FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2021
Contact: Kelly Novak, [email protected]

NEW YORK – Today the Texas legislature sent HB 1515/SB 8, a drastic and unprecedented abortion ban, to Governor Greg Abbott for signature. The bill would not only outlaw abortion at six weeks gestation but allow virtually any person to sue anyone in Texas for providing or helping someone access abortion care after the six week mark. 

Six-week abortion bans essentially ban abortion outright, and this bill also opens the floodgates for frivolous yet dangerous civil claim lawsuits, as this bill allows virtually anyone to sue another person for providing or helping someone access abortion after six weeks gestation. 

“This egregious abortion ban will not only push access to care entirely out of reach for millions of Texans, but adds a vicious layer of intimidation to those seeking abortion care and to those who provide it: civil lawsuits,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health. “The anti-abortion legislators behind this bill have made their intent clear: to harass, frighten, or bankrupt people who seek care and those who provide it. The civil course of action was purposely formulated and included to bypass judicial review — and presents even more widespread danger if it is replicated beyond Texas. Those pushing for this bill have shown us, yet again, that they will stop at nothing to block access to abortion care.” 

More than 300 lawyers and 200 physicians in Texas signed open letters to the House Speaker decrying this bill. 

“Just a few months ago, Texans were freezing to death in their homes. Instead of focusing on fixing our power grid, our state Legislature used its power to force through one of the most extreme and dangerous abortion bans in the country,” said Aimee Arrambide, Executive Director of Avow in Texas. “Extremist legislators are hellbent on making Texas the most hostile state to abortion rights in the country and endangering the lives of Texans. These anti-abortion lawmakers have made it clear: they do not care what the cost of their hateful agenda is, as long as they get their political win.”

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The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) is an advocacy group that fights to protect and advance just and equitable access to reproductive health care. Working hand-in-hand with reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations in states and cities across the country, NIRH builds coalitions, launch campaigns, change policy, and elect candidates who stand up for everyone’s right to control their reproductive lives. Our strategy is to go on the offensive to pass laws that safeguard reproductive freedom. We work in the communities where change is needed, so the fabric of reproductive freedom becomes harder to tear apart.