An abortion fund that helps hundreds of women in the southernmost region of Texas each year has stopped answering its hotline after one of the strictest bans in the nation went into effect this week.
"Our very existence is a risk. The fact that we exist as an organization puts us at risk (of civil lawsuits)," said Zeana Zamora, executive director of Frontera Fund. The group helps people in the Rio Grande Valley -- an impoverished region that is mostly Mexican American -- access abortion care. The new abortion law along with laws concerning public education and proposed legislation restricting voting access are part of a slew of measures that will greatly impact the lives of people of color. Civil rights advocates and some lawmakers say people of color are powering the population growth in the state and the measures enacted by Republican lawmakers will have dire consequences.
United Nations human rights monitors have strongly condemned the state of Texas for its new anti-abortion law, which they say violates international law by denying women control over their own bodies and endangering their lives.
In damning remarks to the Guardian, Melissa Upreti, the chair of the UN’s working group on discrimination against women and girls, criticized the new Texas law, SB 8, as “structural sex and gender-based discrimination at its worst”.
She warned that the legislation, which bans abortions at about six weeks, could force abortion providers underground and drive women to seek unsafe procedures that could prove fatal.