On Saturday, Oct. 2, hundreds of Mainers gathered across the state, including here in Camden, to rally for abortion justice. People of all demographics came together to protest a new Texas law that effectively bans abortion. They stood up for bodily autonomy and the right to access healthcare.

Hours after the new law went into effect, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an emergency request to block the measure at the start of September. It left abortion providers turning away patients as they rushed to meet the new standards. It left patients with scheduled procedures less than 24 hours’ notice to schedule new appointments in states like Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and even Nevada.

I have never been alone anxiously awaiting the results of a pregnancy test. I have never experienced the weight of hearing that abortion is necessary for my physical health. I have never had to decide if I was ready or not to be a parent after being raped. I have never had to sit in a doctor’s office, unable to receive care and looking up gas prices to figure out how I can afford to get to the nearest clinic over 250 miles away and be back at work within 48 hours. And because I have never known what that feels like, I can’t imagine how scary it must be in Texas, where people don’t even have the option to decide if an abortion is right for them.

Due to the Texas law, approximately 7 million people are now unable to access an abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy, a point in which most people don’t even know they’re pregnant. The law makes no exceptions for rape or incest. Abortion access has been systematically under attack in this country for decades. Abortion needs to be secured legally, funded fully and equitable for all seeking care. The new Texas law is an attack on women’s control of their bodies. One that will leave thousands of people who can get pregnant without healthcare choices. They should be allowed to access abortion care when they need it and with the support of healthcare providers they can trust. All people should have the ability to make choices about their lives, bodies and healthcare. This applies to abortion and anything else that will affect your health. You decide what you do with your body, not anyone else for any reason.

On Friday, Oct. 1, a federal judge, U.S. District Judge Robert Pittman, heard from the Justice Department and the State of Texas after the former filed an emergency request to temporarily block Texas’ new law while the court can properly review it. On Wednesday, Oct. 6, Judge Pittman ordered Texas to suspend the law, but the fight is far from over. This is a crucial moment for abortion rights in the United States and this law will face further court proceedings. If the Texas law is ultimately held to be constitutional, then states will have considerably more power to roll back the provisions once protected by Roe v. Wade (1972).

State legislatures will jump at the opportunity to pass laws similar to the new Texas ban. Whether you live in Texas, Ohio, California or Maine, we all need access to abortions in our community. According to NARAL, today Maine is one of the best states in America for reproductive justice. That’s due in part to my colleagues and me fighting to protect the right to an abortion. We rejected multiple bills that threatened access to reproductive healthcare in Maine. The threats to abortion access aren’t going away, but neither are we. We must stay attentive and hold our representatives accountable to protect this constitutional right.

As always, if you have any questions, if I can be of assistance to you, of if you just want to connect, please reach out at any time. My email is David.Miramant@legislature.maine.gov, my office phone is 287-1515 and you can sign up to receive my e-newsletter at mainesenate.org.

Sen. Dave Miramant represents coastal Knox County in the Maine Senate.