Houston Municipal Candidate Questionnaires

October 16, 2019

Abortion is, too, a local issue. As we recently saw in Austin, where City Council passed a budget amendment to provide logistical support for people seeking abortion care, city governments have the power to protect and expand abortion access.

NARAL Pro-Choice Texas wanted to know where candidates for offices with law-making power in Houston (that is the positon of Mayor and 16 City Council seats) stand on reproductive health and rights, including access to abortion care. Based on a questionnaire we sent to all candidates, we are proud to present our first-ever, nonpartisan municipal voters’ guide!

While local action on state laws is preempted, we hope to understand candidates’ views on these issues as completely as possible, in case state laws change. Potential laws and policies are potentially actionable at the local level.

You can read through each question below. Or you can read each candidate’s full responses here.

Ready to vote? Find your city council district here, and your polling location here.

Legality of Abortion

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Agree

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

Ashton P. Woods: Agree

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Disagree

Ralph B Garcia: Agree

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

Robin J Anderson: Agree

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Agree

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

Dr. Carla Brailey: Agree

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Agree

Jesus Zamora: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Agree

Naoufal Houjami: Agree

Demetria Smith: Agree

Kendall Baker: Disagree

Sue Lovell: Agree

Sylvester Turner: Agree 

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Agree

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

Ashton P. Woods: Agree

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Disagree

Ralph B Garcia: Agree

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

Robin J Anderson: Agree

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Agree

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

Dr. Carla Brailey: Agree

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Agree

Jesus Zamora: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Agree

Naoufal Houjami: Agree

Demetria Smith: Agree

Kendall Baker: Disagree

Sue Lovell: Agree

Sylvester Turner: Agree

Policies That Affect Access to Abortion

State Laws and Policies

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Support

Raj Salhotra: Support

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Support

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Support

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Support

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Support

Ashton P. Woods: Support

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Support

Comments: Support in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

I empathize with womens’ struggle for reproductive rights.  There was a time in this country where when did not control their own fertility. Women’s fertility was largely controlled by the men in their lives.  Our popular culture didn’t even have a word for rape or sexual harassment until the ‘80s. Even in marriages, the husband would dictate when the pair had sex (as one husband asked his pastor, “If I’m the head of the house according to the Bible, what does her consent matter?” He missed the Bible’s instruction that husbands sacrifice themselves for their wives like Jesus did for us.).  Yet, the husband would blame the wife for “getting pregnant.”  Abortion is always wrong, as it involves an unjustified killing of another person, but I understand that in those years, it was the only technology available by which a woman could control her fertility.

That is no longer the case.  Technology has given women almost perfect control over when and how they get pregnant.  No woman has to get pregnant, and in those cases where rape or incest result in pregnancy, I favor permitting abortions, but favor more encouraging the woman to take that baby to term and even to allow another family to adopt it, automatically severing paternal rights to the child to speed that along.  I would allow abortion to save the life of the mother.  So, I favor building a policy framework, supported by charitable efforts, aimed at saving the lives of the unborn to the maximum extent possible. 

Ralph B Garcia: Oppose

Comments: Coverage should be available if the doctor deems it.  It should be available in the cases of mother or child being subject to harm.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Support

Comments: I support abortions being covered by government health insurance if the pregnancy/abortions is due to the person being raped or the mother is at risk of death. Otherwise-I believe personal insurance should cover the cost of abortions.

Robin J Anderson: Support

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Support

Abbie Kamin: Support

Comments: Insurance policies, whether government-provided or not, should not be able to discriminate against women by denying or restricting abortion services.

Shelley Kennedy: Support

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Support

Dr. Carla Brailey: Support

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Support

Jesus Zamora: Oppose

Comments: There shouldn’t be any external influences outside of natural order playing into basic human rights.  We observe this within our political system where religious bias bleeds into legislative lobbying, ultimately shaping the laws that govern every day people.  We have a lot of restraints when it comes to the right for women to choose whether she needs assistance in conceiving or maybe cannot afford the child and does not want to place the baby into the system. I do not support Insurance companies having regulations on women when it comes to reproductive rights. We should strip political bias, whether it be based on religious or personal beliefs. 

