AUSTIN (KXAN) — At least three Texas-based abortion funding groups announced their decisions to resume funding out-of-state abortions for Texans, including travel expenses, while the procedure remains illegal in the state.
The decisions came after U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman ruled in February that Texas cannot enforce its ban on out-of-state abortions and that abortion funds are likely safe from prosecution, according to The Texas Tribune. This ruling comes after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade with its 2022 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, returning abortion legality to states to decide.
Now, over the last two weeks, abortion funds such as the Lilith Fund, Texas Equal Access Fund and Fund Texas Choice announced they will resume their funding for Texans to access abortion care.
“We’re funding abortion care for Texans again, in states where abortion is legal!” read a post on Lilith Fund’s Facebook page, “As soon as we got the news, we started working on building the infrastructure to restart our abortion funding program.”
Lilith Fund’s Communications Director Cristina Parker noted that the fund does not cover travel expenses as part of its abortion funding, but it does work with other funds to cover those expenses.
“Texans right now are navigating a really burdensome environment to try to access abortion care, being forced to travel, being forced to leave home in order to access essential health care,” Parker said. “Even before Roe was overturned nationally, here in Texas very few people were able to get an abortion in-state and most Texans were having to travel out of state to get abortion care and that is something that we were helping folks do before the overturn of Roe vs. Wade.”
The group also said in its post that it had pivoted its funding to “non-abortion reproductive healthcare,” such as contraceptives. Its return to abortion access will not stop that contraceptives work, the post stated.
“We’re here to support Texans, and Texans who need abortions and their families, and we’re not going anywhere,” Parker said.
Texas Equal Access Fund announced their return in a March 24 post, as well as a promise to fund every request through June 24, which is the anniversary of the Dobbs ruling.
“It’s not often we get to share joyous and exciting news, so please enjoy this feeling with us,” the group posted on Twitter.
Anna Rupani, executive director of Fund Texas Choice said that the group had to “pivot and change” over the last eight months post-Dobbs. She called Pitman’s ruling a “win for Texans,” but added that the fund will “continue to fight.”
“The harm caused by these individuals and the laws they passed cannot be undone, but we stayed the course and continued to fight for Texans’ access to reproductive care,” Rupani said. “We have never wavered from our mission to legally assist Texans to equitably access abortion through safe, confidential, and comprehensive travel services and practical support.”