Texas Abortion Laws
On January 1, 2016, Texas House Bill 3994 ( HB 3994 ) went into effect.
What does this mean to me? The law assumes all women seeking abortions are minors until they prove otherwise, and places the burden of proof on the physician performing the abortion to request a proof of identity and age.
Proof must be established with any of the following:
- Driver s license or identification card issued by this state, another state, or a Canadian province that is current or has expired not more than two years
- United States passport
- Current passport issued by a foreign country or a consular document issued by a state or national government
- Certificate of United States Citizenship
- Certificate of Naturalization
- United States Citizen Identification Card
- Unexpired Permanent Resident Card
- Unexpired Temporary Resident Card
- Unexpired Employment Authorization Card
- Other document issued by the federal Department of Homeland Security or the United States Department of State including an identification photograph
- Unexpired military identification card for active duty, reserve, or retired personnel with an identification photograph
- Original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a bureau of vital statistics for a state or a foreign government
- Original or certified copy of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certificate of Birth Abroad issued by the United States Department of State
- Original or certified copy of a court order relating to the applicant s name change or sex change
- School records from a secondary school or institution of higher education
- Insurance policy continuously valid for the two years preceding the date
- Motor vehicle certificate of title
- Military records, including documentation of release or discharge from active duty or a draft record
- Unexpired military dependent identification card
- Original or certified copy of a marriage license or divorce decree
- Voter registration certificate;
- Pilot s license issued by the Federal Aviation Administration or another authorized agency of the United States
- License to carry a handgun under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code
- Temporary driving permit or a temporary identification card issued by the Department of Public Safety
- Offender identification card issued by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice
After battling the state in court to protect women s health in Texas, on October 31st a panel of three Federal judges allowed unconstitutional abortion restrictions to take effect. The restrictions clearly violate Texas women s constitutional rights and drastically reduce access to safe and legal abortion statewide.
What does this mean for you? The restrictions have forced us for now to stop offering medication abortion while we determine our next steps. We are still providing surgical abortion for women who need to end a pregnancy.
This fight is far from over. Women in Texas should have access to the highest quality health care, no matter where they live. That is why we will continue to fight to protect women s access to health care across the state.
As of October 1st, 2011, state law now requires all women seeking an abortion to have at least 2 visits to the abortion facility.
Why do I have to make two visits for an abortion?
In the summer of 2011, the Texas Legislature passed a bill that requires women to have an ultrasound at least 24 hours before she has an abortion. Planned Parenthood always puts women s health first and we fought against this law because there is no medical reason for requiring women to come 24 hours in advance. Ultrasounds have been a standard part of abortion services and are always performed on every patient before any type of procedure is done.
Beginning October 1, 2011 women have to make at least 2 trips for an abortion the first being for an ultrasound. This is required for the abortion pill and for in-clinic abortions. We understand that requiring multiple visits makes things more inconvenient for women during a stressful time in their lives. We are trying our very best to work with women to help them through these changes.
In addition to the 2011 law requiring an ultrasound at least 24 hours prior to an abortion, the state passed a law titled Women s Right To Know Act that requires physicians to give women seeking abortions state-mandated information about medical risks, adoption alternatives, and developmental stages of the fetus. This information must be provided 24 hours in advance of the abortion procedure during the first visit when the woman receives her required ultrasound.
The Women s Right To Know information is currently available on the Texas Department of State Health Services website at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/wrtk/default.shtm or can be picked up at any Planned Parenthood clinic.
PPCfC- Houston is a licensed ambulatory surgical center and performs in clinic abortions up to 20 weeks post fertilization.
The Texas Department of State Health Services is also responsible for any complaints. You can write Director, Health Facility Licensing and Compliance Division, Texas Department of State Health Services, 1100 West 49th Street, Austin, TX 78756 or call 1-888-973-0022. Complainants MUST provide his/her name.
Do teens need their parent s permission to get an abortion?
Yes. In Texas and Louisiana, state law requires that the parent or legal guardian provide written permission for unmarried teens (under the age of 18) to have an abortion. There are a few exceptions:
1) The teen can go before a judge and receive permission from the judge to have an abortion without the parent s permission
(also known as Judicial Bypass). Call 1-800-831-6538 and our staff can give you information about Parental Consent or Judicial Bypass. Or visit Jane s Due Process page.
2) Teens who are legally emancipated do not need to have permission from a parent or guardian or
3) If there is a medical emergency and the pregnant teen needs an abortion, the parent does not have to give permission.