“Will you help me take my fight for reproductive freedom to our nation’s capital?”

This is a guest post from Samantha Romero. 

When I discovered I was pregnant, I was in a loving relationship and had recently graduated from college, but I knew I wasn’t ready to be a mother. I was not in a financial or mental state to have a child. While my sister persevered after becoming pregnant in high school and deciding to parent, she did it by standing by her decisions. In the same way, I made a very intimate decision to have an abortion.

I was very fortunate to have had my abortion early in 2013 before HB 2–a Texas law that has caused widespread abortion clinic closures–went into effect.

Being in Washington D.C. when the case against HB 2 is heard would allow me to honor my decision and stand in solidarity with people everywhere who deserve reproductive rights. Can you chip in to help me get there?

My abortion was an experience I never thought I’d share with anyone. I kept a heavy secret because I was scared of the judgement it would bring. Luckily, I found healing after working in East Texas on the Wendy Davis Campaign. I was incredibly surprised and genuinely heartbroken at the backlash, resistance and hatred aimed towards me personally for being a Wendy Davis supporter. Consequently, I understood that if I truly supported my own decision, and believed in my own autonomy, then sharing my abortion story with others was worth any amount of judgement people had to offer.

Feeling firsthand the antipathy towards those who support a woman’s self-determination is what motivates me in my studies, my work and all aspects of my life to fight for reproductive justice. Will you help me take my fight for reproductive freedom to our nation’s capital?

Women deserve to feel comfortable and safe at all times when it comes to their bodies, mind, health and futures. Restricting our options is never ok.

Please click here to help me get to D.C. for oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

“I’m not done fighting back against HB 2.”

This is a guest post from Chelsea Paquette. 

2013 was a remarkable year for me. I started the year off feeling generally uninspired and burned out in my career. I was also unhappy socially and was exhausted by my chronic love-hate relationship with my home state, as many progressive Texans often are.  At 25 years old, I thought I was done with Texas. It turns out, I hadn’t even started yet.

That summer I heard through social media that the Texas Legislature proposed a set of anti-abortion Chelsea Paquettemeasures that could effectively shut down all but a handful of abortion clinics and that prolonging the legislative process was our only chance at stopping the measures. Understanding the gravity of the situation, I knew I needed to testify.

I was one of hundreds of people from across the state who showed up at the Texas Capitol and waited 14 hours to testify against further restrictions on abortion care. That summer I found myself driving to and from Austin, pulling all-nighters before returning home to Houston for work the next morning. I testified, marched, rallied, worked as jail support and sat as a witness in the House and Senate galleries every chance I could because I was able to and it mattered.

After my time spent at the Capitol, I felt inspired and ethically obligated to stay in Texas. I knew I wanted to go all in. I quit my job, enrolled in school and really threw myself into the reproductive justice movement. I have since worked as a voter registrar, volunteered for the Wendy Davis and other political campaigns, volunteered at abortion clinics, became a fellow in NARAL Pro-Choice Texas’ Next Generation Program and even began sharing my own abortion story.

I need help getting Texas activists like me to our nation’s capital. Can you pitch in to make sure my voice is heard in D.C.?

To follow HB 2, a devastating and unconstitutional piece of legislation which I fought from the beginning, from the halls of the Texas Capitol to the Supreme Court of the United States is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I am working toward a political science degree and am currently enrolled in University of Houston’s Paralegal Program. The chance to see the highest court in action is exciting and would be an amazing learning opportunity for my future law career. And as an activist, it would be an honor.

I’m not done fighting back against HB 2. Can you help me get to Washington D.C. for the oral arguments at the Supreme Court?

What you need to know about the Fight Back Texas Truth Tour

Since the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 2 in 2013, abortion clinics across the state have been forced to close because of the law’s needless restrictions, taking away access for so many Texans who need abortion care. In March, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case that challenges the law, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

Leading up to this hearing, we’re reaching out to all Texans in our Fight Back Texas Truth Tour.TruthTour_SocialTemplate1 We pledge to give people the resources to tell their own stories and to voice their own support for access to abortion, support local clinics and abortion funds, and register people to VOTE for leaders that share their values. Whole Woman’s Health, Shift., NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Texas Research Institute, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, ACLU of Texas and URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity are teaming up to spread the word across Texas that abortion is still legal and that we’re fighting harder than ever keep it safe and accessible.

Find a Truth Tour stop in your area:

College Station: Friday, February 5

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Houston: Saturday, February 6

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San Antonio: Tuesday, February 9

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McAllen: Wednesday, February 10

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El Paso: Friday, February 12

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Can’t make it to one of these events or just want to stay updated with Fight Back Texas? Fill out the form below:

Support activists heading to D.C. for Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole!

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We want the nation to hear the voices of Texas activists, especially those from communities most affected by House Bill 2. That’s why your help is needed to get these young people to Washington, D.C. for oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, the lawsuit that’s fighting back for Texans’ access to abortion. We’re also looking for places for these activists to stay, which you can sign up for at the link below.

Click here to contribute!

In the summer of 2013, Texans from diverse backgrounds came to the Texas Capitol so lawmakers could hear their voices in opposition to harmful abortion restrictions. These restrictions caused more than half the state’s clinics to close. Now that a challenge that could impact abortion access nationwide is before the Supreme Court, we want the nation to hear the voices of Texas activists, especially those from communities most affected.

Thank you for helping us make this possible!