On Wednesday, the Texas Supreme Court heard arguments in a case challenging Texas’ decision to deny low-income women state funding for medically necessary abortions. Texas pays for all medically necessary procedures for low-income men. The plaintiffs, a group of clinics and physicians, claim that Texas’ policy violates Texas’ Equal Protection Clause, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.
The lower court in Texas agreed with the plaintiffs that this policy is discriminatory on the basis of sex. The low-income women denied funding because of Texas’ policy have a variety of conditions, such as severe epilepsy or cancer, which make carrying a pregnancy to term dangerous to their health. Because of Texas’ policy, these women are either forced to carry their pregnancy, despite the danger, or forgo other necessities in order to pay for an abortion. Because these low-income women must find a way to pay for the abortion themselves, they tend to have abortions later, increasing their health risks.
The case is Bost v. Low Income Women of Texas. The plaintiffs are represented by the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy. The Feminist Majority Foundation joined a group of women’s rights organizations in filing an amicus brief on behalf of the plaintiffs.