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Support

Comments: Abortion services are healthcare and should be insured and funded as such. Additionally, we need to find a way to make healthcare more affordable for all.

Karla Cisneros: Support

Comments: This is sound public policy.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Support

Comments: Insurance for these services shouldn’t be considered as optional as a cosmetic enhancement should. These services can be as neccesary as breast exams.

Naoufal Houjami: Support

Comments: Freedom to pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Demetria Smith: Support

Kendall Baker: Oppose

Comments: Except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger.

Sue Lovell: Support

Sylvester Turner: Support

Comments: Health insurance should not discriminate against women.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Oppose

Raj Salhotra: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Oppose

Ashton P. Woods: Oppose

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Oppose

Ralph B Garcia: Oppose

Comments: Private non’profits should amply be able to incur these cost.  Tax credits should be set up to allow this, if they don’t already.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Oppose

Robin J Anderson: Oppose

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Oppose

Comments: I think the attack on women’s rights is wrong.

Abbie Kamin: Oppose

Comments: Indigent residents should have the same access to abortion services as everyone else. I have also taken a very vocal position against SB22, which further strong arms local governments to prevent them from partnering with health care safety net providers.

Shelley Kennedy: Oppose

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Oppose

Dr. Carla Brailey: Oppose

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Oppose

Jesus Zamora: Oppose

Comments: Due to slavery and oppression is the reason why it has been a domino effect on how certain people treat other ethnic backgrounds. We need to stop having laws that are aimed to limit natural born rights for certain races and not others. Lower class communities need to have the same access as those at the top.

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Oppose

Comments: We allow our local governments to provide healthcare services in all cases, regardless of a person’s ability to pay. We should never force someone to make a decision about their health and life based on their ability to pay.

Karla Cisneros: Oppose

Comments: This is an overreach by state government.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Oppose

Naoufal Houjami: Oppose

Demetria Smith: Oppose

Comments: I believe indigent people should have access to funding to make sound decisions on their reproductive rights if they can’t afford it themselves we must remember that some situations can be a health crisis for individuals

Kendall Baker: Support

Sue Lovell: Oppose

Sylvester Turner: Oppose

Comments: Criminalizing health care is a dangerous public policy.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Oppose

Raj Salhotra: Oppose We need to focus on the real science as opposed to claims that have no merit in evidence.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Oppose

Ashton P. Woods: Oppose

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Support

Comments: I dispute the claim in this question that such information is “unsupported by medical and scientific evidence.”

Ralph B Garcia: Oppose

Comments: Don’t see how they relate.  May as well fund them to give rabies treatment.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Oppose

Comments: The information should be supported by medical and scientific evidence.

Robin J Anderson: Support

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Oppose

Abbie Kamin: Oppose

Comments: Politicians should get out of the way and let women make health care decisions for themselves in consultation with their doctors.

Shelley Kennedy: Oppose

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Oppose

Dr. Carla Brailey: Oppose

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Oppose

Jesus Zamora: Support

Comments: Yes, I do believe that you can’t make a claim if you haven’t done any scientific research.

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Oppose

Comments: Government entities should not support the dissemination of information that is not credible or scientifically based.

Karla Cisneros: Oppose

Comments: We need to support the medical and scientific evidence.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Oppose

Naoufal Houjami: Oppose

Demetria Smith: Oppose

Comments: I would like women and/ or families to be well informed about potential medical conditions supported by evidence

Kendall Baker: Support

Comments: A woman deserves to be made aware of all possible risks.

