As if it weren’t already hard enough for undocumented immigrants to live in this country, Texas is making it a bit harder with the new pro-life law HB 3994.
The law requires abortion clinics to request proof of name and age with a U.S. or Canadian-issued ID. This new requirement is meant to prevent minors from getting abortions without parental consent. However, it hinders the 1.8 million immigrants living in the state because they’re not likely to have any acceptable documents.
“It’s patently discriminatory,” said Heather Busby, executive director of the reproductive rights organization NARAL Pro-Choice Texas. “By saying you can have a Canadian ID, it is discriminating against all other countries. The reality is we know it’s people from Latin America who are hit the hardest.”
Before HB 3994, there was HB 2 — currently being contested in the U.S. Supreme Court — which forced 41 clinics to close due to the law’s restrictions. So traveling to another clinic for abortion services is almost out of the question for undocumented immigrants, not only due to the lack of clinics, but because they’d also have to cross Border Patrol checkpoints and risk being deported.
This situation has forced many to seek unsafe alternatives. “At one clinic, a client called and said, ‘Tell me what in my medicine cabinet [or] under my kitchen sink I can use,'” said David Brown, staff attorney for the national Center for Reproductive Rights. “When you drastically reduce access to safe and legal abortions, you see more women turning to self-abortion or illegal abortion. The harder you make it for women, the more of that kind of conduct and desperation we’re going to see.”
Get more details on HB 3994 from Vice’s in depth report here.
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