Abortion access in Texas has always been extremely restricted, but for the first time since before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973, abortion in Texas has nearly been banned.
Senate Bill 8—which went into effect on September 1—bans abortion when cardiac activity can be detected—that can be as early as six weeks, before many even know they are pregnant. Folks with pregnancies that have the presence of cardiac activity are left with few options: continue a pregnancy they aren’t ready or prepared for, or travel across state lines for abortion care. Since SB8 doesn’t target abortion patients, and rather aims to intimidate abortion providers and people who help others access abortion, traveling out of state for abortion care does not put patients at any legal risk.
But traveling out of state isn’t as easy as it sounds. It means taking multiple days of unpaid time off of work, securing childcare, and affording the hundreds to thousands of dollars in necessary costs that traveling out of state can require. And on top of that, many folks travel alone or with little support in a completely new place to access an essential healthcare procedure that should be accessible in their own area. But abortion patients are resilient, even when they shouldn’t have to be. So in this blog, we offer some tips to keep in mind when it comes to traveling out of state for abortion care.
Consider the next closest abortion clinics
Many people in Texas are already hundreds of miles from their nearest abortion clinic, and when it comes to traveling out of state this can mean more hours added onto their trip. The next closest states to access an abortion outside of Texas are Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico, and Colorado.
You can use this clinic locator to find a reputable and licensed abortion clinic that may be able to serve you in one of the aformentioned states.
Keep in mind which states require two clinic visits
Like Texas, some states in the U.S. have mandatory waiting periods. Unlike Texas, though, sometimes these waiting periods can be started over the phone. If you’re traveling to Louisiana or Arkansas, you’ll need to visit the clinic a minimum of two times: once for the ultrasound and to receive state-mandated counseling in person, and again for the abortion. If you’re going to Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, or Colorado, you’ll typically only need to visit the clinic one time—depending on how many weeks into pregnancy you are—and can still receive state-required information over the phone in some of these states that do have a waiting period.
This is important to keep in mind when it comes to out-of-state abortion care, because visiting a clinic twice may require losing more time off of work, needing to secure more childcare, or needing to raise more money.
Contact abortion funds to help you along the way
Texas has a large community of abortion funds and practical support organizations as a result of extreme abortion restrictions that push access further away. Needabortion.org is an invaluable resource when it comes to everything you need to know about abortion access in Texas and the support that’s available. Below is a list of funds and other resources that may be able to bridge the gap between what you have and what you may need.
Provides direct funding for abortion services for central and southern regions of Texas.
English: 877-659-4304 | Spanish: 877-355-1461 | lilithfund.org
Texas Equal Access Fund
Provides direct funding for abortion services for the northern region of Texas.
Call: 888-854-4852 | Text: 844-TEA-FUND (844-832-3863) | teafund.org
Provides direct funding for abortion services in El Paso and West Texas.
English: 915213-4578 (Also accepts text messages) | Spanish: 915-213-4578 | westfund.org
Fund Texas Choice
Provides lodging and transportation for Texas patients all over.
844-900-8908 | fundtexaschoice.org
La Frontera Fund
Provides funding, travel, and lodging for the Rio Grande Valley.
956-887-0706 (English and Spanish) | fronterafundrgv.org
The Bridge Collective
Provides rides to and from clinics in Central Texas, as well as volunteer accommodations and other practical support as needed. Delivers free emergency contraception and pregnancy tests in the Austin area.
512-524-9822 | thebridgecollective.org
Clinic Access Support Network
Provides drives to and from clinics in the Houston area, rideshares, bus tickets, gas money, childcare support, compassionate care, lodging, and procedure funding (in limited cases).
Hours: 7 days a weeks, 8 a.m.7 p.m.
English: 281-947-2276 (ext. 1) | Español: 281-947-2276 (ext. 2) | clinicaccess.org
National Abortion Federation
Information on safe, legal, accessible abortion care including financial assistance.
Hours: 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Eastern, Saturdays and Sundays: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Eastern
800-772-9100 | prochoice.org/patients/naf-hotline/
Provides funds for travel to New Mexico and Colorado.
Support for undocumented people seeking abortion care in New Mexico.
505-242-7512 | mariposafund.org/
S.Y.S. (Support Your Sistah)
Provides childcare assistance, food, transportation, escorts (to and from clinics), abortion and birthing doulas, and financial assistance.
SYS Hotline: 469978-7710 MWF 8 a.m.– noon. (Leave a message with full name, date of birthy, zip code and type of assistance) or at email@example.com | theafiyacenter.org/
Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP)
Assists people of all ages, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds who are financially unable to pay for safe, legal abortions or emergency contraceptives.
Provides financial aid, material support, and resources for abortion seekers across Texas.
Jane’s Due Process
Provides free legal help to pregnant minors, including information on judicial bypass
Hotline Hours: 24/7/365 | Text 8 a.m.11 p.m.
866-999-5263 (English and Spanish; also accepts texts) | janesdueprocess.org
Unintended pregnancy support and options counseling
888-493-0092 | all-options.org
After-abortion support hotline
Text Hotline: 617-749-2948 | exhaleprovoice.org
Stay up to date on social media
Currently, the Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas due to the unconstitutional nature of Senate Bill 8, after the Supreme Court failed to provide any type of relief or protection for abortion providers and groups the night before SB8 went into effect on September 1. Follow these local groups on social media to stay up to date with the current landscape of abortion access in Texas, other resources, and any changes when it comes to current abortion law.
Senate Bill 8 has spread a wave of misinformation across the state—as its authors hoped it would—so it’s important to remember that abortion is still legal in all fifty states, including Texas. Abortion access may look different now, but our commitment to providing you with quality and safe abortion care remains. If you have any questions, you can always contact our office at 512-443-2888. We are here for you. Now, and always.