AUSTIN (KXAN) — The state’s trigger law automatically bans almost all abortions in the state. The ban takes effect 30 days after the U.S. Supreme Court issues its official judgment.
Confusion over exactly when that is, forced clinics to halt their services Friday. Whole Woman’s Health and Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas have also paused abortion services.
There are only a couple of exceptions to the state’s trigger law. Abortions are allowed in order to save the life of a pregnant woman or if there is a risk of “serious impairment” because of the pregnancy.
“People are requesting that we keep them on waiting lists in case we are able to reopen [abortion services]. Once we have a clear definition of what laws are in effect and enforceable and if we can reopen, we will as soon as possible,” Amy Hagstrom Miller, the President and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health.
Whole Woman’s Health says Texans are now making appointments at their clinics in Minnesota, Maryland, Virginia and Indiana. The group is also providing abortion pills by mail.
“If a Texan leaves the state of Texas and goes to Illinois or Minnesota or New Mexico and has a telemedicine visit and can receive that medication at an address in that state, they will be able to receive medication abortion in that way,” Miller said.
Many providers tell KXAN they are waiting for legal guidance on when or if they can restart abortions.
Some providers joined people around the state in downtown Austin Friday to protest the Supreme Court’s opinion. Standing shoulder to shoulder under the hot Texas sun, hundreds chanted for abortion rights Friday.
Katherine Long says the protest was personal for her. She had an abortion at age 22 and wants other women to be able to make that same decision if they want.
“Who wants an unwanted pregnancy?” Long said. “No child wants to be born unwanted.”
Texas Alliance for Life has a differing opinion. In a statement, the organization said “We are ecstatic. The Supreme Court finally remedied a terrible decision made nearly half a century ago that profoundly damaged society in America.
Legal abortions have claimed the lives of more than 62 million unborn children and have hurt countless women. That will no longer be the case in Texas. Roe’s unsound and ultimately indefensible reasoning cost the trust of millions of Americans in the Supreme Court. This decision begins to restore confidence in the Supreme Court and its application of constitutional principles.”