(Washington, DC) – This morning, Senator Patty Murray, Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), released the following statement on the Supreme Court declining to block Texas’ SB8, the most extreme and harsh abortion ban in the United States.
Under the law, patients cannot get an abortion after six weeks—before many patients even realize they are pregnant. The law allows anyone—including anti-abortion activists who have no connection to the patient—to act as “bounty hunters” and to take doctors, health center staff members, and anyone who helps another person access abortion to court and collect $10,000 for each abortion.
“Here’s how your rights are restricted as of this morning in Texas.
“If you’re pregnant for more than six weeks—a point at which many people don’t even know they’re pregnant—it is illegal to get an abortion.
“If you’re a doctor, nurse, or health care provider who provides abortion care, you can be sued by complete strangers simply for providing safe, constitutional medical care that a stranger personally disagrees with.
“Nearly one in four women in the United States will have an abortion by age 45. If you live in Texas and you want to help a friend, neighbor, or family member get an abortion—even by driving them to a provider—a complete stranger could sue you for $10,000.
“If you disagree with the idea that a complete stranger could, legally, demand $10,000 from you just because they disagree with your personal decisions, you should find this Texas anti-abortion ban as much of a nightmare as I do.
“Here’s what needs to happen now.
- “First, Texas must reverse this law and the Supreme Court needs to issue an injunction immediately to protect reproductive rights in Texas as this profoundly unconstitutional law is considered by the courts.
- “Second, the Senate can and must act legislatively to protect the legal right to abortion for every American, regardless of where they live. Women of color and people with low incomes are the ones who abortion bans like SB8 hurt the most.
- “Third, everyone who believes people should be able to make their own decisions about their own bodies needs to tell everyone—everyone—they know what laws like SB8 are: an attack on the personal freedom of every American, and an overreach that the vast majority of Americans will stand up and loudly reject.
“Texans—and everyone across the country—deserve the right to make their own choices about pregnancy and parenting, and exercise their constitutional right to abortion. Let’s make ourselves heard.”