Texas bill SB 8, signed into law on May 19th, seeks to advance a value shared by many Texans and reflected in Care Net's mission statement: "that every human life begins at conception and is worthy of protection."
The new law has drawn criticism from abortion industry backers who see it as a threat to profits. Abortion advocacy groups have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the law, which prohibits pregnancy termination after detection of the fetal heartbeat. Many ordinary Texans, however, are celebrating the new protections from abortion for women and their unborn children, while others have questions about how best to support those in difficult pregnancy situations. While prior abortion regulations have not survived court challenges, this law is scheduled to become effective on September 1, 2021. The 5th circuit has declined to issue a stay of enforcement.
Erin Forsythe, Vice President of Strategic Programs for Care Net commented:
"Texas pregnancy centers are absolutely heroic. In 2019 alone, they provided women, men, youth, and families with $8.8 million in services that empower healthy choices. Regardless of changes in law or court decisions, I am confident that these centers will be here for any woman or couple facing decisions related to an unexpected or unexpectedly difficult pregnancy."
Some abortion advocates have begun advising women to seek abortion-causing drugs without medical supervision, a so-called "self-managed abortion." Care Net's National Medical Director, Dr. Sandy Christiansen, strongly cautions against obtaining abortion pills on the internet, noting:
"The Food and Drug Administration warns against obtaining drugs online. Taking abortion drugs through a U.S. provider carries risks already, it is even more dangerous to take these drugs obtained on the Internet on your own. Women have a 1% risk of bleeding so heavily after taking the abortion pills that they need a surgical procedure to stop the bleeding. If you got your abortion pills online and you develop a complication, there is no office to call for help."
Widely trusted by their clients, most pregnancy centers offer cost-free consultations with licensed medical professionals, including ultrasound exams. These local centers enjoy generous community support because they provide options for every client, ensuring that no woman or couple chooses abortion because they feel they have no other realistic choice. As the new law becomes effective, Texas women and families can count on their community-based pregnancy center to provide the holistic support they need -- socially, emotionally, practically, and even spiritually.
Pregnancy centers in Texas have consistently prioritized medical and family services that support the needs of people at risk for experiencing abortion, according to a recent report.
Care Net supports pregnancy centers in Texas and throughout North America. Care Net centers can access additional medical information about serving their communities after SB8 becomes effective on the affiliate portal. Centers can also learn more about affiliating with Care Net.