Hardly is there a more controversial topic than abortion—either politically, economically or morally. Part of the national conversation (well before the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that outlined abortion rights and regulations on a federal level) include debates over the issues of whether, where, how, and at what time a woman may be legally allowed to abort a fetus and are some of the most incendiary questions, especially in places like Texas. And now, after strict new laws governing abortion rights in Texas passed last year, one student at the University of Texas is crowdfunding abortion support, according to this local San Antonio news outlet. What Lenzi Sheible may not know, however, is that crowdfunding, or the process of raising money for projects from private donations, now also faces its own set of strict governing statues.
Securities lawyers in San Antonio, Texas like Douglas J. Shumway understand all too well the legal debate around abortion in Texas—vocal pro-choice groups like Planned Parenthood pit against opposing interest groups like the Texas Alliance for Life in the legal and legislative arguments over abortion in Texas. Currently, the new abortion laws require physicians to have admitting privileges at hospitals within a 30-mile radius of the clinic. While most big cities in Texas haven’t encountered problems with this law, rural areas like West Texas and the Rio Grande Valley have seen clinics forced to close.
But the one UT student crowdfunding abortion support for women in the Rio Grande Valley, sees providing funding for women to travel across the state from rural areas to urban locations to receive abortion services as a compassionate necessity for protecting the health of women otherwise forced to perform risky at-home abortive measures. However, securities lawyers in San Antonio wonder if Sheible understands the legal intricacies potentially related to her crowdfunding project.
A recent act passed by the Securities and Exchange Commission seeks to limit businesses that raise money through crowdfunding to $1 million per 12-month period. Complex and based on accreditation status of investors, the act also requires all crowdfunded transactions to be completed using a registered portal or broker-dealer. Securities lawyers in San Antonio admonish that this includes limits on setting up a personal website or using sites like Kickstarter or Indigogo that aren’t registered with the SEC or FINRA. And while Sheible reports that her purpose is a non-profit mission to raise money to take women to other parts of the state to receive needed services, it would behoove her greatly to investigate which portions of the SEC’s act apply to her crowdfunded project, securities lawyers in San Antonio like Shumway advise.
San Antonio is one of the last remaining places in Texas where abortion providers can legally operate, and it’s no surprise that women from the Rio Grande Valley flock to the city for help—when they can afford it. Also the poorest part of Texas, the Valley will see the number of babies born to teenage girls and children enrolled in Medicaid expenses rise at staggering rates without clinics, according to economic research.