STATEMENT: HHSC Ends Contracts with Anti-Abortion Organization

For Release: 10-12-2018

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, [email protected]

HHSC Ends Contracts with Anti-Abortion Organization

AUSTIN, TX — Today, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced that they are terminating their contracts with the Heidi Group, an anti-abortion organization that provided no health care at the time of the award. NARAL Pro-Choice Texas has repeatedly criticized the state’s decision to award the Heidi Group and other unqualified providers this funding. Aimee Arrambide, executive director at NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement —

“The Heidi Group was never remotely qualified to provide reproductive health care to tens of thousands of Texans in need. Yet, the state went to extremes to withhold funds from qualified providers in order to award undeserved millions of taxpayer dollars to an ideological, anti-choice organization with ties to fake women’s health centers. Family planning dollars should go directly to medical providers who have experience providing family planning and preventive care services, not anti-abortion organizations that aim to coerce and manipulate.

“Even as the HHSC has taken this step in terminating their contracts with the Heidi Group, they continue to fund ideological organizations committed to banning abortion that provide no licensed health care to the tune of $38 million.

“We encourage the Legislature to remove the restrictions on qualified providers from participating in these programs in order to prevent this sort of waste in the future.”

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STATEMENT: NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Names Aimee Arrambide Executive Director

NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Names Aimee Arrambide Executive Director

For Release: 8-27-2018

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, [email protected]

AUSTIN, TX — Today, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas announced that Aimee Arrambide has been named as its new executive director. Aimee joins the organization after serving as Program Manager and Reproductive Rights Policy Specialist at Public Leadership Institute. She will officially assume the executive director role on September 1, 2018.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Aimee Arrambide as our new executive director,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Texas board chair Ingrid Norbergs. “Access to abortion is on the line nationwide and we’re certain that Aimee’s expertise on the reproductive rights landscape will grow and strengthen NARAL Pro-Choice Texas’ crucial work moving forward.”

“Aimee’s vision for the organization is inspiring,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Foundation board chair Kolby Duhon. “She is uniquely suited to lead the organization in its next chapter as we face threats to Roe v. Wade and a hostile political climate on both the state and national levels.”

“I am honored to join the NARAL Pro-Choice Texas team, where I started my career as an intern,” said Arrambide. “NARAL Pro-Choice Texas has been fighting back against anti-abortion restrictions for 40 years and I look forward to leading the organization’s efforts to ensure that all Texans have access to the health care they need, including abortion, without shame or stigma. Together with the talented staff and board, I am confident we can build a stronger pro-choice movement in Texas and lift up the voices of the people affected hardest by abortion restrictions.”

Arrambide was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor from New York Law School. She is a board member at Fund Texas Choice, a practical support abortion fund, and a National Network of Abortion Funds We Testify Storyteller.

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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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STATEMENT: Texas Will Revoke Family Planning Money Given to Anti-Abortion Organization

Texas Will Revoke Family Planning Money Given to Anti-Abortion Organization  

For Release: 8-22-2017

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, [email protected]

Austin, TX — Yesterday, it was revealed that Texas will reallocate more than $4 million of the state’s family planning budget from a grant awarded to The Heidi Group, an anti-abortion organization that provides no health care. NARAL Pro-Choice Texas has repeatedly criticized the state’s decision to award The Heidi Group this funding. Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement —

“The Heidi Group’s contract with HHSC demonstrates just how far Texas will go in putting politics over people, especially when it comes to reproductive health. There was nothing in The Heidi Group’s operations or history to indicate that this non-medical organization was even remotely qualified to provide reproductive health care.

Carol Everett has made several statements that demonstrate her lack of understanding of basic public health concepts, such as testifying before the state health agency that HIV and STIs can be transmitted and contracted through our water supply. Yet, the state went to extremes to withhold funds from qualified providers in order to award undeserved millions of taxpayer dollars to an ideological, anti-choice organization with ties to fake providers like crisis pregnancy centers. Tens of thousands of Texans in need of vital health care will pay the price for our state leadership’s unhealthy relationship with anti-abortion zealots like Everett.

Family planning dollars should be going directly to medical providers who have experience providing family planning and preventive care services, not anti-abortion organizations that aim to coerce and manipulate.

There must be an investigation into how and why the health department awarded The Heidi Group such a large contract that they were not qualified to fulfill.”

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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