Oppose SB 4: Immigrant Justice is Reproductive Justice

This Wednesday the House State Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on SB 4, which would punish local and state government entities, as well as college campuses, that refuse to cooperate with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials or enforce immigration laws.

As we fight for the fundamental right of every person to maintain bodily autonomy, to make their own reproductive health care decisions with access to the full range of options, and to live and raise families in healthy, safe communities, with dignity and justice, this legislation is of the utmost concern.

The health and rights of 1.5 million undocumented immigrants living in Texas are already profoundly compromised by their immigration status. Undocumented immigrants are often forced to work in industries that are undervalued, underpaid, hazardous to their health, lacking in basic worker protections, and offer no benefits. Not surprisingly, a majority of them do not have health care coverage. As a result, undocumented immigrants are less likely to receive adequate reproductive health care.

However, as federal agencies ramp up their use of deportation raids as an immigration enforcement tactic under the Trump administration, the threat of deportation is proving to be as great a barrier to accessing health care as the systemic disenfranchisement undocumented immigrants have faced throughout their experience in the United States.

Undocumented individuals frequently report forgoing or delaying care for fear that they will be reported to immigration officials. Stories like that of a Mexican woman detained in Houston at a gynecologist’s appointment and of a Salvadoran woman with a brain tumor forcefully taken out of the hospital where she was being treated in Burleson, Texas, and back to a detention center add to an atmosphere of panic and deter vulnerable individuals from seeking the care they need.

SB 4 would give local law enforcement agencies in Texas no choice but to facilitate this aggressive wave of deportations, breaking up families and communities and further marginalizing a population that, in fact, is an integral part of our state’s social, cultural and economic fabric. This bill would encourage dangerous profiling practices and tie city and county officials’ hands in determining public safety priorities, as well as discouraging victims and witnesses from reporting crimes. If enacted, SB 4 would make all Texans less safe.

Here’s how you can help stop this dangerous measure:

  1. Call the members of the State Affairs Committee and tell them to oppose SB 4:

– Chair, Byron Cook: 512-463-0730

– Vice Chair, Helen Giddings: 512-463-0953

– Tom Craddick: 512-463-0500

– Charlie Geren: 512-463-0610

– Jessica Farrar: 512-463-0620

– Ryan Guillen: 512-463-0416

– Ken King: 512-463-0736

– John Kuempel: 512-462-0602

– Morgan Meyer: 512-463-0367

– Rene Oliveira: 512-463-0640

– Chris Paddie: 512-463-0674

– Eddie Rodriguez: 512-463-0674

– John T. Smithee: 512-463-0702

2. Call your OWN representative, to let them know that you are against SB 4. Find out who represents you here.

3. Come to the State Affairs Committee Hearing on Wednesday, March 15. It will be at the Capitol in the extension, room E2.036. Notice of the hearing can be found here.

4. Testify at the Hearing. If you are willing to take your advocacy to the next level, consider testifying at the State Affairs Committee Hearing. You will need to deliver a 3-minute testimony stating that you are against SB 4. Here is more information about how to register to testify.

 

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.

How to #Resist at the Capitol this week

We’re proud of the diversity in our movement for reproductive freedom and we value people from all countries and religions. That’s why NARAL Pro-Choice Texas will be at the Capitol this week to show support and stand strong against attacks on Muslims and immigrants. In addition, we’ll also be fighting for to ensure that your tax dollars only go to qualified reproductive health providers that offer the full range of contraceptive services.

Texas Muslim Capitol Day

Tuesday, Jan. 31, 9:00 AM at the south steps of the Capitol

Please note: the organizers of this event have stressed that this is a peaceful protest. Please do not engage with counter-protesters or bring any signs or banners.

Senate Finance Committee Public Hearing

Tuesday, Jan. 31, 9:00 AM at E1.036 (finance room) in the Capitol extension

Our legislative counsel, Blake Rocap, will be testifying at this hearing, urging senators to prioritize state funding for qualified health care providers. If you would like to testify, here are some suggested talking points and tips for testifying.

Stop SB 4, the so-called “Sanctuary Cities” bill

Thursday, Feb. 2, 8:30 AM at the Senate Chamber in the Capitol

Immigrants rights groups have requested a strong public presence at the hearing. Wear white to show solidarity with immigrant families.
The next four years will be a test of resolve but we’re prepared to resist with you and support our allies every step of the way. Thank you and see you at the Capitol.

