AUSTIN, Texas — Together with abortion rights allies, Texas Democrats are loudly condemning the spate of horrifying anti-abortion bills Republicans rammed through the Texas Senate today. This afternoon, Republicans passed Senate Bills 8 and 9 — two of the most egregious in the set — with five other anti-abortion bills in the queue for a vote on the Senate floor.
With Texas Republicans hellbent on curtailing Texans’ rights, these bills are the latest in the GOP’s appalling assault on Texans’ right to abortion care. Republicans have failed to do their jobs and keep Texans safe in crisis after crisis — from the pandemic, to the winter storm and power outages last month. However, Republicans are clearly hard at work on one thing: attempting to strip Texans of their fundamental rights, including their right to access abortion. Senate Bills 8, 9, 394, 650, 802, 1173, and 1643 represent a new barrage of attacks on Texans, championed by Republican Texas Senators.
Today’s seven extremist, dangerous bills will put up even more unnecessary barriers to Texans seeking an abortion — in a state that’s already made it nearly impossible for people to access this crucial healthcare. SB8, which advocates have called the most dangerous six-week ban in the country, would ban abortions starting around six weeks — before most people know they are pregnant, and without exemptions for incest or rape. Republican State Senator Angela Paxton’s SB9 would ban nearly all abortions and levy civil and criminal penalties against abortion providers if federal protections for abortion are rolled back. Up for a vote later today, SB 802 would, in practice, greenlight statewide surveillance technology weaponized against people seeking abortions. And these are only three of the seven.
Abortion is a safe and common medical procedure that everyone should have access to. Texas Democrats and our allies are fighting to make sure Texans can access abortion and other critical health care, including through the following bills in the Texas Legislature:
- The Abortion in Health Care Act — House Bill 4389, filed by Rep. Donna Howard (HD-48) — would repeal all medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion in Texas.
- House Bill 627 and House Bill 698, filed by Rep. Jon Rosenthal (HD-135), would protect abortion clinics and providers from harassment and prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of reproductive health decisions, including abortion.
- House Bill 3369, filed by Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos (HD-102), would allow teens to consent to their own contraception.
Texas Democratic Party Vice-Chair Dr. Carla Brailey issued the following statement:
“Abortion is healthcare, and we need to make sure this crucial care is accessible and affordable for Texans. However, as today’s appalling bills show, Republicans are intent on blocking Texans from getting abortion care, stripping our communities of health access, and putting people in danger.
“Texas is ground zero in the fight for abortion rights because Republicans don’t care about Texans. We’ve seen time after time that when our families are suffering, Texas Republicans turn their backs on us — from mismanaging the pandemic, to leaving us to die in the winter storm, to universally voting against COVID-19 relief. Instead, they’re focused on slashing our rights — whether it’s their horrific attacks on abortion care, or their assault on voting rights this week. You can be damn sure that alongside our allies, Texas Democrats will keep fighting back.”