Texas, Abortion Rights and What’s Next
The Texas vigilante abortion law (S.B 8) is top of mind these last few days. It’s brought into focus just how precarious reproductive health care is today, and how clear it is that Roe v. Wade is truly hanging by a thread.
Since the Supreme Court’s midnight move last Wednesday to “bury their heads in the sand,” as Justice Sotomayor so aptly described it, rather than defend the Constitution, we’ve been busy preparing our next steps.
I’ve been on numerous coalition calls to explore ways that NOW can be most helpful in leading the crucial grassroots efforts that will be taking place in the days and weeks to come. Rest assured, there will be much more to come on this soon.
Chapter members in Texas and other states are organizing local actions and NOW members across the country are ready to mobilize. We will not falter in our opposition to Texas’ horrific new abortion law, or in defending and protecting the constitutional right to reproductive health care.
But right now, there’s important action we can take together. We must push Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) when it returns from recess. The bill would codify Roe by writing its protections into federal law–away from the interfering hands of Trump-appointed Justices and other conservative courts. The WHPA protects access to high-quality health care and secures constitutional rights to reproductive health care for every citizen, no matter where they live, or which party controls their state legislature.
Here’s a fact sheet about the legislation, and a letter NOW signed along with 100 civil rights organizations, faith-based and religious groups in support of WHPA. Abortion restrictions like S.B. 8 disproportionately harm those who already face barriers to accessing health care–including BIPOC women, low-wage earners, LGBTQIA+ people, people with disabilities and those living in rural areas.
As Katrina vanden Heuvel writes, “to stop abortion opponents, the only solution is mass mobilization.”
We will need to march in the streets, bring our voices to Washington, take up space outside our justice and government offices, call our representatives, lobby lawmakers–everything it takes to protect Roe and our bodily autonomy. Grassroots mobilization has always been at the core of NOW and the source of our greatest strength. That’s how we’ll work for safe, legal, and equal access to abortion care and stand up to S.B. 8 and other restrictive abortion laws.
Let us know how you are mobilizing in your area.