For Immediate Release: December 10, 2021 

WASHINGTON D.C. — In a procedural decision, the Supreme Court issued a ruling today that allows providers to continue its lawsuit challenging Texas’ abortion ban against certain state officials. However, the Court punted to the lower courts to decide whether the ban is lawful and dismissed the Biden Administration’s request to block enforcement of the ban. The Court’s decision means abortion remains mostly inaccessible in Texas. In response to the Court’s inaction, Justice Sotomayor wrote, “The Court should have put an end to this madness months ago, before S. B. 8 first went into effect.” 

The Texas law, or S.B. 8, bans all abortions after six weeks when most people don’t know they are pregnant. The law deputizes private citizens to enforce the law by suing anyone suspected of helping another person get access to an abortion in Texas. But today’s ruling from the Supreme Court also comes a day after a state court judge ruled enforcement of the law by private individuals to be unconstitutional.

“S.B. 8 disproportionately impacts people of color, including low-income and immigrant Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) persons in Texas, home to 1.5 million Asian Americans, the third-largest AAPI population in the country, after California and New York. Of this, 12 percent lack health insurance, 11 percent live in poverty, and a staggering 17 percent are estimated to be without immigration status,” said Sung Yeon Choimorrow, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF). “There is much more at stake than our reproductive rights. This bill, if left unchecked, will serve as a roadmap for other states looking to further erode our civil liberties.”

“Every day that S.B. 8 remains in effect, Texans seeking abortions after six weeks are being forced to carry their pregnancies to term or travel hundreds of miles out of state. No one should have to do that. Abortions and other reproductive health resources are already made inaccessible to AAPIs due to racist stereotypes, language barriers, financial barriers, and cultural stigma. The model minority myth hides the fact that this racist and classist law disproportionately harms us. AAPI Texans have been forced to live in fear and shame. But we will continue to fight to have the autonomy to make decisions about our bodies, while having safe access to affordable reproductive health care,” said Anvita Kandru, NAPAWF’s Texas outreach coordinator. 

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The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build collective power so that all AAPI women and girls can have full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.