APHA dismayed over Texas abortion ban, court refusal to act

Date: Sep 01 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Media Relations, 202-777-3913

Statement from APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD

Washington, DC — The American Public Health Association today expresses alarm over the Supreme Court’s failure to block a Texas law that bans abortion at six weeks, effectively undermining the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

The court’s inaction allows one of the nation’s strictest anti-abortion laws to go into effect. The Texas law is contrary to longstanding APHA policy supporting women’s fundamental right to a full range of reproductive health services, including abortion. 

The Texas statute, and subsequently the inaction by the courts, effectively removes a woman’s freedom of choice in that state. Any Texan can be sued if they are suspected of helping a person seek abortion care after the six-week timetable.  

That opens the door for intimidation of anyone seeking an abortion, infringes on the patient/provider relationship, disproportionately harms low-income/communities of color, and actively increases medical risks for pregnant women, all of which can have long-term and widespread consequences.  

This harmful Texas law must not be allowed to stand. Federal courts in other states have struck down similar attempts to ban abortion as unconstitutional. We heartily agree and reiterate that a woman’s reproductive health should be a decision made with her family and her health care provider.

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The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.