Sue Lovell: Oppose

Sylvester Turner: Oppose

Comments: Republican legislators should stay out of women’s health care.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Oppose

Raj Salhotra: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Oppose

Ashton P. Woods: Oppose

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Oppose

Comments: Would oppose it if abortion were only allowed in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

Ralph B Garcia: Oppose

Comments: It should be optional for the woman.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Oppose

Comments: no law should make a wait period mandatory If the waiting period is unnecessary. Unless the waited period is being imposed to give patients time think about whether they want to move forward with the abortion.

Robin J Anderson: Support

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Oppose

Abbie Kamin: Oppose

Comments: Politicians should get out of the way and let women make health care decisions for themselves in consultation with their doctors.

Shelley Kennedy: Oppose

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Oppose

Dr. Carla Brailey: Oppose

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Oppose

Jesus Zamora: Oppose

Comments: Invasive to the right of a woman and imposing emotional distress. Medical providers not understanding the toll and stress they put on a woman before the procedure is actually done.

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Oppose

Comments: This practice is not required for other healthcare services and abortion services should not be the exception.

Karla Cisneros: Oppose

Comments: This is just harassment.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Oppose

Naoufal Houjami: Oppose

Demetria Smith: Oppose

Kendall Baker: Support

Sue Lovell: Oppose

Sylvester Turner: Oppose

Comments: Republican legislators should stay out of women’s health care.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Support

Comments: What age

Raj Salhotra: Oppose

Comments: We know that some minors may have difficulty accessing abortion serivces because of these barriors.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Support

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Oppose

Ashton P. Woods: Oppose

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Support

Comments: If parental rights have not been severed, or are not under review by CPS, then yes the parents should be notified.

Ralph B Garcia: Support

Comments: We do it for driving cars.  Is the doctor, agency or hospital willing to assume the responsibility?

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Support

Robin J Anderson: Support

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Oppose

Abbie Kamin: Oppose

Comments: Legislators pushing these bills have an agenda that is much different than protecting pregnant minors. I do believe, however, we need to make sure there are supports in place for these minors, depending on their age and maturity. Like with any medical procedure, parents should normally play a role and provide support for their child. I do believe a well-designed judicial bypass option for minors is appropriate.

Shelley Kennedy: Oppose

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Oppose

Dr. Carla Brailey: Support

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Support

Jesus Zamora: Oppose

Comments: Many people have to understand that if a minor accidentally gets pregnant they may fear their parents disowning them and having to fend for themselves in the world possibly facing homelessness if they don’t have assistant otherwise.

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Oppose

Comments: I think this is important for situations where a minor may feel their life is at risk by having to tell a parent of family member about their pregnancy status. Either because the family member may be sexually abusing the minor, or for other religious or cultural reasons. However, I do hope the minor would be provided with appropriate wrap around services to help counsel them on other abuse or mental health services and shelter/housing options if they felt their homes was not a safe place for them.

Karla Cisneros: Oppose

Comments: This is not necessary.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Oppose

Comments: I’ve been on the fence on this matter. As a mother, i would want my child to feel comfortable enough to let me know about what she is about to put her body through. Although i understand not all households operate this way, some being abusive, I feel that ADULT consent should be given for this service to a minor in the event that a minor undergoes complications. I do not believe PARENTAL consent is necessary due to lack of knowledge on the mental or physical environment each household upholds.

Naoufal Houjami: Oppose

Demetria Smith: Support

Comments: This depends on the age of the minor and this will also depend on the support of the parents

Kendall Baker: Support

Sue Lovell: Oppose

Sylvester Turner: Oppose

Comments: I appreciate the argument that parents should be involved in the health care decisions of their children. But these laws are not created to help parents. They are created to advance a political agenda that is harmful to women.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Support

Raj Salhotra: Support

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Support

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Support

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Support

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Support

Ashton P. Woods: Support

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Oppose

Comments: I’m against misrepresentation, false advertising and deceptive practices by whatever provider.  I am skeptical of whether the CPCs in Houston are guilty of such, necessitating regulatory intervention.

