Texas abortion ban sends women to clinics in neighboring states

Article and Infographic by Rubi Melo

The Texas abortion law went into effect on September 1st and a lot has happened since then. The Texas Heartbeat Bill, which bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, has caused a lot of unrest and disappointment among people all over the country.

Soon after the law went into effect, and people were no longer able to get abortions past six weeks, women’s health clinics outside of Texas began to accumulate more patients. For example, according to the New York Times, there is a women’s health clinic in Oklahoma called Trust Women in which, “two-thirds of its scheduled patients now come from Texas.” Trust Women is now trying to hire more doctors and staff members to keep up with the climbing number of patients. A clinic in Louisiana, the Medical Group for Women has also gained more patients, half of them from Texas. 

This new law also permits citizens to sue people that they know were involved in performing or helping with an abortion.

Recently, San Antonio doctor, Alan Braid, became the first abortion provider to publicly admit that he violated the abortion law. He revealed this in an opinion column in the Washington Post, according to NPR. In Braid’s column titled “Why I Violated Texas’s extreme abortion ban,” he wrote, “I fully understood that there could be legal consequences-but I wanted to make sure that Texas didn’t get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested.” 

There have now been two federal lawsuits filed against this law, one in which the Justice Department is asking a federal judge to overturn the law, as they are arguing that it was enacted “in open defiance of the Constitution.”

However, the supreme court has already decided not to block the bill. Other states are now looking to follow suit with Texas and create more restrictions for abortion. Within a day of the Texas law going into effect, North Dakota, Mississippi, Indiana, Florida, Arkansas and South Dakota all said, “they are looking to adopt a similar ban…”, according to The Guardian. Florida House speaker, Chris Sprowls said, “We look forward to bringing to the floor a bill that saves every unborn life possible.”

Many people now fear that their states will introduce bills that do not have their best interests in mind and restrict women’s reproductive rights. Recently, protestors have been taking to the streets to march for their rights. On October 2nd there were nationwide rallies to protect abortion rights, put together by Women’s March, a foundation that helps advocate for human and women’s rights. Thousands of people marched in Washington D.C., walking from Pennsylvania Avenue to the U.S. Supreme Court.

There was also a rally in Santa Rosa at Old Courthouse square where nearly 500 people gathered. People shared ideas and personal stories all in support of women’s rights.

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