“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!

Tell state officials to stop the Planned Parenthood witch hunt

Extremist Texas leaders continue to use the heavily edited, widely discredited videos created by militant anti-abortion activists as an excuse to attack Texans’ access to reproductive health care. Now our extremist state officials are trying to cut Planned Parenthood clinics from Medicaid and block thousands of Texans from accessing affordable health care.

And they didn’t stop there. In a thinly-veiled media stunt, state officials delivered subpoenas to Texas Planned Parenthood clinics asking for everything from patient records to employees’ home addresses.

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State officials walking into a Planned Parenthood clinic in San Antonio (via Austin American-Statesman).

The political theater is insufferable and is a gross misuse of taxpayer money and state resources.

Will you join us in telling the Inspector General to call off the witch hunt and start putting people before politics?

Austin: support Planned Parenthood by supporting resolution #39

Since 1937, Planned Parenthood has served Austinites with the health care that they’re known for, and now the Austin City Council is taking up a resolution tomorrow (resolution #39) that would recognize the organization’s importance. We oppose any delays or efforts to diminish a clear message from the Austin City Council to stand with Planned Parenthood, and we need you to voice your support. If you’re already headed to City Hall today, that’s great! If not, you can still register your support online, and it’s super easy:

Click on this link.

Enter your name.

Go to item #39. You can search for it, or click on the link atop the page. Check the box  to the left of the item, then press “continue.”

 That’s it! By doing this, you’re helping support Planned Parenthood during a time when the organization is facing massive anti-choice attacks, and you’re also helping keep Austin pro-choice.