Texas AG Ken Paxton Writes a Letter Asking for More Abortion Restrictions

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a man making constant and desperate attempts to look like he’s on the moral high ground while he’s under felony indictment for securities fraud, sent a letter to Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus pushing for even more laws restricting Texans’ access to abortion. This is Paxton’s latest attempt to take advantage of the recent attacks on Planned Parenthood that have been disproven over and over and over and over again.

Using the highly-edited attack videos as an excuse to push for anti-abortion policies, in the letter Paxton calls for policies that would:

• Ban certain types of abortion procedures

• Put more restrictions on how far into pregnancy people can have abortions

• Further restrict fetal tissue donation

• Put more unnecessary regulations on abortion providers

• Allow the Texas government to further interfere with the doctor-patient relationship

• Require abortion providers to contact the police whenever a minor 16 years old or younger seeks abortion care.

Paxton is seeking solutions to problems that do not exist, putting the health and safety of all Texans of reproductive age at risk and inserting himself into private family decisions. He is engaging in political posturing and he’s doing it on the backs of some of the most vulnerable people in Texas.

Paxton’s callous disregard for Texans’ health and wellbeing comes right after new research revealed that the widespread abortion clinic closures as a result of HB 2 are substantially increasing wait times for abortion, pushing women seeking abortion care later into their pregnancies. The study from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) found that wait times for an abortion went up to 23 days at clinics in Austin and Fort Worth. The longer wait times for abortion result in more second trimester abortions and the increased costs of later abortion procedures put safe abortion care out of reach for many Texans.

HB 2 has already forced more than half of the clinics in Texas to close since the law was passed in 2013. If the law goes into full effect, a mere 10 clinics will be left to services the 5.4 million Texas women of reproductive age, and wait times for an abortion will certainly continue to increase.

Paxton will stop at nothing to put safe abortion care out of reach and does not care about how that impacts people seeking that care. This was made perfectly clear in his recent reply brief to the Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole. His argument demonstrated that he doesn’t care about the impact HB 2 has on the nearly one million women who live more than 150 miles from a clinic and are unable to travel to access safe abortion care – he only cares that they continue to stay pregnant when they don’t want to be.

We’re on the front lines fighting these attacks. Your monthly membership to NARAL Pro-Choice Texas ensures we have the resources to stay strong. 

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Read Paxton’s letter below or download it here.

Interim Charges on Religious Liberties

ACTION ALERT: Women’s Health Advisory Committee Meeting on 9/23

Join us this Wednesday for a public hearing as the Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC) convenes a Women’s Health Advisory Committee to make recommendations on the future of the state’s women’s health programs.

The last three legislative sessions have been an ongoing attack on reproductive health care. We’ve seen cuts to family planning, the implementation of severe abortion restrictions that forced more than half of the abortion care clinics to close and to increased attacks on pregnant teenagers’ access to safe abortion care.

Let the committee hear from you and let them know that Texans’ reproductive health needs to be protected and expanded. We can’t afford to keep having access to reproductive health care rolled back session after session.

Will you join us? RSVP below!

Gov. Abbott celebrates arrest of Latina woman who was seeking medical care

Earlier this week, Greg Abbott tweeted in celebration of the arrest of Blanca Borrego, the undocumented Houston mom of three who was seeking medical care with her established doctor at a Houston reproductive health clinic. In his tweet he insinuated that a Latina mother who only was trying to access medical care while undocumented is a criminal.

She was seeking treatment at the clinic for a painful ovarian cyst. It was her first time at this clinic but not the first time seeing this particular doctor whom she had an ongoing patient-doctor relationship with. In order to access medical services, she used a fake ID with her real information and a valid insurance card. She waited over two hours until she was finally called back, only to be met with a sheriff’s deputy instead of a doctor.

Blanca Borrego has lived in Houston for more than twelve years. Like many people, she came to this country through legal channels, on a visa which later expired. Her older daughter is a recent college graduate and a beneficiary of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and her youngest child is a U.S. citizen. They both witnessed their mother taken out of the doctor’s office in handcuffs.

Protesters march outside of a Memorial Hermann hospital, the medical provider that called police on Blanca Borrego (via Natalie San Luis, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas).

Protesters march outside of a Memorial Hermann hospital, the medical provider that called police on Blanca Borrego (via Natalie San Luis, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas).

Blanca would have not been in this situation if Greg Abbott, while attorney general, had not filed a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive order to expand DACA and implement of DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans). By halting the President’s executive action not only were Blanca and her family put at risk, but over 5 million more immigrant parents and their children who call this country home are forced to continue living in the shadows.

Blanca’s story hits close to home. I’m a Houstonian, this could have easily been one of my own family members. I know what it means to put off seeking medical care in fear of deportation because I saw my own family members do it one too many times.

This negative rhetoric Greg Abbott and extremist politicians perpetuate about immigrants in the United States is dangerous and puts our community at risk. It makes targets out of immigrants, whether they are undocumented or not. Healthcare is a human right and no one should have to fear deportation or profiling while trying to take care of themselves. Greg Abbott, shame on you. Blanca’s arrest is nothing to celebrate and breaking families apart is not a Texas value.

El Paso Meet and Greet!

We want to hear from you! Join NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Executive Director Heather Busby on Thursday, Sept 17 for a casual meet and greet. Come enjoy free food and drink specials and get the latest on reproductive health policy. We’d love to hear your views on how NARAL Pro-Choice Texas can support pro-choice activism in El Paso and the needs of the community. RSVP here to attend:

Ken Paxton works with extremist activists to attack abortion access

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has no qualms about breaking the law for his own benefit, so it comes as no surprise that he’s working with a group with ties to domestic terrorists to further limit Texans’ access to abortion.

Paxton is wasting taxpayer dollars and state resources on a sham investigation into Planned Parenthood, and by launching this witch hunt and failing to investigate the real crime—anti-abortion activists’ violation of patient privacy laws—Paxton is supporting the dangerous tactics anti-abortion activists employ. The people who created a fake company in order to get the secretly-recorded videos have a long history of harassing abortion providers and patients. They have even been linked to clinic bombings and murderers who kill doctors in church.

The extremists behind the videos spent years harassing abortion providers and violating patients’ privacy to get material for their smear campaign. And the attacks didn’t stop there. Anti-abortion activists are using a variety of tactics to go after abortion care, including illegally hacking and deactivating reproductive health care organizations’ websites, effectively blocking access to the health care services and information.

Attacks on abortion providers and patients happen in our communities every single day. Anti-abortion organizations have trained activists to be “in front of every abortion facility during all hours that abortions are being performed.” Protestors stand outside of clinics harassing providers and patients. They use graphic, and often photoshopped, images of abortion in an attempt to traumatize others. They brag about abortion clinic staff quitting and patients canceling their appointments because of protestors’ presence outside of clinics. Anti-abortion activists have proven that they will do anything to keep a person from accessing abortion.

The threat anti-abortion protestors pose to clinic staff and patients is very real. Since 1977, 182 abortion clinics have been set on fire, 42 have been bombed and eight abortion providers have been murdered. The recent attacks on abortion providers rile up anti-abortion extremists and put abortion clinics’ staff and patients in further danger.

By attacking Planned Parenthood instead of investigating the people behind the highly-edited videos, Paxton is sending a clear message: when it comes to limiting abortion access, anything goes.