More on Texas

Six weeks. That is all the time you get if you need to have an abortion, that is, if you can get one. Most people don’t even know they are pregnant at six weeks. I want to shout on the rooftops, “what the fuck is wrong with these people.” A woman should have the right to make decisions about her own body, period. We should be funding sex education, not banning abortion. It makes zero sense. Everyone appears to be so contradictory these days. It is sadly ironic.

The article below is worth reading. I get a daily email from the 19th and independent, nonprofit newsroom reporting on gender, politics, and policy. That is where this article came from—a very thorough description of what is happening in Texas.

I hope to see more companies pull out of there.

Abortions are now all but impossible to get for minors in Texas

In Texas, there are 24 pregnancies for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 19. The state also has the highest national average of repeat teen births, which are associated with poor health and economic outcomes for both the teen and the baby. 
Now, the state’s new law banning abortion access after six weeks of pregnancy, Senate Bill 8, has made the procedure all but impossible to access for minors. 

The law bans abortion before many people even know they’re pregnant, and Texas is one of 37 states requiring parental consent for abortion.

That adds another hurdle: If pregnant minors cannot get their parents’ approval, they need what’s called judicial bypass, a legal document that can be granted by a judge after a teen secures a lawyer, files a petition and appears at a court hearing before a judge at least once.

That means that abortion is now inaccessible to Texas minors in all but the rarest of situations, said Joanna Grossman, a law professor at Southern Methodist University in Texas and a board member and volunteer attorney at Jane’s Due Process.

Here’s what that rarest of situations would look like:

  1. A teen has perfect information about their menstrual cycle, detects a pregnancy on the first possible day, knows how to get an appointment for an abortion procedure, and accesses an appointment without any lags in scheduling.
  2. The teen would be told at their first appointment, where a sonogram is performed and the pregnancy is dated, that they will need either parental consent or a judicial bypass to be able to proceed with their second appointment for the actual abortion procedure.
  3. If for any reason a young person is unable to get parental consent for their procedure, they then must figure out how to navigate the judicial bypass process. 
  4. In Texas, clinics refer many patients to Jane’s Due Process, which provides free legal representation to minors who need judicial bypasses in the state. 
  5. After contacting the group, they are matched with an attorney so they can file a petition with a judge to begin the bypass process.
  6. At that point, a judge has five business days to set a hearing for that minor’s judicial bypass case — though a judge also has the option of denying the bypass outright after the initial petition is filed or simply refusing to act on it.
  7. In that situation, a minor then has the opportunity to appeal, with filing then starting another five-day clock.
  8. If everything goes smoothly, with no delays, it’s two weeks from when a pregnant minor goes to a clinic to when they get a bypass and can schedule the procedure, Grossman said. That would make them six weeks pregnant, the law’s limit. 

“It would be by random chance that a minor happened to figure it out quickly enough and acted quickly enough with no barriers. But when you add in any real life, it will always take longer,” Grossman said.