Today, Texas S.B. 8, a law effectively banning abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy, went into effect, since the Supreme Court has thus far failed to act on an emergency request from the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU. The American Humanist Association is deeply disappointed by this news and outraged by the devastating loss of access to abortions for the 29 million people who call Texas home.
“We’re disappointed in the Supreme Court’s failure to intervene on Texas Senate Bill 8,” comments AHA Deputy Director Nicole Carr, “This nearly outright ban on abortions completely violates the constitutional rights protected by Roe v. Wade and will adversely affect countless people across the state, especially already vulnerable populations.”
Under the law, abortions would still be permitted within approximately the first six weeks, however, many providers and abortion rights advocacy groups have said that at least 85% of people seeking abortions don’t even know they’re pregnant before six weeks. Additionally, even if one knew that early, it would still be difficult to get an appointment within the restrictive time frame. This ban will disproportionately affect lower-income and vulnerable populations, especially those who would be unable to travel to other states for abortion access.
Texas S.B. 8 was intentionally drafted to make it difficult to challenge in court. The state isn’t technically enforcing the law as it, instead, deputizes private citizens to sue anyone who “aids and abets” an abortion procedure. This nefarious framing was intentional, as lawmakers behind the policy believe that it enables S.B. 8 to sidestep the rights affirmed by Roe.
“As humanists, we strongly oppose Texas S.B. 8 and urge Congress to protect access to abortion by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA),” concludes Carr. “Abortion is a human rights issue, as well as a Church-State separation issue. Everyone is entitled to bodily autonomy, and to make the personal decisions that would impact their lives and futures, unrestrained by the religious beliefs of elected officials.”
WHPA would put an end to laws like S.B. 8 and protect abortion care across the United States. Learn more about WHPA and contact your representatives here: https://actforwomen.org/take-action/