Groups unite to protect abortion, birth control access


Highlights

Coalition hopes to tap ‘unprecedented level of civic engagement and outrage at the current state of affairs.’

Eleven advocacy groups unite to protect access to abortion, birth control and comprehensive sex education.

Eleven advocacy groups, including the ACLU of Texas and NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, announced Wednesday a joint effort to protect and promote reproductive health care options, including access to abortion, birth control and comprehensive sex education.

The effort includes support for legislation, including ending the 24-hour waiting period before abortions and eliminating what doctors call misinformation in documents provided to abortion patients, that have been dead on arrival in previous legislative sessions.

But the coalition also supports a broader range of family and economic justice issues, including House Bill 656 by state Rep. Ina Minjarez, D-San Antonio, which would extend paid family leave to care for sick family members, a newborn or newly arrived foster or adopted child.

TEXAS POLITICS DELIVERED EVERY DAY: Sign up for our Texas Politics email

The coalition also announced support for House Bill 742 by Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, which would protect access to facilities by breastfeeding mothers; and House Bill 222 by state Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, to make contraceptives available to children under age 18, with parental consent, under the Children’s Health Insurance Program for low-income Texans, to help curb the state’s highest-in-the-nation rate of repeat teen pregnancies.

Beyond the legislative session, the effort — known as “Trust. Respect. Access” — will include a yearslong coordinated campaign to take advantage of a “tremendous increase in activism across Texas — an unprecedented level of civic engagement and outrage at the current state of affairs,” said Heather Busby with NARAL Pro-Choice Texas.

“Already, nearly 20 anti-abortion measures have been filed in the Texas Legislature,” Busby said. “Our anti-abortion state leadership and legislators, emboldened by the recent election, have proven once again that they will stop at nothing to restrict access to abortion care for Texans.”

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: Our Lone Star Politics page brings Capitol news to your Facebook feed

Emily Horne, with Texas Right to Life, said there was little likelihood of legislative approval for abortion-rights legislation.

“I think we have a lot of pro-life legislators who are going to vote against them. I think we pretty much have the same numbers as last session,” Horne said.

Legislation to protect families and encourage breastfeeding, however, could gain widespread support, Horne said. “If they are willing to separate some of those from this constant call for abortion, they might see more of those things pass,” she said.

The coalition also includes Jane’s Due Process, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, Progress Texas, Texas Freedom Network, Afiya Center, Whole Woman’s Health, which operates three abortion clinics in Texas, and two organizations that help low-income women pay for abortions: Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity and Texas Equal Access Fund.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Nobel laureate Yousafzai accepted to Oxford
Nobel laureate Yousafzai accepted to Oxford

Malala Yousafzai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 and survived a gunshot wound at age 15 for speaking out for the right to an education, has been accepted to the University of Oxford, the Evening Standard reported. The 20-year-old activist shared word of her acceptance to the school on Twitter and included the screenshot of her &ldquo...
Statue of Roger Taney, author of Dred Scott decision, removed
Statue of Roger Taney, author of Dred Scott decision, removed

The statue of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who wrote the majority opinion in the infamous Dred Scott case, was removed from the grounds of the Maryland state capitol, the Baltimore Sun reported. Work crews removed the statue, which has sat on the grounds of the state house for 145 years, at 2 a.m., the Sun reported....
Secret Service investigating Missouri lawmaker’s post
Secret Service investigating Missouri lawmaker’s post

The Secret Service is investigating comments made on social media by a Missouri state senator who reportedly said she hoped President Donald Trump would be assassinated, CNN reported. Democratic State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal's comment on personal Facebook page -- “I hope Trump is assassinated -- was deleted, but it has triggered...
Llama bolts onto golf course to save ducks from bear
Llama bolts onto golf course to save ducks from bear

Golfers in New Hampshire were startled Monday when a llama invaded the Eagle Mountain Golf Course. The llama, named Noir, escaped from its nearby home to protect a family of ducks from a bear, WGME reported. Golfers saw the animal on the sixth fairway of the course and called the police. Noir, owned by Russ Miller, jumped over the electric...
Florida prisons placed on lockdown
Florida prisons placed on lockdown

Florida prisons were placed on lockdown Thursday following reports of security threats.  The Florida Department of Corrections announced that it canceled weekend visitation at all institutions for Saturday and Sunday because of a possible security threat. Correction officials said they received information that indicated small groups of inmates...
More Stories