TEXAS – Today the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a decision in the Texas abortion case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, striking down the law known to many as HB2 and making it possible for clinics to remain open around the state. In a 5 -3 decision, the Court upheld that the law placed an undue burden on people in Texas seeking to access abortion.
“Today is a victory for justice in Texas,” said Nan Little Kirkpatrick, executive director of the Texas Equal Access Fund in Dallas. “We are extremely relieved that the Court has decided to strike down this devastating law that closed so many of our state’s abortion clinics. These laws have already done so much damage and impacted the lives of thousands of people in Texas trying to exercise their right to an abortion.”
Texas Equal Access Fund, or TEA Fund, is the abortion fund that has been serving the northern half of Texas since 2005, providing financial assistance to people seeking abortion in this region who otherwise could not afford it. Prior to HB2, they funded people going to clinics in Lubbock, San Angelo, Midland, and Waco, all of which closed in response to the law. Now, a person in Lubbock has to drive 300 or more miles to access abortion, which places an even greater financial strain on people already struggling to afford the procedure. TEA Fund clients were interviewed for the amicus brief prepared for the case by the National Network of Abortion funds, and these stories illustrate why this case means so much for abortion access.
“We hope clinics in the Panhandle and other underserved regions of Texas are able to reopen in response to this decision. However, while we are happy with this particular ruling, the fight for abortion access in Texas is far from over. TEA Fund fights for the removal of a federal ban on abortion coverage for low-income people and countless state laws that make accessing an abortion more difficult. We will not rest until all people can access abortion, regardless of economic circumstance.”