Don’t let Texas take away insurance coverage for abortion.

Last week, the State Affairs committee heard HB 214, which would ban private insurance plans from coverage abortions and disproportionately target low-income Texans.

HB 214 bans coverage of abortion under all health benefit plans, including private plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. The bill has no exceptions in cases of rape.

CALL the members of the House Committee on State Affairs to voice your opposition. Feel free to use the script below —

Hi, my name is ______.
I’m calling to ask Rep. _____, who is a member of the House State Affairs Committee, to vote NO on HB 214. 
HB 214 will cut off access to abortion for low-income and rural Texans and communities of color. If passed, this bill will directly harm Texas families, who need their insurance plans to cover the full range of pregnancy related care, including abortion. 
 
[Insert your own story, if you like.]
 
I’m counting on the representative to do the right thing and respect pregnant Texans by voting NO on HB 214. 
 
Thank you for your time.
Texas House State Affairs Committee
  • Byron Cook (chair)       (512) 463-0730
  • Helen Giddings (vice-chair)       (512) 463-0953
  • Tom Craddick       (512) 463-0500
  • Jessica Farrar       (512) 463-0620
  • Charlie Geren       (512) 463-0610
  • Ryan Guillen       (512) 463-0416
  • Ken King       (512) 463-0736
  • John Kuempel       (512) 463-0602
  • Morgan Meyer       (512) 463-0367
  • René Oliveira       (512) 463-0640
  • Chris Paddie       (512) 463-0556
  • Eddie Rodriguez       (512) 463-0674
  • John T. Smithee       (512) 463-0702

Stop two anti-abortion bills from going on the House floor.

We expect that at least two anti-abortion bills, HB 214 and HB 14, will be heard before the full House floor soon. These bills are medically unnecessary and will directly harm Texas families who are already struggling to pay for healthcare costs.

HB 214 bans coverage of abortion under all health benefit plans, including private plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. The bill has no exceptions in cases of rape.

HB 14 prohibits local government entities including cities and counties, hospital districts, and state agencies from partnering with health providers that also perform abortions or are affiliated with an abortion provider.

Now is the time to CALL the members on the House Calendars Committee and tell them to stop these medically unnecessary bills from going to the House floor where they will undoubtedly be made worse. Feel free to use the script below:

Hi, my name is ______.
I’m calling to ask Rep. _____, who is a member of the House Calendars Committee, to REJECT sending HB 214 and HB 14 to the full Texas House floor for debate and vote.  
Lawmakers should not be rewarded for targeting low income families and stigmatizing health care. HB 214 and HB 14 have no public health benefit and will cut off access to affordable health care for people across the state. If passed, these bills will further stigmatize abortion care and negatively impact clinics that do important work in their local communities. 
 
[Insert your own story, if you like.]
 
I’m counting on the representative to do the right thing and respect pregnant Texans by STOPPING HB 214 and HB 14 from going before the full House floor. 
 
Thank you for your time.

Texas House Calendars Committee:

  • Chair, Todd Hunter: (512) 463-0672
  • Vice Chair, Donna Howard: (512) 463-0631
  • Roberto Alonzo: (512) 463-0408
  • Trent Ashby: (512) 463-0508
  • Byron Cook: (512) 463-0730
  • Sarah Davis: (512) 463-0389
  • Charlie Geren: (512) 463-0610
  • Helen Giddings: (512) 463-0953
  • Kyle Kacal: (512) 463-0412
  • Ken King: (512) 463-0736
  • Linda Koop: (512) 463-0454
  • Poncho Nevárez: (512) 463-0566
  • Chris Paddie: (512) 463-0556
  • Dade Phelan: (512) 463-0706
  • Toni Rose: (512) 463-0664

STATEMENT: Gov. Abbott Announces More Devastating Attacks on Abortion Access for Special Session

For Release: 6-6-2017

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, [email protected]

Austin, TX — Today, Gov. Greg Abbott announced a special session to begin July 18 and laid out several pieces of anti-abortion legislation as his priorities, including a ban on private insurance coverage for abortion, burdensome reporting requirements for abortion providers and further regulations on how governments can contract with organizations like Planned Parenthood.

