COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are increasing at an alarming rate throughout the state, but in the Texas State Senate they were focused on a wholly different public health catastrophe: banning medication abortion.
On Tuesday, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 4, authored by anti-choice democrat Eddie Lucio, which would limit medication abortion. SB 4 would specifically ban medication abortion after seven weeks, well before many people know they are pregnant.
When Governor Greg Abbott announced a second special session, one of the seventeen agenda items he included was about banning medication abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, medication abortion accounted for 39 percent of all abortions in the United States in 2017. Medication abortion is one of the safest medical procedures.
This current legislative session at the Texas Capitol has been particularly focused on enacting extreme anti-abortion legislation. In May, Abbott signed a law that would essentially ban abortion at six weeks and would also allow virtually anyone to file a lawsuit against an abortion provider or any person they believe aided or abetted an abortion. That anti-abortion law goes into effect on September 1.
In a statement to Texas Signal, Aimee Arrambide, the Executive Director of the Avow, a pro-abortion advocacy organization, emphasized the backwards nature of SB 4. “Medication abortion is one of the safest and simplest procedures that modern medicine has to offer,” said Arrambide. “We refuse to validate Abbott’s lies that this special session was called to help Texans, instead of harming them with anti-voter, anti-trans, and more anti-abortion legislation.”