Statement Opposing Texas Senate Bill 8
Sept 20, 2021
Women in Lighting + Design supports our members and all women in their pursuit of equal opportunity and therefore opposes Senate Bill 8 of Texas’ 87th legislative session1 and similar bills proposed in other states2. We acknowledge that our members hold a diverse range of political and religious beliefs, and we support their liberty to choose a path that is best for them and their families. However, we believe SB8 is a direct attack on women’s rights; removing a woman’s constitutionally protected right to choose what’s best for our health, bodies, and lives. SB8 harms women and erases progress towards equality across genders. In addition, we also oppose the so-called “vigilante clause,” which allows citizens to sue suspected law breakers. This provision, likely intended to evade judicial review, essentially pits peer against peer and creates further division among us all.
SB8 prohibits a woman from getting an abortion after 6 weeks from her last menstrual period. A woman’s constitutionally protected right to choose extends to fetal viability at approximately 24 weeks. In addition, for many women, 6 weeks is before she knows that she is pregnant. SB8 allows no exceptions for rape or incest and allows only a very narrow window of exception for maternal/fetal health. SB8 has already significantly curtailed women’s access to safe abortions at clinics across Texas. Women of means may be able to travel out of state to obtain abortions, so SB8 will most heavily impact lower-income women and women of color.3
SB8 does not provide support for educational resources or funds for pregnancy prevention services, which have been shown to reduce unplanned pregnancies more effectively than restricting abortion access.4 SB8 does not expand resources available to mothers post-partum, such as health, nutrition, childcare, or direct financial support. This places undue financial and emotional burdens on women, and laws like SB8 only further hurt our ability to work and make a living.
SB8 does not place any burden on the man responsible for the pregnancy in question.
Women in Lighting + Design calls on the lighting community to support their employees’ and coworkers’ rights to make informed, private, healthcare-related decisions with their doctors and to actively protest any law that effectively promotes witch hunts. We also call on employers to review their current policies to consider how they can better support women’s health and families.
- SB8: https://legiscan.com/TX/text/SB8/id/2395961, Sec. 171.201, Part 5.C.
- Durkee. Alison. “Florida Lawmakers Suggest They’ll Copy Texas’ Abortion Ban—And Other GOP States Will Likely Follow.” Forbes, 02-09-21, https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisondurkee/2021/09/02/florida-lawmakers-suggest-theyll-copy-texas-abortion-ban-and-other-gop-states-will-likely-follow/?sh=4aa4d60a1bdf.
- Sneed, Tierney. “How Texas’ 6-week abortion ban will make accessing the procedure nearly impossible for some.” CNN, 02-09-21, https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/01/politics/abortion-clinics-six-week-ban-texas-impacts/index.html
- Planned Parenthood “Reducing Teen Pregnancy”