Moments after the U.S. Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that made abortion a national right, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced he was closing his office for a holiday to memorialize the occasion.
“June 24th will be an annual Office of the Attorney General holiday in recognition of this momentous decision,” Paxton shared in a statement on Friday. “Today I am closing all my offices as a memorial to the millions of lives lost due to abortion.”
“Today, the question of abortion returns to the states. And in Texas, that question has already been answered: Abortion is illegal here,” the statement continued.
In September 2021, the state of Texas enacted, at that point, the strictest abortion law in the United States. Texas virtually banned the procedure after six weeks before many people know they’re pregnant. The state also added a unique twist to their ban: The law hands Texans the ability to sue their neighbors for “aiding and abetting” any abortion that violates the law. There are no exceptions for rape or incest. Now, after the fall of Roe v. Wade, abortion will likely be rendered illegal in Texas.
Without Roe’s protections, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion. Millions of people will be unable to end their pregnancies in their home state. This decision will affect women, people of color, and poor people the most.
Experts also warn that Friday’s decision could point to the undoing of other hard-won rights, including the right to contraception, same-sex marriage, and more. In February, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order that directed the state’s child welfare agency to investigate parents and guardians who’ve helped secure gender-affirming care for their trans children.