TEXAS – Today, two months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to overturn the federal right to abortion, Texas’ extreme “trigger” ban takes effect, which has no exceptions for rape or incest. This law is the third law to go into effect that bans abortion in Texas. While this new law does nothing to change access to abortion in Texas, it does increase the penalties for abortion providers: violating the ban can be charged as a first-degree felony, and punishment can include life in prison, loss of licensure, and a fine of no less than $100,000.
For the past two months, abortion has been completely banned in the second-largest state in the nation and for nearly a year, Texans have experienced the cruel and irreparable harm of SB 8. Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, we have already seen patients denied care — including for people experiencing pregnancy complications and medical emergencies — out of fear and confusion around what the abortion bans prohibit. As the penalties for providers who violate these vague and cruel laws grow harsher, the chilling effect on essential care will only worsen.
In response to this news, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes released the following statement.
Statement from Dyana Limon-Mercado, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes:
“Texas' trigger ban takes effect today, but it doesn't change the reality on the ground: there is no abortion access in Texas. Months ago, Governor Abbott and the anti-abortion extremists that support him, stripped away access to abortion. It’s clear that with abortion already banned, the point of this new trigger law is one thing — cruelty. It is cruelty towards the doctors who could be subject to life in prison for providing health care. It is cruelty towards patients experiencing miscarriage or pregnancy complications who are now at risk of being denied a life-saving procedure.
“Texans overwhelmingly support legal abortion, with over 80% of Texans disagreeing with this “trigger” law. But despite clear support from voters, anti-abortion lawmakers have continued with their relentless efforts to limit our freedoms.
“The time for change in Texas is now. Texas’ anti-abortion lawmakers manufactured a public health crisis, leaving patients, providers, and advocates devastated — but not defeated. In Texas, we know our worth and we know our power. Together we will fight back to take control of our health care decisions, our futures, and our families. We are going to get out and elect candidates, up and down the ballot, committed to reversing this abortion ban and restoring the right of every Texan to control their own bodies and lives.”