AUSTIN (KXAN) — After Politico published last night a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court that indicates an intent to overturn Roe v. Wade, advocacy groups for and against abortions in Texas have announced how they’ll support Texans if the Court does proceed in that direction.
Some advocates against abortion said they were surprised by the drafted opinion and the potential direction the Court may take on federally-legalized abortions.
“I was very, very surprised,” Debi Wehmeier, founder and executive director of the Heart of Texas Pregnancy Center, told KXAN. “I mean, to be honest with you, we have prayed for Roe v. Wade to overturn for many, many decades now. And we are prepared and ready to help the women if it does, indeed, be overturned.”
Wehmeier said the center’s focus is on supplying expectant families with the resources they need leading up to, and following, pregnancy. These include free parenting and life skill classes, along with a range of baby supplies such as baby clothes, formulas and diapers.
“We have proactively looked out and searched in the community to find everything that a mom and dad would need to raise a healthy baby and be and feel empowered,” she said.
Currently, Texas is one of 13 states with “trigger bans.” If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the trigger ban would make abortions illegal.
At the state level, state leaders in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade have dubbed the leaked opinion as a step in the right direction.
"If the leaked draft is indeed accurate, it is a great day for innocent babies in the womb," Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a statement. "They will finally be safe in Texas and other Republican states. Prayerfully, in time, all states will protect them.”
Political figures opposed to the Court's indicated opinion expressed their concerns on how the ruling could impact Texans.
“It’s not just about an individual and her family and what the impacts might be," former state senator Wendy Davis told MSNBC. "It’s about the economic outfall that will occur.”
For local abortion advocacy groups, they stressed they'll continue to provide abortion care access, as Roe v. Wade has not been overturned and abortions continue to have a legal window in Texas. But should the federal abortions protections be overturned, that's when some groups say their big pushes will be on preventative measures, such as emergency contraceptives.
Caroline Duble, political director of Avow, said interest in emergency contraceptives has grown following Monday's leaked opinion. She encouraged those seeking them to not stockpile reserves that could be purchased in stores by people in more immediate, emergency situations.
"Stocking up on medication with no infrastructure or real plan to distribute that medication, whether it's Plan B or medication abortion pills is not actually helpful," she said. "Medication has expiration dates, and hoarding those pills will take away resources from organizations and folks who can actually help."
Unlike abortions — both clinic-administered and medication-based — "Plan B"-style emergency contraceptives help prevent pregnancies after unprotected sex. These various forms include:
- Plan B One-Step, Next Choice One Dose and similar brands: Effective up to 3 days after unprotected sex
- Less effective for people with a Body Mass Index over 25; possibly ineffective for people with a BMI above 30
- Available for over-the-counter purchase at drugstores or at a health center
- ella: Effective up to 5 days after unprotected sex
- Available for use except while breastfeeding; less effective for people with a BMI over 35
- Available by prescription from a doctor or nurse
- Copper-T IUD: Effective up to 5 days after unprotected sex
- Available for use for all people
- Available for insertion by a doctor, nurse at a health center
"Emergency contraceptives are great, and I'm glad that it is widely available and there are many great organizations doing work on the ground to get people access to that for free," said Caroline Duble, political director of Avow. "But the reality is that abortion is still a real reality of our reproductive lives, and people will still need to have access to abortion, regardless of how accessible contraceptives and Plan B are."