Gov. Abbott also signed into law SB 8, a cruel and shameful anti-abortion bill that severely restricts access to health care and effectively bans second trimester abortions.

Heather Busby, executive director at NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement upon the announcement —

“It is disgusting and shameful that Gov. Abbott is wasting taxpayer dollars to force through even more regulations on our reproductive freedoms, especially after signing such a harmful bill in SB 8. And it is even more despicable that he is using the special session to systematically deny our human rights and civil liberties, wrenching away local control, attacking transgender people, forcing through school vouchers, and taking away our ability to unionize.

Restricting access to vital health care and targeting medical providers is cruel, hateful and dangerous. Gov. Abbott’s priorities for the special session jeopardize Texans’ health and safety and disproportionately impact low-income Texans, people of color and their families, and young people.

There is nothing ‘pro-life’ about denying health care to those who need it. Our reproductive rights are not political bargaining chips to be traded away.”

#SoProLife: the anti-life priorities of Gov. Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton

This week an extremist anti-abortion group released a heavily edited, deceptive undercover video targeting Planned Parenthood. The short version of the video misleads the viewer into thinking the doctor is discussing the sale of fetal body parts, but the longer, nearly three hour version makes it clear that they’re discussing voluntary tissue donation that patients request and extensively consent to. Any money exchanged is only to reimburse the costs of shipping the donations to facilities that perform lifesaving medical research.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton were quick to join the witch hunt as this false scandal hit the news cycle by calling for an investigation. Since they’re both currently embroiled in their own ethical and legal troubles, it’s not surprising how eager they are to turn the attention to one pet cause that is guaranteed to rile up their extreme right-wing base: abortion. Not surprisingly, anti-choice members of the Legislature have wasted no time in responding, setting a Senate Health and Human Services committee meeting for the Planned Parenthood investigation on July 29.

Meanwhile, real scandals that affect the state are happening and Abbott and Paxton haven’t lifted a finger to do anything about them. For example, children born in Texas – United States citizens by birthright – are being routinely denied birth certificates, simply because their mothers don’t have US passports.

Who does this to babies? Denying a baby a birth certificate is tantamount to denying them health care, education, future jobs and, basically, their identity. It’s cruel, racist and unacceptable…except to Abbott, who is apparently just fine with the practice.

How can Abbott tout how “pro-life” he is when he hasn’t done a single thing to right this horrible injustice? It wouldn’t take much for him to direct the Health and Human Services Commission to knock it off with this awful and illegal practice, but he hasn’t bothered to make a statement or even a phone call. His lack of action is apparent as this has been going on for some time and now the mothers have to sue the state for their rights.

Then there’s the suspicious death of Sandra Bland after she was jailed in a county known for racism and hostility toward black residents. Abbott tweeted once about Sandra Bland’s death on July 17, but hasn’t publicly called for a full-scale investigation or denounced the way Ms. Bland was treated. Paxton has also been silent.

These elected officials are #SoProLife that babies born in border counties don’t matter and a black woman’s death doesn’t deserve the same outrage as a manufactured scandal based on lies intended to further restrict access to safe abortion care. Shame on Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton.

 

PETITION: Tell Governor Abbott to VETO HB 3994

The time to act is now!

Gov. Abbott is expected to sign HB 3994 this week – a devastating bill that removes the only option for abused and neglected teens who need an abortion, judicial bypass. Tell Gov. Abbott to veto this cruel bill by signing the petition below.

HB 3994 has done almost everything possible to limit access to the courts for young people who are unable to involve a parent in their abortion decision. Teenagers without a parent to be found, teenagers in abusive homes and teenagers who have suffered sexual assault from a family member will no longer have a choice when it comes to an unintended pregnancy.

Thank you for speaking out to ensure that all Texans can access safe, legal and timely abortion care when they need it.