ACTION ALERT: Anti-abortion bills being heard at the #txlege

The Senate is holding a public hearing on 3 anti-abortion bills at the Capitol on Wednesday. These bills are part of a broader effort to ban abortion and shame and stigmatize the people who have them. We won’t stand for this.

1. Dust off your orange and join us at the Capitol on Wednesday to make your voice heard.There will be iPad kiosks outside of the hearing room for you to register your position and sign up to testify if you would like to. You can find suggested talking points here. We’ll also have printed copies of the talking points and orange t-shirts available on Wednesday.

2. Call the legislators behind these anti-choice bills and let them know you’re against restrictions on abortion access. See the graphic below for a phone call script.

3. Send an email to your legislators here.

Call your state senators!

Instructions for Signing Up to Register and Testify

Before registering your position, you need to know the bill number, which committee is hearing the bill and the time and location of the hearing.
The bills being heard tomorrow are SB 8, SB 258, SB 415. They are being heard by the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services. The hearing starts at 8:30 AM in the Senate Chamber, located on the second floor of the Capitol.

The committee will begin taking sign ups to register and testify at 7:45 AM tomorrow morning. If you would like to submit written testimony to the committee for consideration, please bring 20 copies of your testimony.

You can register by filling out a card that will be available near the Senate Chamber entrance. When you register your opinion at the Capitol, you will provide basic contact information, specify whether you are representing yourself or an organization, register your position on the bill (support, oppose) and indicate if you will be testifying or submitting written testimony. After registering, your position has officially been entered into public record.

NARAL Pro-Choice Texas’ Statement on President Trump’s SCOTUS Nominee

For Release: 2-1-2017

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, sharmeen@prochoicetexas.org

AUSTIN, TEXAS — On Tuesday, President Trump announced Neil Gorsuch as his Supreme Court nominee. President Trump has repeatedly promised that his Supreme Court pick will overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that guaranteed our constitutional right to an abortion. Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement —

“By nominating Neil Gorsuch for a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court, President Trump has shown that he does not care about a person’s bodily autonomy and their right to make personal decisions for themselves. Judge Gorsuch has previously supported restricting access to birth control based on an employer’s religious preferences in two separate cases.

Texas’ anti-abortion laws have twice been challenged and heard before the U.S Supreme Court — the 1973 Roe v. Wade case, and the 2016 Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt case.

In both landmark decisions, the Supreme Court stepped in to ensure that Texans, and all Americans, are able to access their constitutionally protected right to abortion and essential family planning services. With this nomination and an anti-abortion administration in the White House, anti-abortion politicians in Texas will feel further emboldened to aggressively push their anti-choice agenda.

Neil Gorsuch is a harmful, dangerous Supreme Court nominee for every person in the country who values respect and dignity free from judgment when making their private health care decisions. The Senate must reject President Trump’s nominee.”

Statement: Texas Politician Files Bill to Ban All Abortions and Punish People Who Have Them

For Release: 1-12-2017

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, sharmeen@prochoicetexas.org

TEXAS — On Wednesday, anti-abortion lawmakers filed HB 948, a bill that would ban all abortions in the state and change the penal code to criminalize Texans who get them. Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, issued the following statement —

“This bill is an outright ban on abortion and would punish people who get abortions and the doctors who provide them. This cruel bill is the most extreme measure we’ve seen at the Texas Legislature. It takes away a pregnant person’s legal rights and could open up to investigation and prosecution of anyone who has a miscarriage or who seeks an abortion. When politicians criminalize safe medical procedures, they put patients’ health and safety at risk.

HB 948 strips away our constitutional right to abortion.”

Annika

My experience as a student of an abstinence only school

The only thing that I was taught in my “sex ed” class was the word abstinence. Yet, Texas remains as having one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in America; clearly, this method of education is ineffective. My health teacher had only once mentioned contraception methods such as condoms and birth control pills but followed with, “The ultimate contraception is abstinence.” In my 12 years of public schooling, the word abortion is yet to be spoken by any of my teachers. I have one year left, so I’ll update if that miraculously changes.

