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.

ACT NOW Against Rules Requiring Embryonic & Fetal Tissue Burial

On Monday, the Texas Department of State Health Services published the final rules on fetal and embryonic tissue burial, which we know serve no medical benefit and do nothing but impose an undue burden on Texans seeking abortion care. Since this summer, tens of thousands of you have submitted comments, spoken out at hearings and rallied outside the state health agency to oppose these rules, but it’s clear that the agency isn’t listening to us, or the medical community for that matter.

There’s still more you can do to make your voice heard. Right now, you can:

  1. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Remember to keep it within the word limit. You can use the talking points below to help you.
  1. Write or call your state lawmaker to register your opposition to this rule and any legislation. This month, Rep. Byron Cook introduced House Bill 201, which is likely to move through the legislature next session. You can find out who represents you here and use the talking points below in crafting your message.
  1. If you are interested in speaking publicly sharing your personal experience with abortion or miscarriage, (to the media, in a legal brief, at a public hearing), please email Heather Busby ([email protected]) with your contact info and we’ll discuss it further with you.
  2. Join our Legislative Action Team if you haven’t already! By signing up, you’ll get updates throughout the legislative session on other ways to get involved at the Capitol and in your local community. This week, we hosted our first Legislative Action Team call, which you can hear by clicking here.

Here are some talking points you can use in your letter to the editor or when writing or calling your lawmaker:

  • These rules have nothing to do with the safe practice of modern medicine, but instead are part of a nationwide effort to enact unnecessary regulations to restrict access to abortion.
  • Health care providers like hospitals and abortion clinics already follow the state’s standards for the sanitary disposal of medical waste including embryonic tissue. Just like other health care providers, they work with licensed medical tissue removal professionals to ensure fetal tissue is handled respectfully and safely and in accordance with the law. The addition of non-medical ritual to current clinical practice only serves to further interfere with a patient’s autonomy and decision making in their own medical care.
  • These requirements apply to miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies and make it harder for a family’s ability to provide tissue samples for pathological examination and testing. This testing is important to get a more accurate diagnosis, which may help them successfully carry future pregnancies to term.
  • The rules unduly burden both abortion patients and providers without any discernable, proven medical benefit, which violates the U.S Supreme Court ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.
  • Every patient makes the decision to have an abortion for their own reasons based on their own lived experience.  We should focus on making sure that they are supported and respected in their decision and in their access to safe healthcare.
  • I ask that you remove politics from public health and listen to input from providers, medical practitioners and public health professionals rather than politicians when deciding public health policy.
  • Please rescind these rules or make reasonable adjustments to them – such as allowing incineration without burial – that provide for a humane and sanitary solution without unduly burdening patients and providers.

Get Involved This Legislative Session!

The 2017 legislative session begins in less than two months, and anti-choice lawmakers are already filing harmful abortion restrictions — from a bill requiring burial or cremation of tissue following an abortion, miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, to legislation that would repeal the fetal anomaly exception in Texas’ 20-week abortion ban.

These are just a handful of the attacks we’ll be fighting this session, and we want YOU to join us in taking action! To stay on top of all things reproductive health and rights, sign up for our Legislative Action Team and we’ll keep you updated on bills that affect reproductive health and alert you to opportunities to testify and rally at the Texas Capitol.

We’ll also share opportunities to act in your own communities — from visits to your local elected officials’ district offices, visibility actions like protests and banner drops, online campaigns, letter writing events, phone banking, and other activities. You’ll also get exclusive invites to webinars and conference calls.

To kick off our series of actions, we’re hosting a Telephone Town Hall on November 28. During the phone call, you’ll hear from our our staff about our proactive policy agenda for the upcoming legislative session, challenges we’re facing and a number of ways you can get involved. To get the call-in number, sign up here.

To join the Legislative Action Team: npctex.as/2017lege
To sign up for the telephone town hall: npctex.as/npcttownhall

NARAL Pro-Choice Texas fights every day for reproductive freedom for all Texans and we’re so glad to have you on our side!