Ralph B Garcia: Support

Comments: I’m not certain this is an abortion issue. Sounds more like  a permit issue.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Support

Robin J Anderson: Support

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Support

Abbie Kamin: Support

Comments: This fits squarely within our city’s obligation to protect the health of the public.

Shelley Kennedy: Support

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Support

Dr. Carla Brailey: Support

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Support

Jesus Zamora: Support

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Support

Comments: Much like “conversion therapy” for LGBTQIA+ individuals, we do not as a City need to support misleading or dangerous “services”.

Karla Cisneros: Support

Comments: This is good public policy.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Support

Naoufal Houjami: Support

Demetria Smith: Support

Kendall Baker: Support

Sue Lovell: Support

Sylvester Turner: Support

Comments: I am not aware that the city has jurisdiction here. But I am willing to learn more.

Non-coercive, comprehensive access to the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion, for incarcerated people

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Support

Raj Salhotra: Support

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Support

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Support

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Support

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Support

Ashton P. Woods: Support

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Oppose

Comments: I favor granting them enough reproductive technology such that they don’t get pregnant if they don’t want to.  Abortion should be off the table except in cases of rape, incest and saving the life of the mother.

Ralph B Garcia: Oppose

Comments: This is not a legal issue. It should be able to be addressed at the administrative level.  Why single out the incarcerated?

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Support

Robin J Anderson: Support

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Support

Abbie Kamin: Support

Comments: Incarceration does not disqualify people from access to health care.

Shelley Kennedy: Support

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Support

Dr. Carla Brailey: Support

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Support

Jesus Zamora: Support

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Support

Comments: Healthcare is a right that should be available to everyone regardless of your incarceration status.

Karla Cisneros: Support

Comments: Incarceration should not prevent one from receiving reproductive health care.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Support

Naoufal Houjami: Support

Demetria Smith: Support

Kendall Baker: Oppose

Comments: Except where the woman’s life is in danger.

Sue Lovell: Support

Sylvester Turner: Support

Comments: Incarcerated people deserve access to quality health care.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Support

Raj Salhotra: Support

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Support

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Support

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Support

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Support

Ashton P. Woods: Support

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Oppose

Ralph B Garcia: Support

Comments: If they are non-profit then private sources and individuals are there.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Support

Robin J Anderson: Support

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Support

Abbie Kamin: Support

Comments: I support this, budget permitting.

Shelley Kennedy: Support

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Support

Dr. Carla Brailey: Support

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Support

Jesus Zamora: Support

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Support

Comments: I support access to the full range of reproductive healthcare.

Karla Cisneros: Support

Comments: This should be a decision made by local authorities.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Support

Naoufal Houjami: Support

Demetria Smith: Support

Kendall Baker: Oppose

Sue Lovell: Support

Sylvester Turner: Support

Comments: I support but only in principle. We face an ongoing funding crisis in the city and I do not want to make promises I cannot keep.

Policies That Affect Access to Abortion

Potential State Laws and Policies

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Support

Raj Salhotra: Support

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Support

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Support

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Support

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Support

Ashton P. Woods: Support

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Support

Comments: Government, especially local governments, should protect everyone always from physical and material threat and harm.

Ralph B Garcia: Oppose

Comments: Don’t we have existing laws that assure protection.?   There are other jobs that are high risk.  Schools with security get attacked. Maybe enforcement and prosecution should be stricter?

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Support

Robin J Anderson: Support

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Support

Abbie Kamin: Support

Comments: Public safety is the highest priority of city government. Harassment, and even violence, is a very real threat at reproductive health clinics. I have previously worked on issues surrounding this and want to do everything possible to protect women and their families, and health care providers.

Shelley Kennedy: Support

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Support

Dr. Carla Brailey: Support

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Support

Jesus Zamora: Support

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Support

Comments: No one should face harassment or violence because in their workplace.

