Access to Abortion
Every Texan should have access to safe, legal abortion regardless of their income or zip code.
Yet abortion can be difficult to access — extremists at every level of government are enforcing laws that make it harder for Texans to get the healthcare they need.
For decades, anti-abortion extremists have chipped away at abortion access in Texas. In 2021, Texas lawmakers passed SB 8, the most extreme abortion ban in the country. And in August 2022, they implemented the Texas trigger law, which makes providing an abortion a felony with nearly no exceptions.
Both SB 8 and the Texas trigger ban have no exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal anomaly. SB 8 is so far-reaching it would allow out-of-state anti-abortion groups to sue the family members of rape victims for driving a patient to a clinic.
The right to have an abortion is meaningless if it’s not accessible.
Barriers to Abortion Care in Texas
Texas Trigger Ban: The Texas trigger ban was implemented after the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The trigger ban makes providing an abortion a felony with no exceptions for rape or incest. Texas’s web of barriers to accessing care as seen below remain in place.
SB 8 6-week ban: SB 8 not only bans abortion before many people know they’re pregnant — it also allows any person, anywhere, to sue providers, abortion funds, and family members for any perceived violation of the ban. SB 8 has essentially shut down access to abortion in Texas.
Finding a provider: Texas legislators have passed a series of targeted restrictions on abortion providers (TRAP laws) that make it harder for clinics to keep doors open and for professionals to provide abortion services. The result? Nearly half of all Texas clinics have closed since 2013, and nearly 900,000 Texans live more than 150 miles from a clinic.
Paying for abortion care: The cost of an abortion starts at $450 — and most Texans have to pay out of pocket. Texas law limits private insurance from covering abortion care unless you buy a separate waiver policy. Policies like the Hyde amendment also deny coverage for abortion to people who get insurance through Medicaid and Tricare.
Waiting periods: Texas law requires a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion, which forces people to attend a second, medically unnecessary appointment in person. Waiting periods especially hurt rural Texans, parents, and low-income people, who need to take additional time off from work, find child care, and may need to travel and pay for lodging.
Medical interference: Texas law requires a sonogram before an abortion—for most pregnancies, that means a medically unnecessary, invasive transvaginal ultrasound. Texas law also requires people seeking an abortion to receive medically inaccurate counseling before their abortion.
Procedure bans: Instead of patients and doctors determining the best care for an individual, Texas legislators used junk science to ban safe and effective abortion procedures that other states allow.
Telemedicine and medication abortion: Texas law prohibits abortion care through telemedicine and limits the time medication abortion is allowed. These medically unnecessary restrictions make it harder for rural Texans to access care, especially during a pandemic.
It’s up to us to stop new Texas abortion restrictions before they are exported to other states. Through community-building, education, and political advocacy, Avow is working hard to secure unrestricted abortion care and reproductive rights and freedom for every Texan.
When we fight and win here, the impact is enormous — it is a galvanizing victory for abortion rights and the larger fight for justice and equity across the nation.