Reproductive rights groups filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and other officials who could enforce the state’s near-total abortion ban to help protect pregnant Texans seeking legal abortions in other states.
House Bill 1280 will outlaw abortions on Thursday – 30 days after the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion. In anticipation of legislation attempting to prevent pregnant individuals from attempting to leave the state, the plaintiffs want a federal judge to issue an injunction barring Paxton and prosecutors from “[violating] plaintiffs’ rights to freely travel, freely associate, freely speak, and freely support members of their communities through financial assistance, as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and federal law.”
The named plaintiffs are Fund Texas Choice, the North Texas Equal Access Fund, the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, Frontera Fund, The Afiya Center, West Fund, Jane’s Due Process, Clinic Access Support Network and Dr. Ghazaleh Moayedi, an outspoken Texas provider.
After facing attacks from lawmakers for helping people pay for abortions, these plaintiffs are asking for legal protection to continue fundraising and paying for out-of-state abortion expenses, including raising funds for travel or other costs or for the procedure itself, as well as helping pregnant Texans with logistical information about legal abortions out of state, according to the lawsuit.
They argue that “agents of the state of Texas” are waging a coordinated effort to harass organizations exercising their right to free speech by defending access to abortions and helping pregnant Texans seek them legally under the current bans.