Though there are over 20 new state laws that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, the two new-ish laws that will probably have the biggest impact on Houston’s Black and Brown communities are the “voter suppression law” (SB 1) and the “six-week abortion ban” (SB 8).
The state of Texas made national news for what pro-rights advocates label an “anti-abortion” law. Since Sept. 1, 2021, abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy have been banned in the state through a novel law that allows private citizens to sue anyone who “aids or abets” a person who gets an abortion. That means a parent our spouse who counsels someone who gets an abortion, as well as an Uber or Lift driver who delivers that person to the clinic for the prohibited procedure, could be sued in Texas courts.
In a very recent hearing, a federal appeals court indicated it is likely to send Texas’ restrictive abortion law to the state supreme court, a move that could add months or longer before the case is resolved. But until then, the law will continue to impact Texas citizens, in particular, Black and Latinx women.