Republicans Vow to “Redouble” Efforts to End Abortion in Texas

Monday’s Supreme Court ruling was an incredible victory for Texans’ health and safety–and it doesn’t stop there. Not only does the decision mean that Texas abortion clinics can stay open, it has far-reaching impacts that effect people across the country. Following the decision, the Supreme Court declined challenges from Wisconsin and Mississippi that would have led to the implementation of similar restrictions in those states, protecting clinics and providers.

While this win is a turning point in the fight for reproductive freedom, it is also fueling anti-choice activists in their preparation for legislative session in January. Show your support for pro-choice policies with a donation today.

In a tweet, Governor Greg Abbott vowed to “redouble” his commitment to restricting abortion access.

And he isn’t alone. During a press conference in Houston, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick told reporters, “We’re going to go through [the decision] line by line and see what it is that we can address in a way that a Supreme Court would approve.” Whatever the outcome of this, he assured them, “We will be all in.”

Prominent anti-choice activists echoed Patrick, saying that “this ruling will help us to focus on what our goal is,” moving forward.

They pledged to pass a procedural ban in the upcoming legislative session, which would disrupt providers’ ability to provide basic medical care should it succeed.

Building upon the Planned Parenthood witch-hunts, they plan to focus on “the state interest about fetal life.” Citing precedent from a Supreme Court ruling in 2007, it is clear that they believe that procedure bans and restrictions focused on “fetal life” will be harder to challenge.

And it isn’t just legislation. Speaking on their Facebook page, a representative from a statewide anti-choice group said, “We need our cultural conversation to be about the pre-born child, not about how many miles it takes to get to an abortion clinic.”

Anti-choice activists in Texas are doubling down on their efforts in Texas. They have a plan in place to shift not only state laws, but also conversations around abortion in Texas.

We can’t let this happen, but we can’t stop it without you. Can you donate today to support proactive, pro-choice policy at the Texas legislature?

NARAL Pro-Choice Texas is already leading the fight for reproductive freedom in Texas, and we aren’t going to let them steal this win. We are actively working to challenge abortion stigma in Texas, stigma fosters the environment that allows harmful abortion restrictions to flourish.

Want to see TRAPPED? Here are all of the screening dates and locations in Texas.

Consistently rated as one of the best documentaries to come out this year, Trapped  sets aside abortion stigma and shows viewers how abortion providers truly are: brave, compassionate medical professionals who bring abortion care to communities that need it most, often in the face of state legislatures and lawmakers that want to see them shut down.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY9b2Lcmh5k

Trapped has started screening across Texas this month. Here are all of the dates and locations where you can go see it:

San Antonio
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Wednesday, March 30 at 6:30 PM
Organized by NOW (National Organization for Women) and Medical Students for Choice
Tickets and RSVP

Houston
Hilton University of Houston Hotel and Conference Center
Tuesday, April 5 at 6:00 PM
Organized by NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and UH WGRC
A panel after the film will include Ana Rodriguez from The Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, reproductive justice activist Eesha Pandit, and Director of Marketing and PR for Whole Woman’s Health Fatimah Gifford.
Tickets and RSVP

Austin
Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Tuesday, April 12 at 6:00 PM
Organized by NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and The Lilith Fund
A panel after the film will include Marva Sadler of Whole Woman’s Health (also featured in the film), Ana Rodriguez of Lilith Fund, and a representative of Bridge Collective.
Tickets and RSVP

El Paso
UTEP Union Cinema
Saturday, April 23 at 6:30 PM
Organized by West Fund and URGE
The screening will feature a panel afterwards of activists and clinic staff who will discuss the film and the impact of TRAP laws, including HB2, on the people of Texas.
Tickets and RSVP

McAllen
Cine El Ray
Thursday, April 28 at 6 PM
Organized by Feministxs Unidxs, The Progressive Young Democrats at UTRGV, UTRGV’s Texas Freedom Network, and UTRGV’s URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity
Tickets and RSVP

Austin
Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Tuesday, May 3 at 7:00 PM
Organized by The Lilith Fund and Fund Texas Choice
A panel discussion will happen before the film screens.
Tickets and RSVP

More dates will be added in the coming weeks! Did we miss a screening date? Send us an email at [email protected].