It’s seriously happening, and it’s seriously not good.
At midnight on Sept. 1, 2021, one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the nation went into effect in Texas. Senate Bill 8 (SB8) bans abortions just six weeks into gestation, when most people don’t even realize they’re pregnant — meaning nearly all abortions are now illegal in the massive state. But the fight for reproductive autonomy is far from over: Here's how to donate and support abortion rights in Texas.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed SB8 into law on May 19, officially setting one of America’s most repressive anti-choice laws into motion. While abortion isn’t outright banned (technically), the law prohibits legal access to abortion care as soon as cardiac activity is detected in an embryo, or around six weeks. For people with regular menstrual cycles, that’s barely two weeks after a missed period. The law also makes “no exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal anomaly,” per Avow Texas.
Additionally, “SB8 authorizes any person anywhere to sue a person who performed, aided and abetted, or intended to aid and abet an abortion in violation of the ban,” per the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). This means that private citizens who pursue and win lawsuits against alleged ban violators will be rewarded with a “bounty” of at least $10,000, funded by the sued party. As of Sept. 1, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken no action to block the law from taking effect.
“The anti-choice movement is determined to decimate reproductive freedom and intimidate providers, pregnant people, and those who love and care for them,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Acting President, Adrienne Kimmell, in a Sept. 1 statement. “Make no mistake, this law paves the way for anti-choice extremists to turn their dystopian vision into a horrifying reality — not just in Texas — but around the country.”
The new law is part of a pattern of restrictive abortion laws that have been spreading around the United States for years. Texas is one of eight states to attempt to pass a ban on abortions after six weeks, with four of those bans passed in 2021 alone, according to think tank the Guttmacher Institute. Texas’ ban is the first to have been allowed to go into effect.
So in case you’re still wondering: No, Texas is not okay right now. But Texans and reproductive rights advocates won’t stop fighting as the state continues to chip away at our bodily autonomy. Trust me, there are plenty of organizations you can donate to if you want to support abortion rights in Texas, and here are just a few of them.