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Statement Gender and Reproductive Equity September 1, 2021

Statement on Protecting Reproductive Rights

We are deeply concerned about the restrictive abortion law taking effect in Texas today that will make crucial reproductive health care access impossible for millions of Texans. Through this legislation, the state of Texas has circumvented the constitutional right to abortion and cast aside the reproductive autonomy necessary for basic equality. 

Now, Texans will face life as it was before Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. Those with resources and support will be forced to travel outside the state to seek abortion care. For many others who cannot leave the state due to work, childcare needs or lack of financial resources, abortion will be entirely out of reach. Moreover, under SB 8, Texas residents can go so far as to sue individuals they think may be helping individuals receiving abortion services, from medical professionals to the Uber and Lyft drivers driving pregnant people to care. 

Whether it is because of the state they live in or the communities they belong to – particularly communities of color, immigrant communities, people struggling to make ends meet and those living in rural areas – the impact of this ruling will be most harmful to those who already face difficulties accessing reproductive health care. 

Alongside abortion restrictions, due to an additional vote to restrict equality by the Texas legislature, Texans will now, if signed into law by Governor Abbott, also have to navigate the nation’s most restrictive voting rules to exercise their basic right to vote if they want to change these policies. This erosion of democracy will have a disproportionate impact on historically marginalized communities and sets a dangerous precedent for other states to follow suit.

We are deeply grateful for our grantee partners in our Gender and Reproductive Equity portfolio, who are leading on the frontlines every day to ensure every person in every state can access timely and respectful reproductive health care without harmful interference. We stand with advocates who will defend this right in front of the Supreme Court of the United States against the state of Mississippi this year and as future challenges emerge.  

At Schusterman Family Philanthropies, we will continue to work in partnership with our grantees to support efforts and advocate for policies that ensure all people, inclusive of race, zip code and income, have equal rights and access to opportunities that enable them to live full and healthy lives.