal challenge to a host of Texas abortion restrictions which have proliferated over time, steadily increasing the burdens faced by people seeking to end their pregnancies.
Said Marsha Jones, Executive Director at the Afiya Center:
“Texas’ insistence on policing folx reproductive choices questions one’s ability to be trusted to make decisions for ourselves and posits that we do not deserve the same bodily autonomy as others. Lawmakers have twisted the political system so far that they have taken away a right before we have time to identify the need. Abortion bans of this kind have a long-term impact on health outcomes. This is a direct threat to organizations like The Afiya Center, which serves as a safety net for Black womxn and girls seeking help with their reproductive healthcare needs, including abortion. It is also important to note, states with sweeping abortion bans also have poor maternal health outcomes, putting to bed the lie that these bans are intended to do anything, but harm the most vulnerable.”
Said Nancy Cardenas Pena, Board Member, Frontera Fund:
“The Rio Grande Valley continues to be one of the most deeply impacted community in Texas when it comes to abortion restrictions. Frontera Fund will continue to serve anyone in our community seeking abortion care in every way possible. As founding members of the Texas Abortion Funds Coalition, we believe that everyone deserves the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare services — including abortion — regardless of income, zip code, immigration status, sexual orientation and gender identity. We are proudly united with other Texas abortion funds to fight back against the unending onslaught of restrictive healthcare bills like Senate Bill 8.”
Said Anna Rupani, co-Executive Director of Fund Texas Choice:
“Fund Texas Choice knows firsthand what bans like SB8 do. FTC came into being when HB2 shuttered 75% of Texas’ abortion clinics in 2013, forcing thousands of Texans to travel long distances to reach the nearest clinic, which often is out of state. With a 6 week ban, Texas is effectively trying to ban abortion outright, as most of our clients do not know they are pregnant before this time period. This ban violates more than half a century of Supreme Court case law, and allows anti-choice extremists to use our court systems to go after organizations like FTC, as we help pregnant Texans get to their abortions. Make no mistake, this ban was created to confuse Texans to make them believe abortion is illegal in Texas, but we are here to remind everyone that it is still legal and we will support any Texan needing help to get to their abortion.”
Said HK Gray, Jane’s Due Process Advocacy Fellow:
“A 6-week ban is extremely harmful for minors who already have to get judicial bypass to access abortion. In my case I waited 12 weeks just for my bypass to be granted. If this law had been in place when I had my abortion at 17 I either would’ve had to face the difficulty of going out of state or be a mother of 2, which is not what I wanted for my life.”
Said Amanda Beatriz Williams, Executive Director, Lilith Fund:
“Today we are saying enough! We are sick and tired of anti-abortion legislators putting politics over the health and wellbeing of our communities. Lilith Fund is proud to link arms with our partners and fight for justice. Abortion access is a human right, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that all Texans can determine what’s best for themselves and their families.”
Said Kamyon Conner, Executive Director of Texas Equal Access Fund:
“In the last decade, the Texas legislature has passed many racist, classist, and dangerous abortion restrictions that make it very difficult to access care. With this new law, anti-abortion politicians are empowering anti-abortion activists to use lawsuits to harrass and intimidate anyone who helps someone get an abortion. Abortions help people plan their futures and thrive. Everyone should be able to get abortion care when they need it—without stigma or harassment. These extremists are relentless, but we’re ready to fight so that we can continue helping each other, the way abortion funds always have.”
The funds are represented in this legal challenge by the Lawyering Project. Other plaintiffs include Whole Woman’s Health, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, eleven Planned Parenthood health centers, Houston Women’s Clinic, Southwestern Women’s Surgical Center, Austin Women’s Health Ce nter, Alamo Women’s Reproductive Services, Dr. Allison Gilbert, Dr. Bhavik Kumar, Reverend Erika Forbes and Reverend Daniel Kanter and are represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Texas.