Statement: More than 2,600 Texans Sign Petition to Expand Access to Reproductive Health Care

For Immediate Release

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, sharmeen@prochoicetexas.org

On Monday afternoon, reproductive rights activists delivered a petition with more than 2,600 signatures to House Speaker Joe Straus, demanding that the Texas Legislature stop restricting abortion access and instead prioritize expanding access to reproductive health care. Heather Busby, executive director at NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, made the following statement —

“Time and time again, Texans have made it clear that they won’t stand for attacks on their reproductive rights. Since the Supreme Court struck down some of the state’s harshest abortion restrictions last summer, anti-choice legislators have ramped up their attacks on health care by introducing bills that would interfere in the doctor-patient relationship and force doctors to practice substandard medicine. Rather than playing politics with people’s private health care decisions, these legislators should listen to the majority of Texans who support access to safe, legal abortion. Our reproductive rights are not up for grabs and it’s time anti-choice politicians realized this.

The Texas Legislature should prioritize policies that improve the health and well-being of all Texans. We call on our legislators to pass measures that actually expand access to birth control and abortion care and help Texas families, such as closing the gender pay gap, fixing the broken foster care system and providing greater protections for breastfeeding parents.”

Statement: Activists Resist Against SB 20, A Ban on Private Insurance Coverage for Abortion

For Release: 3-27-2017

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, sharmeen@prochoicetexas.org

Today, a group of Texans stood up in resistance against the Texas Senate passing Senate Bill 20, a bill that would prohibit private insurance plans from covering abortion. While the activists rose in opposition to the bill, another group of abortion access supporters dropped a banner above Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s desk that said, “United to lift the bans that deny abortion coverage.” Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement —

“The majority of Texans do not support restrictions on abortion. SB 20 is a discriminatory law that interferes in private business, limiting what insurance companies can and cannot cover. Sen. Taylor simply does not understand how insurance works.

Abortion is part of health care and taking it out of insurance plans means that for someone with an unintended pregnancy, life-threatening emergency or unexpected problem with a pregnancy, they will now have to pay out of pocket, potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars. SB 20 is another way anti-choice politicians like Dan Patrick are pushing to make abortion less accessible.”

Statement: Texas Senate Passes SB 20, A Ban on Private Insurance Coverage for Abortion

For Release: 3-22-2017

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, sharmeen@prochoicetexas.org

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Today, the Texas Senate passed on second reading Senate Bill 20, which would ban private insurance plans from covering abortion care. The bill also does not make exceptions for rape, incest or fetal anomalies. Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement:

“Access to health care, including abortion, should not be limited by one’s income. In restricting insurance coverage for abortion, Senate Bill 20 jeopardizes Texans’ health and disproportionately impacts low-income Texans, people of color and their families, and young people.

SB 20 jeopardizes the ability of private citizens to use their own money to buy health insurance that includes abortion coverage, making it so that Texans must purchase supplemental coverage instead. No one knows in advance what surgeries or medication they may need in the future, so why do we expect Texans to know if they will need an abortion?

Having insurance coverage for abortion is important to ensure that every Texan can access the care they need in a timely manner. It is wrong for the government to place restrictions on private health insurance companies looking to offer a full range of reproductive health services, including abortion.”

Statement on Final Passage of Anti-Abortion Bill SB 415

For Release: 3-20-2017

Contact: sharmeen@prochoicetexas.org, 214-404-8254

On Monday, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 415, which bans a safe, proven medical procedure. Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement —

“Today, politicians in the Texas Legislature continued their attack on the doctor-patient relationship and our reproductive rights. SB 415 is a thinly-veiled attempt to ban abortion, shame Texans who have abortions, and criminalize the safe practice of medicine.

This measure would prevent doctors from using their best medical judgment when treating their patients and would put patients’ health, safety and lives at risk. Every woman’s pregnancy experience is different, and doctors need all options available to treat their individual patients. Politicians should leave the practice of medicine to physicians.

Texans have shown again and again that they won’t stand for attacks on abortion access. It is long past time for anti-choice legislators to stop playing politics with our reproductive health, passing measures that put patients’ health and safety at risk and grossly intrude on the doctor-patient relationship.”

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Senate Bill 415, filed by Senator Charles Perry, would ban a safe, medically-proven method of performing abortions later in pregnancy.

ACT NOW: Oppose SB 20, 25, and 415

At what felt like lightning speed on Wednesday, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 8 — a bill that bans the donation of fetal tissue for research purposes.

But it didn’t stop there.

Next, senators took their first vote on Senate Bill 415, which grossly intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship and bans a safe medical procedure. Senators take their final vote on SB 415 Monday. We also expect Senate Bill 20 — which bans insurance coverage for abortion — and Senate Bill 25 — which allows doctors to lie to their pregnant patients — to hit the floor soon.

Here’s what you can do NOW:

1. Call your senators and tell them to VOTE NO on SB 20, SB 25, and SB 415. Click here to find out who represents you and feel free to use the call script below:

Hello,

My name is [NAME] and I live in zip code [ZIP]. I am one of Senator [NAME]’s constituents.

I’m calling to ask that the senator vote NO on Senate Bill 20, 25, and 415 and stop interfering in people’s private medical decisions.

Texans must be able to make their own decisions with the advice of the doctors they trust. According to medical experts, SB 415 will do nothing to make women safer, and if passed, would harm Texans seeking abortion care. SB 20 will cut off access to abortion, especially for low-income Texans, people of color and young people; SB 25 allows doctors to lie to their pregnant patients.

[Insert your own story, if you’d like.]

I’m counting on the senator to do the right thing by respecting Texans and trusting doctors. Please vote NO on Senate Bill 20, 25 and 415.
Thank you, I appreciate your time.

2. Sign our petition demanding that lawmakers stop wasting their time on baseless, dangerous abortion restrictions and instead focus on expanding access to reproductive health care and supporting Texas families.