Democrats and Advocates Fighting Republicans’ Anti-Texan Senate Bill 8, The Country’s Most Harmful Ban on Abortion

AUSTIN, Texas — Today, Texas House Democrats are fighting alongside abortion advocates to stop the passage of Republicans’ anti-Texan Senate Bill 8 (SB 8): the most extreme, harmful six-week abortion ban proposed in the country, as well as House Bill 1280 (HB 1280), which would immediately ban all abortions in the event of federal rollbacks to abortion rights.

By bringing these extreme, illegal bills to the House floor for a vote today, Republicans are brazenly ignoring Texans’ right to abortion and to health care. SB 8 would outlaw abortions after around six weeks — which is before the vast majority of people know they are pregnant, making this effectively an outright ban on abortion. However, SB 8 goes even further than similar damaging bans around the country, because it opens the door to lawsuits — from any private citizen — against anyone who helps someone have an abortion after that period. More than 200 Texas physicians have signed on to a letter opposing SB 8.

Texas is already one of the states with the most extreme barriers to abortion access. As advocates have noted, today’s anti-Texas bills would gut access even further, disproportionately harming the most vulnerable Texans. Unfortunately, these bills are only two of more than seven anti-abortion bills Republicans have put forward this session in an all-out attack on Texans’ federally-protected right to abortion care.

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“By attacking abortion rights, Republicans are attacking Texans. SB 8 and HB 1280 are some of the most dangerous anti-abortion legislation in our country. These bills constitute a threat to Texans’ public safety, health, and well-being — and also set a dangerous legal precedent that threatens Texans’ protection under the law. However, that’s no surprise from the Texas GOP, which has spent the entire spring trying to slash Texans’ rights and make our state less safe.

“These anti-abortion bills will harm people across our state, at a time when Texans are already reeling from a pandemic, recovering from a winter storm, and worrying about further Republican bills that would increase the threat of gun violence in the state. If Republicans cared about Texans, they would be addressing these pressing challenges — not putting people in more danger. I thank our House Democratic legislators for standing with advocates today to fight against Republicans’ anti-Texas, anti-abortion bills.”