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Catholics for Choice Condemns Texas’s Dystopian New Abortion Ban and the Supreme Court for Allowing it to Take Effect

September 1, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Contact: John Becker, Communications Specialist
Phone: 202-203-0931

Catholics for Choice Condemns Texas’s Dystopian New Abortion Ban and the Supreme Court for Allowing it to Take Effect

WASHINGTON – Catholics for Choice, which uplifts and amplifies the voices of the majority of Catholics who believe in reproductive freedom, condemned Texas’s dangerous and unconstitutional new abortion ban and the United States Supreme Court for allowing it to take effect today despite ongoing legal challenges.

The law bans abortion after six weeks, in direct violation of Roe v. Wade, and allows private citizens to file suit in state court against anyone who helps a Texan terminate a pregnancy – from doctors and medical staff to the spouse or clergy member the pregnant person may have discussed their decision with, the family member who may have helped pay for the abortion, or the friend who might have given them a ride to the clinic. If that random private citizen wins, the law awards them a minimum of $10,000 plus attorneys’ fees. And, if the target of their lawsuit is an abortion provider, the law orders the court to shut down that clinic.

Catholics for Choice President Jamie L. Manson said:

“By banning abortions after six weeks – well before many people even know they are pregnant – conservatives in Texas have effectively overturned Roe v. Wade and outlawed abortion in the Lone Star State. Not only is this new abortion ban blatantly unconstitutional, it’s downright dystopian. By turning enforcement of the law over to random private citizens across the country, Texas lawmakers have created a vigilante system to hunt down and terrorize anyone in their state who seeks to terminate a pregnancy – and placed a cash bounty on their heads to boot. In Texas, it is now open season on women, girls, other pregnant people, doctors, and medical professionals as well as the abortion funds, practical support networks, clergy, and activists who work tirelessly to ensure access to basic healthcare for all. This ban is shameful, lawless, and a violation of human rights.”

In addition to the dire consequences that this law will have for Texans, the Supreme Court’s refusal to temporarily block its enforcement until various legal challenges work their way through the courts is a disturbing sign of how the justices may be preparing to rule in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Court will hear this challenge to Mississippi’s draconian 15-week abortion ban in the upcoming term.

“As Catholics, we are dismayed, disheartened, and disgusted to see the majority-Catholic Supreme Court green-lighting a measure that grossly betrays the fundamental values of Catholic social teaching, particularly respect for human dignity and liberation,” said Manson. “The Court’s action today guts abortion rights law, gives the imprimatur to other Republican-controlled states considering similar anti-choice legislation, and sends a very strong and ominous signal that conservative extremists on the Court do not intend to uphold Roe v. Wade as the law of the land. We ask the Court to listen to the voices of the majority of Americans – and the majority of U.S. Catholics – who want Roe to remain in place, and we call on pro-choice Catholics in the White House and Congress to speak out against this outrageous judicial attack on reproductive freedom — beginning with the passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act (HR 3755/S 1975) and EACH Act (HR  2234/S 1021) to safeguard abortion rights and access nationwide.”

Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to a person’s well-being and respect, and affirm the capacity of all people to make moral decisions about their lives.