Brief an Texas‘ Gouverneur wegen Abtreibungsrecht7. September 2021
The Honorable Gregg Abbott
Office of the Governor of Texas
State Insurance Building
1100 San Jacinto
Austin, Texas 78701
Copy: Chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Mission to the European Union Kelly Adams-Smith
Dear Governor Abbott,
Reproductive choice — a woman’s right to make a private decision about her body and to decide whether to carry or terminate an pregnancy without political interference — is fundamental to a woman’s autonomy.
It is therefore with deep concern that we have taken note of the passing of a new law restricting abortion in your State of Texas. The law makes it illegal to terminate a pregnancy by the time a heartbeat is detectable. However, fetal cardiac activity can only be detected as early as six weeks from the last menstrual period. This law undermines women’s autonomy especially since the vast majority of women are unaware of their pregnancy by that mark. The ban makes abortion de facto illegal and only available to those who can afford to travel out of Texas, meaning that people on a low income and people of color will be harmed most.
The law also contains an unprecedented provision that encourages private individuals — including anti-abortion protestors and likeminded people with no connection to the patient — to file lawsuits against healthcare providers and anyone aiding in the procedure. Offering monetary rewards to any citizen who successfully sues an abortion provider will result in harassment of providers and isolates women from anyone who would help them during their pregnancy.
Women in the United States have a constitutional right to the liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction, as set out in Roe v. Wade. Attacking safe and legal health care and putting women’s lives at risk, even incentivizing individuals to interfere with someone’s private choices, is a blatant violation of those rights. The protection of women’s rights is imperative to the values both the United States and the European Union stand for.
We, Members of the European Parliament, therefore urge you to respect women’s rights and repeal this law.
Samira Rafaela, Member of the European Parliament
Co-signed by 112 Members of the European Parliament:
Izaskun Bilbao Barandica
Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová
Maria Manuel Leitão Marques
Maria Eugenia Rodríguez Palop
Susana Solís Pérez
Kim van Sparrentak
Sophie in ’t Veld