Of the 163 million women in the United States, 10.7 million are Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI), and over 50 percent of all AAPI women are of reproductive age. AAPI women consider having the authority to make decisions about their bodies as a key issue, and Texas Senate Bill (S.B.) 8 harms AAPI women in Texas who seek to have autonomy over their own reproductive health.
Impact of S.B. 8 on AAPI Texans
- S.B. 8 disproportionately impacts people of color, including low-income and immigrant AAPI persons in Texas, home to 1.5 million Asian Americans, the third-largest AAPI population in the country, after California and New York.
- Within this population, 12 percent lack health insurance, 11 percent live in poverty, and a staggering 17 percent are estimated to be without immigration status.
- S.B. 8 further isolates low-income and immigrant AAPIs by making abortion care unaffordable and out of reach.
- Patients who are able to afford it are driving hundreds of miles for out-of-state abortion care, including at least 12 states that do not border Texas.
- The stakes are even higher for immigrants who are traveling through ICE checkpoints without status or documentation.
AAPI Access to Abortion
- AAPI women already face numerous barriers to abortion, including economic and legal obstacles. While access to healthcare is a top priority for AAPI women, AAPI women are overrepresented in front-line and low-wage jobs that prevent them from accessing healthcare.
- Placing limits or denying access altogether to abortion can have devastating effects on the health of AAPI women, especially those with limited English proficiency, low incomes, immigrants, young people, members of the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, and those living at the intersections of these identities.
- Nearly 16 percent of non-elderly AAPI women relied on Medicaid in 2019.
- For South and Southeast Asian women, this program is particularly important: Over 60 percent of Bhutanese women rely on Medicaid, while nearly 56 percent of Burmese women relied on the program in 2015.
- Women on Medicaid are already struggling to make ends meet. When women are denied an abortion, they are more likely to fall into poverty than a woman who can obtain one.
- When a woman is able to get an abortion, her children are more likely to achieve developmental milestones and live in a household above the poverty line than compared to the children of women who were denied abortions.
- As long as S.B. 8 is in effect, it will isolate low-income and immigrant AAPIs by making abortion care unaffordable and out of reach, compounded by existing barriers.