STATEMENT: New Report Prevents Accurate Measurement of Controversial Women’s Health Programs

STATEMENT: New Report Prevents Accurate Measurement of Controversial Women’s Health Programs

For Release: 4-27-2018

Contact: Alexa Garcia-Ditta, [email protected]

 

AUSTIN, TX — Yesterday, the Texas Health and Human Services released a report on the state’s women’s health programs, which includes Healthy Texas Women and the Family Planning Program. While the report shows that the programs served more women in state fiscal year 2017 than it did in FY 2016, the state’s reporting methodology makes it impossible to know if as many Texans are receiving care as they did before the programs were cut in 2011.

The inclusion of providers with no reproductive health care experience like The Heidi Group resulted in only achieving the national average of 8 percent long-acting, reversible contraception (LARC) usage, likely due to the unfamiliarity of providers with LARC methods and unavailability of these methods in their offices, and only 2 percent of the program’s patients were teens.

Blake Rocap, interim executive director at NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement on the report —

“Lawmakers required this report from the Health and Human Services Commission so they could evaluate the policy and funding changes they made to these programs. Unfortunately, this report does not  demonstrate the state’s programs are successful; key data required by the Legislature to make that conclusion is missing. Without information on how many clients each provider served, it is impossible to know which contractors met their goals and which are spending tax dollars most efficiently. Refusing to release the required data frustrates the intent of the report, and does not allow the Legislature to provide appropriate contract compliance oversight to an agency that obviously needs it.

“The number of total providers is not indicative of actual program capacity, almost half did not provide any care; the number of total enrollees is not indicative of patient access, almost half did not receive care. Texas is failing by not accurately tracking how its programs work therefore denying lawmakers the opportunity to make sound public policy.

“If the agency is going to ignore budget rider directives from lawmakers, we suggest they restore the ability of patients to see any qualified provider of their choice, take the nine to one  federal matching dollars and return the program to the success it enjoyed before anti-abortion politicians destroyed it in 2011.

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STATEMENT: Texas Officials Continue Attacks on Abortion Care During Interim

Texas Officials Continue Attacks on Abortion Care During Interim

For Release: 2-21-2018

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, [email protected]

Today, the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs met for an interim hearing to discuss granting the Attorney General power to prosecute abortion clinics and further target abortion care. Alexa Garcia-Ditta, communications director at NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement —

“Today, Texas officials continued their relentless attack on abortion care. Wednesday’s hearing was another attempt by Texas to push a national agenda intended to end abortion care entirely and put essential healthcare out of reach for people across the state. There is no evidence that local district attorneys are refusing to prosecute violations of state law.

Ken Paxton’s proposal would give anti-abortion politicians like him more power, while further stigmatizing health care. Further, the Office of the Attorney General has no business usurping the power of locally elected district attorneys to politicize qualified clinics providing safe and dignified care to their communities.

Today’s hearing continued the state’s push for a national agenda that targets abortion providers and stigmatizes abortion care. Regulating abortion clinics differently than any other medical clinic only prevents people from accessing the health care they need. Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures in the country and is an essential component of health care—it’s time Texas officials treated it as such.”

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STATEMENT: Texans Rise Up to Protect the Promise of Roe v. Wade

AUSTIN, TX — Today marks the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that guaranteed our constitutional right to an abortion. However, as we commemorate this historic anniversary, we also continue to push back against a political landscape that has put abortion even further out of reach for pregnant people who are low-income, undocumented, live in rural areas and are under the age of 18. Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement —

“Despite the fact that the majority of people in this country support the right to safe, legal abortion care, anti-choice politicians in Texas passed seven more laws in 2017 alone that restrict access to abortion and federal officials continue to prevent undocumented teenagers in already vulnerable situations from accessing abortion care. Texans who seek abortion face a mountain of barriers, all of which disproportionately impact people of color. Without true access to abortion, the right to choose is meaningless.

Despite these obstacles, we see hope in the Texans who continue to rise up every day to protect the promise of Roe. From showing up again and again to protest anti-abortion bills at the Capitol to funding people seeking essential health care in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Texans have made it clear that they won’t stay silent against the constant attacks on their reproductive rights.

Our constitutional rights are not up for debate and NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, alongside people across the state, will continue to work tirelessly to protect the promise of Roe that we celebrate today.”

STATEMENT: State Health Agency Holds Hearing on Medically Unnecessary Fetal Tissue Burial Rules

For Release: 12-11-2017

Contact: Alexa Garcia-Ditta, [email protected]exas.org

On Monday, the Health and Human Services Commission held a hearing for public comment on rules requiring burial or cremation of embryonic and fetal tissue following an abortion or miscarriage. The rules, blocked by a federal court in January, were codified into state law during the 2017 legislative session. Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement —

“After passing further draconian anti-abortion measures during the regular and special legislative sessions, Texas officials still won’t let up in restricting access to health care. It is shameful that Texas has pushed ahead with rules requiring burial or cremation of fetal tissue despite an ongoing legal challenge and a failure to prove in court that these rules serve any benefit to public health or patient safety.

Texans have shown up repeatedly to oppose these medically unnecessary rules but it’s clear that our state officials want to prioritize playing politics with people’s health care rather than listen to their concerns. Our reproductive freedom is not a political football to toss around and score political points with.

Pregnant Texans deserve to make decisions about their own medical care, free from interference by anti-abortion politicians.”

STATEMENT: Federal Court Blocks Dangerous Provision of SB 8 From Going Into Effect

Federal Court Blocks Dangerous Provision of SB 8 From Going Into Effect

For Release: 8-31-2017

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, [email protected]

Austin, TX — Today, a federal court ruled to temporarily block the enactment of a provision of Senate Bill 8 that bans the safest and most common method of abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. A coalition of abortion providers represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood Federation of America brought suit against SB 8 in July. Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement —

“NARAL Pro-Choice Texas is proud to stand with our partners in their fight against attacks on abortion access. SB 8 is part of a coordinated national strategy designed to shame people who get abortions, tie the hands of doctors and ban abortion method by method. This bill criminalizes physicians for exercising their best medical judgment and is a dangerous intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship.

Today’s ruling comes after a hateful special legislative session in which anti-choice lawmakers passed a bill that bans private insurance coverage for abortion. The courts, as well as Texans around the state, see through the Legislature’s thinly-veiled attacks that aim to make abortion inaccessible in Texas.

It is shameful that anti-choice lawmakers have no regard for established law or for people’s rights and insist on wasting precious taxpayer dollars defending laws they know to be unconstitutional. It is long past time for lawmakers to stop playing politics with our health care and stop passing measures that risk patients’ health and safety.”

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