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Leading Artists Voice Outrage at Texas’s New Extreme Abortion Ban at the Music Festival

Washington, DC — More than a dozen artists, including Megan Thee Stallion, Billie Eilish, Finneas, Cautious Clay, Gracie Abrams, St. Vincent, Remi Wolf, Band of Horses, White Reaper, La Doña, Jessie Murph, Kathy Valentine, and Phoebe Bridgers, used their performance time at the recent Austin City Limits music festival to speak out against Texas’s new abortion ban, S.B. 8. 

Megan Thee Stallion and Billie Eilish both gave impassioned statements against the abortion ban from the stage. Artists across ACL took the stage in front of Jumbotrons displaying the “Bans Off Our Bodies” message, wore clothing bearing the slogan, spoke out against the ban from the stage, and/or posted on social media. During his performance, Finneas announced that he was donating all of his proceeds from the concert to help patients in Texas access abortion services. Speaking from the stage, Gracie Abrams decried efforts by politicians to go back in time in the fight for reproductive freedom. Billie Eilish is also making a donation to increase abortion access for patients in Texas. A video of Eilish’s on-stage speech addressing Texas’s harmful abortion ban went viral on social media soon after her performance on Oct. 2. 

Statement from Caren Spruch, senior director of arts & entertainment engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America: 

“Watching so many performers speak out against S.B. 8 and stand in solidarity with Texans at the Austin City Limits Festival was awe-inspiring. At this heartbreaking moment for abortion access, it was inspiring to hear artists take a clear stance against the growing number of abortion bans in Texas and across the country. Seeing artists use their platforms — and the stage — to let lawmakers and the courts know that we will not stand for them controlling our bodies and futures was powerful.” 

In addition to banning abortion before many people even know they are pregnant, S.B. 8 includes a provision that allows individual citizens — including people who have no connection to the patient — to sue anyone they believe provided or assisted a patient with an abortion that violates this law. 

“Y’all know I’m a Texas girl and we deserve better! 🧡 Politicians want to cut off abortion access and control our bodies, lives, and futures — I’m speaking up. Take action today and text ACCESS to 22422. #BansOffOurBodies,” Megan Thee Stallion said in a post on her Instagram account before her performance. 

Since Sept. 1, S.B. 8 has decimated abortion access in Texas, forcing the overwhelming majority of patients to either travel hundreds of miles out of state to exercise their constitutional right or be forced to carry a pregnancy. In just the past week, patients and health center staff have had to navigate legal whiplash after the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas blocked enforcement of Texas’s six-week abortion ban on Wednesday night, only for the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals to reinstate it 48 hours later. As a result, appointments for patients seeking abortion after six weeks were cancelled almost as quickly as they were scheduled, creating even more confusion and chaos for patients.  

Already, politicians in a number of states have threatened to pass copycat bills, including Arkansas and Florida. Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing arguments on Dec. 1 in a case that many believe could render the Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion in this country, meaningless. 

Planned Parenthood and its litigating partners have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider intervention in the federal case against S.B. 8 brought by abortion providers, funds, and supporters, which won’t be heard by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals until December. The Supreme Court has not acted on a request to expedite a decision on the petition. Additionally, Planned Parenthood’s state-level challenge has been indefinitely stayed, after the Texas Supreme Court refused to intervene. 

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.