Texas Freedom Network on the Dangerous & Restrictive Voting, Abortion Bills Advancing with Legislature’s Quorum

For Immediate Release
Aug. 23, 2021

AUSTIN, Texas — With quorum restored for the Texas State Legislature’s second sham special session, two incredibly dangerous bills are poised to advance on Monday: SB 1 and SB 4. The bills represent two of the most oppressive assaults on Texans’ rights in recent history, sharply restricting access to the ballot box and abortion care, respectively. Here’s what you need to know about each one:

Senate Bill 1: Gov. Abbott’s Jim Crow-Era Assault on Voting Rights

SB 1 is a wish list for Gov. Abbott and Speaker Phelan’s assault on Texas democracy. If passed, the bill will:

  • Ban drive through voting (except for those with a disability), outdoor early voting sites, and 24-hour early voting; 
  • Restrict early voting hours to 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. on weekdays, plus the last Saturday and Sunday before Election Day;
  • Disempower local election officials and experts from making county- and local-level decisions that work for their communities;
  • Empowers partisan poll “watchers” to intimidate voters and disrupt polling places;
  • Creates an incentive for anti-voter groups to bring costly and frivolous post-election lawsuits against election officials just doing their jobs.

Senate Bill 1 is expected to be voted out of the Select Committee on Constitutional Rights & Remedies on Monday, August 23rd. It is likely to receive a vote on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives later this week.

Senate Bill 4: Another attempt to ban abortion outright

SB 4 is one of many bills seeking to effectively ban abortion in the state of Texas—a bill that will likely be met by a fierce legal challenge. If passed, the bill will:

  • Severely restricts medication abortion, one of the safest practices medicine has to offer;
  • Punish doctors for providing evidence based care with a state jail felony;
  • Create substantial, medically unnecessary reporting requirements for abortion providers, including an impossible requirement that providers report on pregnancy complications that occur during subsequent pregnancies;
  • Force doctors in Texas to deviate from the best evidence-based patient care for up to 10 weeks into a pregnancy.

Senate Bill 4 was voted out of the Committee on Public Health without any public hearing on Monday, August 23rd. It is likely to receive a vote on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives later this week.

Statement from Texas Freedom Network Political Director Carisa Lopez:

“SB 1 and SB 4 show that Governor Abbott only ever wants to do one thing: restrict Texans’ rights. Our hospitals are overflowing as the Delta variant rips across our state. Our ICUs are filled with children who returned to school—unmasked and unvaccinated—on instruction from our governor, who continues to ignore medical experts. Winter storms and extreme heat both crippled our state’s power grid leaving over 700 Texans dead. Governor Abbott’s second sham legislative session shows us all that he doesn’t care about any of that.

“So what does he care about? The most restrictive voting bill since the Jim Crow era and a relentless assault on reproductive healthcare—again. Two items that Texans aren’t asking for and certainly don’t need. Special sessions are supposed to address major state crises, but in the face of some of the greatest crises in recent state history, Gov. Abbott’s made it clear: he doesn’t care about Texans, he’s only in it for himself. Texas lawmakers must stop both of these bills by all means necessary.”


The Texas Freedom Network (tfn.org) is a grassroots organization of religious and community leaders and young Texans building an informed and effective movement for equality and social justice.