4 Decades of Texas Abortion Laws in 2 minutes

In the four decades since Roe v. Wade, Texas lawmakers have passed more than 18 anti-abortion measures — turning back the clock on a woman’s right to access abortion care.



Roe v. Wade: All women have access to abortion, and Medicaid covers abortion



Hospitals can refuse to provide abortions regardless of reason.

Tex. Occ. Code §§ 103.001-.004.



Only a physician licensed by the state may provide abortion care.

Tex. Health & Safety Code § 245.010(b)



Medicaid cannot cover abortion except in cases of life endangerment.

Tex. Health & Safety Code § 32.005.



A woman must wait 24 hours before the procedure is performed.

Tex. Health & Safety Code § 171.012.

Doctors are required to give patients government-written materials about abortion, including images of what a fetus looks like at 2 week intervals. Doctors must discuss medical assistance benefits for pre-natal care and childbirth with patients. Doctors must give patients medically-inaccurate information about abortion, including a false link between abortion and breast cancer.

Tex. Health & Safety Code §§ 171.011-.016.

Doctors are required to give patients a state-mandated list of groups for counseling that includes anti-abortion organizations that give women medically inaccurate information about abortion. Tex. Health & Safety Code §§ 171.013-.015.

Tex. Health & Safety Code §§ 171.013-.015.

Abortions after 16 weeks must be performed in a licensed hospital or ambulatory surgical center.

Tex. Health & Safety Code § 171.004.



The Department of Health and Human Services is prohibited from contracting with health care providers who perform abortions or who are affiliated with facilities that provide abortion care.

Tex. Hum. Res. Code § 32.024 (c-1).

State starts funding crisis pregnancy centers, organizations established to counsel women against having an abortion.

Legislative Budget Board Conf. Comm. Report on SB1, 79th Reg. Sess., at 11-109 (2005).



A parent’s written consent must be notarized before a woman under the age of 18 can get an abortion.

22 Tex. Admin. Code § 165.6.



The Department of Health and Human Services and its employees are prohibited from from referring women to organizations that provide or “promote” abortion care.

Tex. Hum. Res. Code § 32.024.

State establishes “Choose Life” license plate program that provides funding to an anti-abortion organization.

Tex. Gov’t Code §§ 402.036 - 402.037; Tex. Trans. Code § 504.662.

Doctors are required by law to perform a sonogram on a woman seeking an abortion at least 24 hours prior to performing the abortion. The doctor must display the sonogram image to the woman, verbally describe the image, and provide the opportunity for the woman to hear the fetal heartbeat.

Tex. Health & Safety Code § 171.012.



Abortion providers are required to meet standards designated for ambulatory surgical centers.

Tex. Health & Safety Code § 245.010.

Doctors who provide abortions are required to become part of the admitting staff at a nearby hospital. Regulations do not require or provide criteria for hospitals to grant this privilege.

Tex. Health & Safety Code § 171.0031; 25 Tex. Admin. Code § 139.56.

Abortions after 20 weeks are banned, unless the woman’s life or health is at risk or in the case of a severe fetal anomaly.

Tex. Health & Safety Code §§ 171.041-048.

Only a doctor is permitted to dispense abortion-inducing medication. Both the woman and doctor must be present at a licensed abortion facility when the abortion-inducing pill is administered. The doctor must also schedule a follow-up visit no more than 14 days after the pill is taken.

Tex. Health & Safety Code §§ 171.061-064.



Judicial bypass, the court process a woman under the age of 18 is required to go through to waive parental consent, is more prohibitive.

Texas Fam. Code §§ 33.002-33.003.


84th Legislature Regular Session, proposed legislation

SB 1870

Would require state agency rules and planned measures be guided by the principle that life begins at conception.

SB 1872, HB 3130, HB 1435, SB 575

Would prohibit health insurance plans from providing coverage for abortion care unless the woman’s life or physical wellbeing is at risk.

SB 1869

Would require a woman seeking an abortion to undgo an adoption and parenting resource session prior to the procedure.

HB 3447

Would amend exiting law to include more requirements relating to the minimum standards applicable to abortion facilties.

HB 3446

Would require health centers that perform more than 50 abortions a year to display a sign discouraging abortion in each patient admission area, waiting room, and patient consulting room.

HB 1976

Would remove “severe fetal abnormality” from the exceptions to the ban on abortions after 20 weeks.

HJR 126

Would amend the Texas constitution to “guarantee the right to life” of fetuses and to prohibit abortion to the extent authorized under federal constitutional law.

SB 1564, HB 2531

Would require a physician to provide written notice to the parent or guardian of a woman under the age of 18 at least 48 hours before performing an abortion.

HB 1901

Would require a hospital to keep a pregnant woman on life support in the event she is declared brain dead to allow “the unborn child to mature.” An attorney would be appointed to represent the fetus’s interests in court proceedings.

HB 2924

Would prohibit the Department of Health and Human Services from providing written information that presents abortion as an option for a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome or any other health condition.

SB 831, HB 1648

Would require a doctor to go a woman a “coerced abortion from” before performing an abortion. The doctor must also verbally inform the woman that a person cannot coerce or force her to have an abortion and that the physician cannot perform the abortion unless the woman provide her voluntary and informed consent.

HB 1942

Would disclose the names of judges who decide on abortion legal proceedings for women under the age of 18.

SB 477, HB 205

Would prohibit abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, and their affiliates

HB 832

Would require doctors who perform abortion abortions to complete and submit a monthly report to the health department on each abortion performed.

HB 113

Would create civil and criminal penalities for knowingly performing or coercing an abortion for the purposes of sex selection.

HB 723

Would change the judicial bypass process by requiring a woman under the age of 18 meet three requirements, as opposed to one requirement, and by prohibiting the appointed guardian ad litem and the attorney ad litem from being the same person.

HB 1218

Would require all sexual education in public schools to include instruction that life begins at conception.

HB 628

Would give pharmacists the right to conscientiously object to filling a prescription.