Honoring Dr. Bhavik Kumar’s work in this movement.

Dr. Kumar speaks at a rally on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in March 2016. Photo Credit: Whole Woman’s Health

 

Abortion providers face immense obstacles when providing care for their patients. They put their lives at risk every single day to selflessly provide comprehensive and dignified health care for the people who come to their clinics. Dr. Bhavik Kumar’s strong advocacy in the face of continued attacks on abortion access by the Texas Legislature is invaluable for the people affected most by the state’s abortion restrictions. That’s why we’re so honored to present Dr. Kumar with Whole Woman’s Health the Fighting Spirit Award at this year’s Fall Celebration.

Dr. Kumar’s advocacy extends beyond the clinic. As legislatures across the country increasingly rely on medically inaccurate terms and scare tactics to push increased abortion restrictions, Dr. Kumar sought out opportunities to educate legislators and advocates on the realities of abortion care. This was especially useful during the last legislative session, when the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 8. The bill essentially bans second trimester abortions and makes it much harder for doctors to practice their best medical judgment when treating patients. From speaking at a rally on the steps of the Supreme Court prior to the HB 2 decision to working with reporters to demystify common abortion procedures, Dr. Kumar’s commitment to reducing stigma and spreading medically-accurate information is invaluable to our movement.   

At a time when anti-abortion activists are targeting abortion providers, Dr. Kumar’s intentional decision to speak publicly as an abortion provider is even further proof of his commitment to fighting for his patients’ rights to access compassionate abortion care in their communities. We at NARAL Pro-Choice Texas are so thankful to have the opportunity to honor the brave work Dr. Kumar does. Purchase your tickets now and join us on Oct. 19 at the Fall Celebration as we celebrate Dr. Kumar’s fighting spirit.

One Year Later, Our Fight Continues Stronger Than Ever

Today I’m filled with emotion remembering some of the biggest moments in our movement for reproductive freedom in Texas. Four years ago this past Sunday, thousands of us filled the Capitol building with our voices, killing the bill Sen. Wendy Davis spoke against for 13 hours.

That bill—House Bill 2—eventually passed and our state lost more than half of its abortion clinics. One year ago today, I cried tears of joy with my staff and colleagues in the now-reopened Whole Woman’s Health of Austin clinic when the Supreme Court struck down two of the most harmful restrictions in HB 2.

Unfortunately, we do not have time for much nostalgia because in 21 days, the Legislature is coming back for a special session and Gov. Greg Abbott has promised to put even more abortion restrictions on the agenda. We need you fighting with us at the Capitol in July. Will you contribute $25 to NARAL Pro-Choice Texas today?

During the regular legislative session, anti-abortion lawmakers passed another horribly restrictive law that requires health providers to bury or cremate all embryonic and fetal tissue and criminalizes the most common abortion procedure after 13 weeks. And with more regulations to come, we need your help to fight back. Will you become part of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas’ legislative defense today?

With your help, we will keep fighting for our reproductive freedoms at the Capitol. Thank you for being with us through the years, and being there for abortion access once again.

Proud to continue fighting with you,

Heather Busby

 

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

For Release: 2-1-2017

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, [email protected]

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.”

What to do after the Supreme Court decision on House Bill 2

Not sure what’s going on with this case? Find a breakdown of what to expect here.

Update: VICTORY! House Bill 2 is gone. Here’s what the ruling means for Texans who need abortion care:

  1. Clinics will be able to continue operating, and possibly re-open, without having to make costly and unnecessary changes to their facilities

  2. Providers will no longer have to wait for admitting privileges in order to provide abortion care

  3. No more clinics will close due to House Bill 2

Read our statement here and read below for information about events happening around Texas today as well as a tele-town hall happening tomorrow.

As we wait for the Supreme Court to decide Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedtthe case challenging HB 2–we want  to make sure everyone is in the loop about happenings around the state on decision day and beyond.

We now know that the decision will be this Monday, 6/27. 

The Supreme Court convenes at 10 AM EST (so 9 AM CST and 8 AM MST for us Texans) and starts to release opinions. In other words, we’ll know in the morning on decision day and we’ll spread the word about what the opinion means as soon as we can. Whether we’re celebrating or mourning, we’ll be doing it together.

Here’s where to gather on decision day:

Austin – Scholz Garten, 5:30pm

Dallas – Dallas City Hall, 5:30pm

El Paso – El Paso County Courthouse, 12:00pm (noon)

Ft. Worth – Location to be announced (but you can still RSVP here), 5:30pm

Houston – Planned Parenthood Gulf coast, 5:30pm/R-Bar, 7:00pm

McAllen – Whole Woman’s Health McAllen, 6:00pm

San Antonio – Location to be announced, 4:30pm

Waco – Location to be announced (but you can still RSVP here), 5:30pm

The day after the decision comes out (Tuesday, June 28), we’ll have a telephone town hall that anyone can join featuring Wendy Davis, Ilyse Hogue, Amy Hagstrom Miller, Yamani Hernandez, Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas and Nancy Northrup.

Sign up here to get invited to the tele-town hall and get the latest on the decision and events happening in the hours, days, weeks after the decision comes out!

I want to go to D.C. as SCOTUS decides the fate of Texas abortion clinics, but I need your help.

This is a guest post from Mary Drummer.

I remember staying up ’til the early hours of the morning riveted to my computer screen and Twitter, catching the live Tweets and streams from activists who were in the Texas Capitol during Wendy Davis’ filibuster. The feeling was so electric and live that I wished I had scrounged up the cash and traveled to Texas to be there. Unfortunately, at the same time, my home state of Ohio was also doing their best to pass draconian anti-abortion laws, but due to our state Senate rules, there would be no history making filibuster like there was in Texas.

A few months later when Wendy Davis officially announced her intention to run for Governor, I just KNEW I had to work on her campaign. I had previously done organizing work in my home state of Ohio around reproductive rights and other progressive issues and was just finishing up a healthcare campaign with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. When I saw that Battleground Texas was hiring, I applied, was hired, and moved across the country to Texas in 10 days. Working on that campaign and seeing so many Texans inspired and engaged in politics (many for the first time in their lives) was life-changing.Mary Drummer

I’m not done fighting back. Having lived in Houston, Austin, Dallas and traveled to the Rio Grande Valley, I’ve seen first hand the harm that’s being done to individuals because of HB2. Can you pitch in to help me get to D.C. so my voice can be heard at our nation’s capital?

After the campaign ended, I didn’t want to leave Texas, so I moved to Austin where I joined the Next Generation program with NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, participated in direct actions at the state Capitol against more abortion restrictions, and attended community group discussions held by Mama Sana/Vibrant Woman, a radical reproductive justice group that centers Women of Color. I am now living in Dallas, where I recently joined the board of the TEAfund, an abortion fund that serves individuals in North Texas, and I have also joined the advisory council of Reproaction–a national abortion rights organization that aims to change the messaging around abortion to one that’s more positive and affirming.

If HB 2 were to fully go into effect, it would leave only 10 abortion clinics open in a state that’s larger than the country of France. There would be no providers in all of Western Texas or in the Rio Grande Valley.

We’re fighting back. Just like Roe v. Wade, which also originated in Texas, Whole Woman’s v. Hellerstedt will be a watershed moment in abortion rights history and it’s only right that we have Texans who have been working and organizing in this movement in D.C. when the arguments are heard. Can you help me get to Washington, D.C. for the oral arguments at the Supreme Court?