I want to go to D.C. as SCOTUS decides the fate of Texas abortion clinics, but I need your help.

This is a guest post from Mary Drummer.

I remember staying up ’til the early hours of the morning riveted to my computer screen and Twitter, catching the live Tweets and streams from activists who were in the Texas Capitol during Wendy Davis’ filibuster. The feeling was so electric and live that I wished I had scrounged up the cash and traveled to Texas to be there. Unfortunately, at the same time, my home state of Ohio was also doing their best to pass draconian anti-abortion laws, but due to our state Senate rules, there would be no history making filibuster like there was in Texas.

A few months later when Wendy Davis officially announced her intention to run for Governor, I just KNEW I had to work on her campaign. I had previously done organizing work in my home state of Ohio around reproductive rights and other progressive issues and was just finishing up a healthcare campaign with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. When I saw that Battleground Texas was hiring, I applied, was hired, and moved across the country to Texas in 10 days. Working on that campaign and seeing so many Texans inspired and engaged in politics (many for the first time in their lives) was life-changing.Mary Drummer

I’m not done fighting back. Having lived in Houston, Austin, Dallas and traveled to the Rio Grande Valley, I’ve seen first hand the harm that’s being done to individuals because of HB2. Can you pitch in to help me get to D.C. so my voice can be heard at our nation’s capital?

After the campaign ended, I didn’t want to leave Texas, so I moved to Austin where I joined the Next Generation program with NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, participated in direct actions at the state Capitol against more abortion restrictions, and attended community group discussions held by Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman, a radical reproductive justice group that centers Women of Color. I am now living in Dallas, where I recently joined the board of the TEAfund, an abortion fund that serves individuals in North Texas, and I have also joined the advisory council of Reproaction–a national abortion rights organization that aims to change the messaging around abortion to one that’s more positive and affirming.

If HB 2 were to fully go into effect, it would leave only 10 abortion clinics open in a state that’s larger than the country of France. There would be no providers in all of Western Texas or in the Rio Grande Valley.

We’re fighting back. Just like Roe v. Wade, which also originated in Texas, Whole Woman’s v. Hellerstedt will be a watershed moment in abortion rights history and it’s only right that we have Texans who have been working and organizing in this movement in D.C. when the arguments are heard. Can you help me get to Washington, D.C. for the oral arguments at the Supreme Court?

The Texas Legislature has scheduled another meeting about fetal tissue

On Wednesday, the House State Affairs Committee scheduled a public hearing for April 28, and the top of the agenda includes the discussion of fetal tissue and its research:

“Study the policies used by research and medical entities to adhere to the highest ethical standards for acquiring human fetal tissue for medical and scientific purposes. Specifically, review compliance to ensure informed consent and that all state and federal laws sufficiently respect the dignity of the human body. Study criteria for which persons have standing when giving consent for the use of fetal remains and to investigate potential violations of state laws regulating organ/tissue donation. Determine whether additional disclosure and reporting requirements are necessary to ensure moral and ethical research practices. Review practices and statutes in other states regarding fetal tissue harvesting.”

As you may have guessed, discussions in this meeting will likely include abortion providers and the anti-choice sting operation that has targeted Planned Parenthood officials across the country. Leaders of this operation were indicted by a Houston grand jury last month after a Harris County District Attorney concluded an investigation into the abortion provider. Although David Daleiden – leader of the Center for Medical Progress and their so-called “Human Capital Project” – has promised to continue his crusade, it’s hard to imagine how he’ll manage to do that now that his project has landed him in multiple levels of hot water.

Never ones to be dissuaded by facts or laws that don’t work in their favor, Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have vowed to continue their three investigations into Texas Planned Parenthood affiliates on the allegations that they’ve been selling fetal tissue for profit, even though twelve other states that performed the same investigations have come up empty-handed.

As the Legislature continues to use Planned Parenthood for political posturing, it’s clear that they don’t care about the facts.  They are doubling down on harmful rhetoric to rile up their powerful anti-choice base in Texas – a base that will do everything they can to stigmatize abortion and reduce access to services. If the last meeting that lawmakers called regarding Planned Parenthood and fetal tissue tells us anything, it’s that this will be another anti-choice workshop on how to make abortion all but illegal in our state.


In October last year, state officials delivered subpoenas to Texas Planned Parenthood clinics asking for everything from patient records to employees’ home addresses.

So here we go again, y’all. We’re currently not in a legislative session, but we encourage you to join us at the Capitol on April 28 to support Planned Parenthood as our own lawmakers continue to vilify them at every chance they get.

“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?