Last updated: July 11, 2022
 
If you are in Texas and need abortion care, visit the following websites for logistical and/or financial support:

On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court upended nearly 50 years of precedent in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and ruled that states are free to restrict or prohibit abortion access.

  • In Texas, a pair of laws will manage to ban abortion at all stages of pregnancy, without exceptions for rape or incest, and with narrow exemptions for the life and health of pregnant people: Senate Bill 8 (SB 8), signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, which took effect on Sept. 1, 2021. This law outlaws abortion around six weeks of gestation, even in cases of rape and incest. SB 8 is currently in effect.
  • House Bill 1280 (HB 1280), a so-called “Trigger Ban,” which creates harsh criminal penalties for providers and doctors for performing or aiding abortions at all stages of pregnancy, without exception for rape or incest, and with narrow exemptions for the life and health of pregnant people. HB 1280 will go into effect 30 days after issuance of the judgment in Dobbs. This “trigger” has not been pulled – under Supreme Court rules, the 30-day countdown will begin approximately 25 days after announcement of the opinion. Our website will be updated when the judgment is issued.

Finally, the State of Texas maintains that the criminal laws at issue in Roe v. Wade, long-since held unconstitutional, remain in effect. These laws prohibit abortion at all stages of pregnancy with limited exception. But the law does not support this and we are challenging the State’s position in court.

The ACLU of Texas and partners are challenging the validity of the pre-Roe statutes in the courts. On June 28, 2022, a judge in Harris County sided with abortion providers and issued a temporary restraining order blocking any prosecutions under the pre-Roe statutes. Pursuant to the court order, at least some abortions remain legal in Texas until the Trigger Ban is in effect. Shortly thereafter, Attorney General Ken Paxton, who does not have the authority to prosecute criminal violations, sought emergency relief from the Texas Supreme Court. The Court granted such relief to Paxton, while maintaining the prohibition against prosecution by district attorneys.

We will update this information as the lawsuit moves through the courts. Please check back regularly.

This content is intended to serve as general information; it is not legal advice nor intended as legal advice.


Is abortion legal in Texas?

Yes, at least until Texas’ Trigger Ban comes into effect. We filed a lawsuit on June 28, 2022 to extend the amount of time you can access abortion care. If we are successful, abortion care will be lawful for up to 55 days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Right now, the Texas Supreme Court has permitted Attorney General Paxton to preserve civil enforcement authority related to the pre-Roe criminal statues. Pregnant Texans and their loved ones should consult the above websites to seek care or support.

It is important to know that Texas’ homicide, or murder statute cannot be used to prosecute a person for the outcome of their pregnancy.

How far into pregnancy can I have an abortion?

Under SB 8 and until the Trigger ban comes into effect, Texas bans abortions after approximately six weeks of gestation, unless you have a medical emergency. The law does not provide exceptions for cases that involve rape or incest.

Is it illegal for me as a Texan, or anyone helping me, to get an abortion after six weeks in another state or country?

No. First, neither the pre-Roe statutes, the Trigger Ban, nor SB 8, allow prosecutions or lawsuits directly against people who receive abortions. Second, while it is not possible to guarantee that people attempting to enforce these criminal laws or SB 8 will not bring a lawsuit against Texans who refer or provide assistance to patients seeking abortion care out of state, these laws do not apply to out-of-state abortions. Therefore, assisting someone to access out-of-state abortion care would not violate these laws.

Can I get an abortion in Texas if I’m under 18 years old?

If you are under 18, live in Texas, and need to access abortion confidentially, please call or text Jane's Due Process' hotline at 866-999-5263.

Is it considered “aiding and abetting” under Texas law if I donate to a Texas abortion fund?

Donating money to a charity is a protected First Amendment activity. While it is not possible to guarantee that people will not attempt to enforce these laws against such constitutionally-protected activities, the risk of liability is very low. However, some abortion funds in Texas might cease operations in light of the Supreme Court ruling. You can also choose to contribute to the National Network of Abortion Funds. https://abortionfunds.org/donate

How many visits will I have to make to an abortion provider?

While abortion remains legal in Texas for now, even under SB 8, Texas law requires you to make at least two (2) trips to the abortion provider. In addition, Texas requires you to undergo a sonogram and receive state-mandated paperwork about medical risks, adoption alternatives, and developmental stages of the fetus. (Some of the information in this paperwork is false.) Lastly, Texas requires you to wait 24 hours after receiving the sonogram and state-mandated paperwork before having your abortion. This 24-hour waiting period can be waived if you live 100 miles or more from the nearest abortion provider.

Do I have to see the same doctor for all visits?

Yes. In Texas, the doctor who performs your sonogram must be the same doctor who performs your abortion. The state also requires you to schedule any follow-up appointments with the same doctor. This means that you cannot get your sonogram from one health care provider and then go to a different doctor for the actual procedure.

Do I have to view the sonogram images?

Texas law requires the doctor performing your sonogram to display the images, make any fetal cardiac activity audible, and verbally explain the results of the sonogram. However, you may choose to not view the sonogram images or hear the audio, and there are exceptions to receiving a verbal explanation of the sonogram results. Talk to your doctor if this is a concern.

Where in Texas can I get an abortion?

Because of regulations and bans that the Texas has adopted through the years, there has been a dramatic drop in the number of abortion providers in Texas. The upcoming Trigger Ban will result in closure of the remaining providers in the near future. For a list of providers providing abortion care while the temporary restraining order issued in Whole Women’s Health et al. v. Paxton et al. is in place, go to: www.needabortion.org.

What are my options for an abortion procedure outside of Texas?

Visit the website ineedana.com to find the clinic nearest to you and get connected with a verified abortion provider.

Is abortion covered by my health insurance plan?

As of December 1, 2017, Texas law forbids insurers from covering abortion as part of your overall health insurance plan, unless you need an abortion to save you from death or serious physical injury. Military insurance and Medicaid only cover abortion in cases of rape, incest, or life-threatening conditions.

Is abortion safe?

Yes, abortion is an extremely safe and common procedure. Currently, about one in four Americans who can reproduce have had an abortion by the age of 45. Abortions happen without any major complications in more than 99.975% of cases. That means an abortion is about as safe as a colonoscopy.

Will having an abortion put me at an increased risk for breast cancer?

No. Although Texas requires your doctor to read you a statement suggesting that there is an increased risk of breast cancer after an abortion, it’s not true. Cancer experts and reproductive health experts agree that there is no such risk. For example, the American Cancer Society concluded that there are no scientific research studies demonstrate a causal relationship between abortion and breast cancer.

Will I still be able to get pregnant again if I have an abortion?

Yes. Abortion hasn’t been shown to cause complications in subsequent pregnancies, and there is no scientific evidence that abortion is linked to infertility.

Is it true that Texas has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the U.S.?

Yes. Texas’ abortion laws are some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. Both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Medical Association oppose some of Texas’ abortion laws because excessive restrictions on abortion care jeopardize patients' health. As a result of these laws, there are not enough abortion clinics to serve people in Texas, the nation’s second-most-populous state. About 900,000 people who are able to reproduce in Texas live more than 150 miles from the nearest abortion clinic.

Weren’t these laws struck down by the Supreme Court?

Several times. Not only Roe v. Wade, but several Supreme Court opinions since have rejected Texas’s criminal abortion laws and regulatory enactments. The Supreme Court’s about-face in 2022 undermines this well-established precedent, and leaves Texas free to prohibit and regulate abortion with limited federal oversight.

To learn what other laws regulate abortion in Texas, click here.

I don’t see my question here. Where can I get help?

Email your question to abortionaccess@aclutx.org.