SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s Note: A state judge has shielded, for now, Texas abortion clinics from lawsuits by an anti-abortion group under a new state abortion law in a narrow ruling handed down Friday. Read more by clicking here.
The new Texas abortion law is one of the most restrictive in the developed world. Organizations that help abused women, like Family Violence Prevention Services and RAICES, an agency centered around migrant families, are frustrated with the new rules.
The law makes it illegal for an abortion to happen in the state after six weeks of the pregnancy, a time when most women may not even know they’re pregnant. It also offers no leeway to victims of rape or incest as they too will have to abide by the same timeline and could be forced to bear their abusers’ child. Those who assist women in getting an abortion after the six-week mark may also face lawsuits.
“They’ve already been controlled enough. They’ve already been abused enough,” said Marta Prada Pelaez, president and CEO of Family Violence Prevention Services. “Rape and sexual assault resulting in pregnancy is very very, very common.”
Pelaez says rape victims have been robbed of their right to consent, and this law will rob them of their right to choose what’s best for their bodies.
Miriam Camero, vice president of social programs for RAICES, says her organization plans to work around the law.
If a migrant wants an abortion before the allotted time is up, RAICES will help them get one in Texas. If the six-week mark has passed, it will help them get one outside the state.
“The law states any abortion service provider in the state of Texas, so even if there is an aid and abetting to a different state, that’s kind of been the approach we wanted to get towards,” Camero said.