SAN ANTONIO — Fund Texas Choice is one of several in-state organizations helping provide financial aid to those seeking abortion care. But now, organization officials are prepared to respond to potential additional barriers if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade in June.
The Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion first reported on Tuesday suggested the landmark 1973 decision that established the constitutional right to abortion could be overturned.
News of the leak created a nationwide wave of divided reaction on abortion care in the U.S. Anti-abortion groups praised the news, stressing the need for more pregnancy resource centers, including in Texas, a state with among the strictest anti-abortion laws in the country.
“This ruling doesn’t necessarily impact what’s happening in Texas as a reality because Texas has been in a post-Roe future for the last eight months. What it does do is literally make nearby clinics inaccessible,” said Anna Rupani, executive director of Fund Texas Choice.
Fund Texas Choice, the Lilith Fund and other similar non-profit organizations are in many cases the sole solution for hundreds of Texans looking for abortion care.
“What FTC (Fund Texas Choice) does not only do we help people get to their abortion, we support them along the way. Kind of like concierge services in many ways and so as soon as you do an intake with us, we are with you until you get back home from your abortion,” Rupani said.
Texas’ SB8 restricts abortion after six weeks of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest.
Pre-SB8, Fund Texas choice fielded 40-50 calls per month with a 95% fulfillment rate in terms of providing clients the needed resources to receive an abortion.
That number of calls exploded to 300 calls daily not long after SB8 became effective in September.
Rupani noted additional staff across the board were hired due to the increased demand.
Neighboring states such as Oklahoma and New Mexico became sanctuaries for Texas women searching for abortion clinics.
Oklahoma, once a frequent destination for care is now off the table due to the recent string of restrictive abortion laws passed by the state’s legislature.
Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into a law a bill modeled after Texas’ SB8 banning abortion after six weeks.
The bill permits abortions under emergency medical situations but does not allow exceptions for rape or incest.
The legislation also gives the greenlight for private citizens to sue abortion providers or individuals who assist women in getting an abortion.
Rupani said clients scheduled for abortion care in Oklahoma have been rerouted to alternative options in different states as a result of the new law that became immediately effective.
She anticipates clinics in states such as Washington, California and New York could end up absorbing clients from across the country. But questions of increased costs, wait times and clinic capacity are now prompting concern among abortion rights supporters.
“Clinics are going to be slammed and they’re going to be packed so clients are going to have to wait longer to get their abortions which means their costs for the abortion is going to go up but the practical support that Fund Texas Choice and other organizations like us provide, will also increase,” Rupani said. “Abortion care is health care and we shouldn’t have to pay extra to get it taken care of.”
The Supreme Court has the ability to revise its ruling and opinion by June.