AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Democratic Party Co-Executive Director Hannah Roe Beck issued the following statement on Texas Republicans’ abortion ban taking effect today:
“Greg Abbott’s abortion ban takes effect today in Texas — threatening the health and safety of millions of Texans, and signaling a new stage in the battle over what makes us who we are as Texans. In a state that professes to love freedom, we are bearing witness to the most severe six-week abortion ban in our country, and a direct attack on our freedom to make our own decisions about our bodies and our lives.
“It is shameful that in 2021, a handful of conservative politicians are still interfering in our right to healthcare and our control over our most fundamental personal choices. S.B. 8 is not only a draconian ban on our right to access abortion care — it also places a bounty on our rights. This law allows anyone, including people from out of state, to take legal action seeking at least $10,000 in damages from any individual who has helped someone else get an abortion. This legislation is uniquely harmful, exceptionally cruel, and a dangerous legal precedent that threatens a whole range of federally-protected rights. Further, it is a targeted attack on low-income Texans and people of color, who will bear disproportionate effects of this ban. Stunningly, the ban includes no exceptions in cases of rape or incest — adding to the horror of a law that will harm millions.
“With this ban, Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans are once again jeopardizing the health and safety of millions of Texans for political gain. From a party that left us to die in a pandemic and to fend for ourselves in a winter storm, S.B. 8 is yet another attempt to intimidate Texans, shut down our voices, and cut us off from our most basic rights and freedoms. In the face of that, we are roaring. Today, advocates in Texas and around the country are rallying by the millions — with many Democratic lawmakers joining them. And our voices are the ones that will carry, because we are everywhere. We are young women and older women, trans folks and nonbinary folks, parents and siblings, community members and concerned citizens. We are Texans. We are human beings with a right to healthcare — including abortion.
“Everyone knows — and loves — someone who has had an abortion, including every Texas Republican who pushed this cruel law forward. Abortion is healthcare. Abortion is a human right. Texas Democrats stand with abortion advocates, abortion providers, and Texans fighting for their rights in condemning this dystopian ban. And we encourage everyone who can to speak up, lobby their representatives, and donate to support abortion advocates. Texas deserves better, and we will fight like hell for it.”