On Wednesday, a sweeping Texas law banning most abortions took effect, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block it during a challenge brought by abortion providers.
The bill—dubbed the heartbeat act, since it prohibits abortions beyond six weeks of pregnancy once a heartbeat can be detected—now constitutes the toughest restriction for the procedure in the nation. Needless to say, it’s highly controversial: The ruling to allow it by the Supreme Court’s conservative-majority justices breaks current precedent, as the court previously forbid states from banning abortions before the fetus can live outside the womb, which typically occurs past 22 weeks. At six weeks, most women don’t even realize they’re pregnant.
Even more jarringly, the law provides for a $10,000 bounty on anybody who “aids and abets” an abortion in the state, which columnists have called a frightening warrant for vigilantism. Politicians and pundits alike see Texas’s move as a direct attack on the landmark 1973 court decision Roe v. Wade, and many—including President Joe Biden—are calling it unconstitutional.
But as the politics play out, a very real consequence is that millions of women in Texas have suddenly lost the right to choose, as well as access to safe abortion facilities (it’s been documented that such bans, rather than deterring abortions, instead force women to seek out unsanctioned, unsafe back-alley procedures).
If you want to help, here’s a list of organizations fighting for women’s rights in Texas:
- TEA Fund: The Texas Equal Access Fund offers funding for low-income people seeking abortions who cannot afford it, and also advocates for increased access to abortions as a fundamental healthcare right.
- Avow: Avow organizes Texas voters to campaign for an end to anti-abortion policies in the state, and runs a political action committee that works to elect leaders who support access.
- ACLU Texas: The ACLU of Texas has worked to defend civil liberties in the state since 1938.
- Fund Texas Choice: Fund Texas Choice funds travel to abortions for Texas residents, whether their appointments are in or out of state, including bus or plane tickets and hotels.
- Whole Woman’s Health Alliance: Whole Woman’s Health Alliance aims to end the stigma around abortion in society, and runs a network of clinics offering abortion resources.
- The Lilith Fund: The Lilith Fund is the oldest abortion fund in Texas, offering direct financial assistance for those seeking abortions.
- National Abortion Federation: A national pro-choice group that supports abortion providers across the country.
- Center for Reproductive Rights: A global legal advocacy group that has strengthened reproductive health laws in the United States, as well as Europe, Africa, and Latin America.