MAI FLEMING , FAMILY PHYSICIAN
Mrs. K was a refugee who recently arrived in the U.S. to reunite with her husband and children. They arrived safely a few weeks ahead of her. On her initial refugee health exam, Mrs. K discovered she was six weeks pregnant. She had just arrived after escaping persecution in southeast Asia and faced the tremendous task of settling herself and her family in a new home. It was impossible for her to contemplate bringing another child into her family at the time. When Mrs. K came into the primary care clinic where I work seeking a medication abortion, I was happy to help her through the process.
In California, where my primary practice is located, any pregnancy-related care, including abortion care, is covered by Medicaid. Any person who is eligible for Medicaid and seeking an abortion for any reason can obtain the health care services they need without delay. That means access to an abortion as soon as someone decides, rather than having to delay for weeks to scrape together funds to pay out of pocket.
Abortion advocates in Texas say the law will encourage their opponents to flood courts with lawsuits that will cripple their ability to operate.
July 24, 2021
By Adam Edelman
For Anna Rupani, harassment comes with the job.
As the co-executive director at Fund Texas Choice — a practical-support abortion fund in Texas that helps women travel to places, both in and out of the state, where they can receive abortion care — she’s been the target of protests, violent threats, online bullying and terrifying mail.
The law could give a roadmap to any state that wants to target a federal right, from gun ownership to free speech.
By Julia Kaye and Marc Hearron
July 19, 2021
This spring, the Texas legislature dropped the charade that its years-long campaign to shutter abortion clinics was ever about patient safety and simply banned abortion outright. Texas Senate Bill 8 (S.B. 8) prohibits abortions beginning at approximately six weeks of pregnancy — before many people even realize they are pregnant. Our organizations, along with Planned Parenthood Federation of America and other partners, have sued to block S.B. 8 on behalf of a coalition of Texas abortion clinics, doctors, health center staff, abortion funds, practical support networks and clergy, because the law will cause profound harm to Texans and is plainly unconstitutional.
But even those opposed to abortion should be alarmed by this law, which could draw a road map for states and localities looking to dismantle constitutional rights with impunity.
Will other states follow Texas’ lead? Will clinics be able to withstand the potential onslaught of lawsuits? “We have no idea what this is going to look like,” says Dr. Bhavik Kumar.
JULY 16, 2021
By TESSA STUART
Dr. Bhavik Kumar has been a Texas abortion provider for six years, with the last two at the Planned Parenthood Center for Choice in Houston, Texas. He started practicing shortly after House Bill 2 — the last Texas abortion law to go all the way to the Supreme Court before it was struck down as unconstitutional — went into effect. In the three years between the law’s passage and the Supreme Court’s decision, HB2 forced roughly half of Texas’ abortion providers to shut their doors.
A new bill, passed by the Texas State Legislature in May and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in June, has the potential to be even more disruptive. Instead of outlawing abortion outright, the new law empowers private citizens to sue doctors like Kumar, nurses, members of his staff, as well as anyone else who “aids and abets” an abortion — family members who drive patients to the clinic, faith leaders who provide counseling, abortion funds — for $10,000 each. The ban applies to abortions that take place after heart activity can be detected in the embryo — six weeks gestation, or roughly two weeks after a woman’s missed period, when many women don’t even know they are pregnant yet.
Alison Durkee, Forbes Staff
Jul 13, 2021
Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocacy groups sued Texas on Tuesday over a new law that bans abortion after fetal cardiac activity can be detected and directs private citizens to enforce the law through civil lawsuits, part of a broader wave of new state-level abortion restrictions that could soon be able to go into effect if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
The Texas Heartbeat Act, known as S.B. 8, bans abortions that take place once a fetal heartbeat has been detected—typically around six weeks into a pregnancy—with an exception in the case of a medical emergency.
For Immediate Release: July 13, 2021
Broad coalition of Texas abortion providers, doctors, clergy, abortion funds and practical support networks sues to block the state’s radical new abortion ban set to take effect Sept. 1
The ban encourages anyone – including anti-abortion activists – to essentially act as bounty hunters by awarding $10,000 or more to those who successfully sue another person for providing or assisting someone who gets an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy
WASHINGTON — Today, Texas abortion providers—led by Whole Woman’s Health—along with several abortion funds, practical support networks, doctors, health center staff, and clergy members filed a lawsuit to block a radical new Texas law (S.B. 8) set to take effect Sept. 1. The law bans abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy and includes an unprecedented provision that asks private individuals — including anti-abortion protestors with no connection to the patient — to file lawsuits seeking “enforcement” of the ban. The law creates monetary rewards for any member of the public who successfully sues an abortion provider or those who “aid and abet” someone getting an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
By Ann E. Marimow
July 13, 2021
Abortion rights advocates and providers filed a federal lawsuit in Texas on Tuesday seeking to block a new state law empowering individuals to sue anyone who helps a woman get an abortion, including those who provide financial assistance or drive a patient to a clinic.
A dozen states have passed laws banning abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy. But the Texas law, set to take effect in September, goes further by incentivizing private citizens to help enforce the ban — awarding them at least $10,000 if their court challenges are successful. Even religious leaders who counsel a pregnant woman considering an abortion could be liable, according to the lawsuit filed in Austin by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of several other groups.
The measure bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. And it effectively deputizes ordinary citizens to sue people involved in the process.
By Sabrina Tavernise
July 9, 2021
People across the country may soon be able to sue abortion clinics, doctors and anyone helping a woman get an abortion in Texas, under a new state law that contains a legal innovation with broad implications for the American court system.
The provision passed the State Legislature
this spring as part of a bill that bans abortion after a doctor detects a fetal
heartbeat, usually at about six weeks of pregnancy. Many states have passed
such bans, but the law in Texas is different.
Texas 18-year-old says it was ‘scary to take a stand’ amid controversy – but speech has received rave reviews
Sat 5 Jun 2021
When 18-year-old Paxton Smith used her valedictorian address to rail against Texas’s near-total abortion ban last Sunday, she inspired cheers at her Dallas high school, as well as an outpouring of support for her across the country and online.
Smith had originally planned to talk about TV and media. But when it came time to address the graduating class of Lake Highlands high, she switched course to deliver a searing indictment of Texas’s Republican leadership – without her school’s approval.
The state is seen as a ‘testing ground’ for new kinds of antiabortion bills
Caroline Kitchener, The Lily
May 25, 2021
AUSTIN — As John Seago looked up at the Texas Capitol, he smiled. For 12 years, he has walked across the manicured lawns, schmoozing with legislators in the limestone halls. He has always urged lawmakers to “be bold." In a state as antiabortion as Texas, he’d tell them, “there is no excuse not to be aggressive.”
Finally, they listened.