What's happening in Texas at this moment should concern all of us – whether you live in the state or elsewhere.
Gov. Greg Abbott called a special legislative session to order this summer, overtly aimed at reviving a slew of anti-civil rights bills that were blocked in the state's last regular session.
The bills in this new session attack voter rights, transgender rights, reproductive freedom, critical race theory, and much more. At this urgent time, alongside our Texas affiliate and advocates like you, the ACLU is moving fast – both at the legislature and in court – and we need advocates like you with us. Sign our petition today to join the fight.
Here's what you should know so far:
- Defending abortion access: As events continued to unfold in the legislature's special session, the ACLU and the ACLU of Texas filed a lawsuit with partners challenging Senate Bill 8 – a blatantly unconstitutional law that bans abortion at six weeks, before many know they're pregnant. The bill also authorizes private citizens to sue anyone who provides an abortion beyond six weeks, abortion funds that assist patients with paying for their health care beyond six weeks, and those who help someone get an abortion beyond six weeks, including clergy or counselors who advise patients and even someone who drives a patient to their appointment including family members, friends, and rideshare drivers.
- Safeguarding the vote: In the first two days of the special session, lawmakers made it clear that voter suppression was a priority by introducing two restrictive voting bills: Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 3. While our affiliate teams testified in the Texas House and Senate and joined grassroots efforts to push back against these extreme measures, ACLU and ACLU of Texas also began representing Mr. Hervis Rogers, a 62-year-old Black man who faces decades in prison after the state recently accused him of voting when ineligible for what was at worst an innocent mistake.
- Protecting transgender youth: In addition to abortion bans and suppressive voting restrictions, roughly a dozen pieces of anti-transgender bills have made their way into the Texas legislature again during this session, including several that would ban trans youth from their right to play school sports. While our teams on the ground work with fellow activists to fight against these bills, our legal team is also prepping to litigate if any of these cruel and unnecessary bills should become law, just as we have in four other states so far this year.
What happens in one state like Texas can have a ripple effect across all of them, especially at a time when lawmakers are clearly leveraging state law for their own anti-civil liberties agenda. We need you on our team as we keep fighting in all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico – add your name today to join us so we can act quickly at a moment's notice, wherever we're needed.