Texas abortion ban “works by race and income,” advocates say
As the predominantly conservative United States Supreme Court authorized the near-total ban on abortion in Texas To continue, abortion rights advocates and Democratic lawmakers have warned who will bear the brunt of what is now the most restrictive abortion law in the country: people of color, people with low disabilities. income and other marginalized groups.
The law prohibits abortion once heart activity can be detected in the embryo – as early as six weeks pregnant, when many people don’t even know they are pregnant. The law would prevent more than eight in ten abortion seekers from obtaining treatment, by an analysis.
“Essentially, this is a total abortion ban,” Jamila Perritt, a Washington, DC-area gynecologist and obstetrician, who provides abortion care and is president and CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health. “But it depends on race and income, so it’s very clearly discriminatory and unfair.”
Anti-abortion groups applauded the law, which went into effect on Wednesday and empowers private citizens prosecute anyone who “assists or encourages” a prohibited abortion, including health care providers and friends and family members who assist an abortion seeker.
“This is the most significant accomplishment for the pro-life movement in Texas since Roe v. Wade,” John Seago, legislative director of Texas Right to Life. told The Associated Press. Susan B. Anthony President of the List Marjorie Dannenfelser noted the Supreme Court ruling “allows Texas to protect heart-pounding unborn babies while litigation continues.”
Who will be the most impacted?
Abortion seekers in Texas and abortion rights advocates across the country have expressed concern, with many pointing out that the law – like other restrictive state abortion policies – had a disproportionate impact on people of color, low-income people and other historically marginalized groups. (Cisgender women are not the only ones asking for abortions.)
“This law will drastically reduce access to reproductive care for women in Texas, especially low-income women and women of color,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in a statement Wednesday.
The law, which can still be contested in court, “would particularly affect black patients and those living on low incomes or living far from a facility that performs abortion, as they often experience delays in obtaining care,” said a research note from july by the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Policy Evaluation Project.
“The main reasons Texans are delayed are: the need to find enough money to pay for their visits, as abortion is not covered by Medicaid and most private insurance plans in Texas; difficulties in coordinating appointments around their work, school and childcare; and challenges the scheduling of state-mandated ultrasound and separate abortion visits with the same physician as required by Texas law, ”the authors wrote.
Of them 2020 analyzes Prior abortion restrictions in Texas conducted by researchers at the same organization found that low-income people, Latino residents, and people who lived far from abortion clinics were disproportionately affected.
Almost 27% of reported abortions in Texas in 2018 were in black patients, nearly 39% were in Hispanic patients, 27% in white patients, and 7% in patients of other racial and ethnic groups, according to a report. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. In the larger data reported by 30 states and the District of Columbia, black female patients accounted for 34% of abortions, Hispanic female patients 20%, white female patients 39%, and female patients in other groups 8%.
Research suggests that higher rates of unintended pregnancies among people of color may be linked to disparities in constant access to contraception and use, which are often rooted in structural inequalities such as poverty and racism. About 42% of unwanted pregnancies in the United States in 2011 ended in abortion, a 2016 study found.
“It’s contraception [access], it’s access to care per se, it’s how racism is embedded in every system in this country – including our health care system – that leads to inequitable health outcomes for our communities, ”said Perritt.
Michelle Anderson, political associate at the Dallas-based Afiya Center, a black-led reproductive justice organization that advocates for black women and girls, and whose many services include practical support for abortions, added that “for many black women, it’s just not their time.
“They don’t want to create this generational poverty; they don’t want to bring more children into the world and not be able to care for them, ”Anderson told MarketWatch. “We shouldn’t be ashamed. The government should not tell us that we have no choice but to have children.
The new law would also have a disproportionate effect on young people and LGBTQ people, who already face unique barriers to accessing abortion, Perritt said. Other heavily affected groups may include disabled people of color, homeless people, and people who lost two-earner households during the pandemic, Anderson noted.
Immigrants, especially those who are illegal immigrant, will face a disproportionate impact of the law, add the defenders.
“Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) checkpoints that surround the Rio Grande Valley, the southern border region of Texas, prevent undocumented people from traveling to another state to seek treatment. ‘abortion, “Nancy Cárdenas Peña, Texas state policy and advocacy director for the Latina National Institute for Reproductive Justice, wrote in a Refinery29 column.
And Sung Yeon Choimorrow, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), said in a statement Thursday that “Texas law creates fear and confusion by intimidating people into obtaining abortion care. that they need “for a period of increased harassment and hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, further stigmatizing abortion and making it less accessible for those who cannot travel out of state.
“This is especially appalling for members of the undocumented community who may not have health insurance or who are dependent on language support,” Choimorrow said.
‘Those with fewer resources will have a direct hit ‘
Among other consequences, being denied a desired abortion can lead to worse economic outcomes, put people in danger of staying in touch with an abusive partner, and be connected with serious health problems.
But people with money and connections always been able to access abortion care, even before Roe v. Wade didn’t enshrine the right to abortion in the Constitution, Perritt said.
And so, regardless of Texas law, she said, people with resources will be able to take time off work without losing pay, find child care for the children they have, and travel out of town. the state for abortion care – while “those with fewer resources are going to have a direct hit and they are going to be forced to carry their pregnancies to term. “
Clinics have remained open in compliance with the law as donations flow to associations and President Biden has promised a “whole-of-government” response. Meanwhile, Perritt said: “abortion fund are do what they always did”: Provide abortion seekers with logistical support such as transport, accommodation and financing of the procedure itself.
This means that they are also at risk, she added: “This ‘help and encouragement’ is for them too.”