NAF files brief in support of NAF members’ SCOTUS petition
Alissa Manzoeillo, National Abortion Federation
202.667.5881, ext 219; 202.595.4395 (after hours/cell)
National Abortion Federation files amicus brief in support of abortion providers’ petition to SCOTUS re: Texas H.B. 2
The National Abortion Federation (NAF) filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a case challenging sham laws in Texas, which shut down abortion clinics and impose an unconstitutional burden on women in the state. The case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, is being brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of NAF members and their patients.
“The radical restrictions already imposed by H.B. 2 harm women in Texas by denying them the option of safe, affordable, timely abortion care.” said Vicki Saporta, NAF President and CEO. “These medically-unnecessary requirements are not trivial inconveniences that can easily be overcome, particularly for low-income women or those who live outside the four major metropolitan areas of Texas.”
Since the passage of H.B. 2, the NAF Hotline has been flooded with calls from Texas women desperately trying to access abortion care. Many of these women now have to travel a significant distance to reach the closest provider. This need for increased travel presents other obstacles that can prevent women from accessing abortion care, such as raising additional money for travel expenses, finding reliable transportation, getting additional time off of work, and child care. Some women who have called the NAF Hotline have had to rely on others to travel to their appointments; others have had to pawn or sell personal items, such as furniture or wedding rings to pay these additional costs.
The NAF Hotline recently heard from Cara* who lives in Killeen, Texas with her three children. She recently lost her job and was struggling to make ends meet when she found out she was pregnant. Cara decided an abortion was the right decision for her family, but unfortunately, even after asking friends and family for help, she was not able to raise enough money for her procedure. On top of that, since the passage of H.B. 2, the closest clinic to her was nearly 130 miles away, which meant she also had to find enough money to pay for gas, and ultimately had to rely on a last-minute loan from a friend. Cara couldn’t find anyone to drive her to and from her procedure—a six hour roundtrip drive—so she had to go alone. Because she lived more than 100 miles away from the nearest provider, she did not have to make two trips for her care, but one visit constituted a severe hardship for Cara and her family.
“Unless the Supreme Court intervenes in this case, it will only get more difficult for women like Cara when the rest of H.B.2 goes into effect and forces more clinics to close,” said Saporta. “It’s time for the Supreme Court to put a stop to these politically motivated laws that jeopardize women’s health.”
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*Name changed to protect patient privacy.
The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers. Our members include individuals, private and non-profit clinics, Planned Parenthood affiliates, women’s health centers, physicians’ offices, and hospitals who together care for approximately half the women who choose abortion in the U.S. and Canada each year. Our members also include public hospitals and both public and private clinics in Mexico City and private clinics in Colombia.