Merely thinking about abortion is regarded as sacrilege in my high school. Because of the student body’s very conservative and religious majority combined with their lack of awareness, abortion is considered the embodiment of Satan. Pro-choice students like myself must hide their beliefs from the wraths and harsh judgement of anti-choice people.

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Annika Mukherjee

These students are not bad or wrong in their beliefs, just misled. They likely assume the same beliefs as their parents, as they aren’t informed of it in school and are unable to form their own unswayed opinions, but their parents were once misled students as well, especially if they grew up in Texas. This points to an unfortunate reality: generations upon generations of uninformed students, causing recycled years of uneducated decisions and ill-conceived conclusions.

Sexual education needs to stop tiptoeing around prominent issues in our society. We must address rape because so many my age do not understand the concept of consent. We must address the importance of respecting partners and their boundaries or choices. We must face the fact that most students will not abstain, and in turn, teach safe sex. We must comprehensively acknowledge the chances of pregnancy and the option of abortion with sources of both support and opposition. We must clarify that pro-choice people are for the right of people having options to choose what they want to do with their own pregnancies. We must show that pro-choice people are not against life but against people feeling powerless when facing their futures.

When first immersing myself in this movement and developing my own opinions, I came across the famous quote: “A woman does not want an abortion like she wants an ice cream cone, a new dress, or a Porsche; she wants an abortion like an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg to escape.” This is an idea that is almost entirely unknown by my peers, one that changed me and one that could change many.

Students must know that the reproductive justice movement is more than abortion vs. baby; it is a fight for people and the strength of our voices. It is strongly believed that to change the future, we must change the youth. Changing sex education in Texas public schools would stop cycles of ignorance at the source and gain support for our movement.

HB 3130 alert

Take action at the Legislature: Oppose HB 3994, HB 3130 and HB 3446

Update 10:39 AM 5/14/2015: HB 3994 is up for a third reading at 11:00 AM. 

Update 6:13 PM, 5/13/2015: The House is taking up business for bills that were postponed earlier, but HB 3994 is next up on the calendar. 

Update 11:22 AM, 5/13/2015: The House is moving quickly through bills, and HB 3994 will likely be up in the next couple of hours. Come to the House gallery at the Capitol and wear orange! Live stream here.

As you may have heard, the House is taking up three harmful anti-choice bills this week. HB 3130, the House version of a ban on insurance coverage for abortion, is set on the House calendar on Tuesday, May 12. HB 3994, the very harmful bill that attacks abused and neglected teens’ access to abortion and requires all people seeking abortion to have a government ID, is set on the major state calendar on Wednesday, May 13. For more information on why judicial bypass is a safety net for teens, read this blog post from Tina Hester, Executive Director of Jane’s Due Process.

Click here to contact your state representative now to let them know you oppose HB 3130 and HB 3994!

Also on Wednesday is HB 3446, Rep. Laubenberg’s bill requiring abortion clinics to post certain signage. This bill is more targeted regulation of abortion providers.

If you would like to come to the Capitol to watch the debate, we encourage you to come on Wednesday and wear your orange shirt. On Tuesday, we cannot predict when HB 3130 will be heard. It is possible the House may not get to the bill at all that day. We also cannot give you an accurate time frame, but follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more updates on this.

This is a big week at the Legislature as Thursday is the final day for the House to pass House bills and joint resolutions (For a list of important dates and deadlines for the 84th Legislature, click here). There are a large number of bills on the calendar for the next few days. We will keep you up-to-date as things progress.

If you cannot be at the Capitol, you can always watch the live stream and follow along (or check you local cable listings to watch on TV). And don’t forget to contact your state rep now by clicking here.

If you’re at the Capitol on Tuesday, we want to alert you to a bad bill that attacks same-sex marriage rights. There are many times when other social movements intersect with reproductive rights, and that’s why we need you to oppose HB 4105, Rep. Cecil Bell’s bill that would prohibit any state or local funds from being used to issue same sex marriage licenses, which is also being heard this week. For more info on HB 4105, head on over to Equality Texas’ action page or check out the Texas Freedom Network’s blog.