Karla Cisneros: Support

Comments: We need to make sure patients and staff are safe.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Support

Naoufal Houjami: Support

Demetria Smith: Support

Kendall Baker: Support

Sue Lovell: Support

Sylvester Turner: Support

Comments: We work with law enforcement to keep clinics and their staffs safe.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Support

Raj Salhotra: Support

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Support

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Support

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Support

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Support

Ashton P. Woods: Support

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Oppose

Comments: I’m against misrepresentation, false advertising and deceptive practices by whatever provider.  I am skeptical of whether the CPCs in Houston are guilty of such, necessitating regulatory intervention.

Ralph B Garcia: Support

Comments: I’m not certain this is an abortion issue. Sounds more like  a permit issue.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Support

Robin J Anderson: Support

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Support

Abbie Kamin: Support

Comments: This fits squarely within our city’s obligation to protect the health of the public.

Shelley Kennedy: Support

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Support

Dr. Carla Brailey: Support

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Support

Jesus Zamora: Support

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Support

Comments: Much like “conversion therapy” for LGBTQIA+ individuals, we do not as a City need to support misleading or dangerous “services”.

Karla Cisneros: Support

Comments: This is good public policy.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Support

Naoufal Houjami: Support

Demetria Smith: Support

Kendall Baker: Support

Sue Lovell: Support

Sylvester Turner: Support

Comments: I am not aware that the city has jurisdiction here. But I am willing to learn more.

Non-coercive, comprehensive access to the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion, for incarcerated people

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Support

Raj Salhotra: Support

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Support

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Support

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Support

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Support

Ashton P. Woods: Support

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Oppose

Comments: I favor granting them enough reproductive technology such that they don’t get pregnant if they don’t want to.  Abortion should be off the table except in cases of rape, incest and saving the life of the mother.

Ralph B Garcia: Oppose

Comments: This is not a legal issue. It should be able to be addressed at the administrative level.  Why single out the incarcerated?

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Support

Robin J Anderson: Support

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Support

Abbie Kamin: Support

Comments: Incarceration does not disqualify people from access to health care.

Shelley Kennedy: Support

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Support

Dr. Carla Brailey: Support

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Support

Jesus Zamora: Support

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Support

Comments: Healthcare is a right that should be available to everyone regardless of your incarceration status.

Karla Cisneros: Support

Comments: Incarceration should not prevent one from receiving reproductive health care.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Support

Naoufal Houjami: Support

Demetria Smith: Support

Kendall Baker: Oppose

Comments: Except where the woman’s life is in danger.

Sue Lovell: Support

Sylvester Turner: Support

Comments: Incarcerated people deserve access to quality health care.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Support

Raj Salhotra: Support

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Support

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Support

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Support

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Support

Ashton P. Woods: Support

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Oppose

Ralph B Garcia: Support

Comments: If they are non-profit then private sources and individuals are there.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Support

Robin J Anderson: Support

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Support

Abbie Kamin: Support

Comments: I support this, budget permitting.

Shelley Kennedy: Support

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Support

Dr. Carla Brailey: Support

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Support

Jesus Zamora: Support

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Support

Comments: I support access to the full range of reproductive healthcare.

Karla Cisneros: Support

Comments: This should be a decision made by local authorities.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Support

Naoufal Houjami: Support

Demetria Smith: Support

Kendall Baker: Oppose

Sue Lovell: Support

Sylvester Turner: Support

Comments: I support but only in principle. We face an ongoing funding crisis in the city and I do not want to make promises I cannot keep.

Policies That Support Access to Comprehensive Reproductive Health Care and Support Healthy Communities

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Oppose

Raj Salhotra: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Oppose

Ashton P. Woods: Oppose

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Support

Ralph B Garcia: Support

Comments: I would suggest changing the law.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Oppose

Robin J Anderson: Support

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Oppose

Abbie Kamin: Oppose

Comments: SB 22 is both absurd and dangerous and needs to be overturned. I have been outspoken on this issue and you can read more about it here: https://www.abbiekamin.com/issues/sb22

Shelley Kennedy: Oppose

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Oppose

Dr. Carla Brailey: Oppose

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Oppose

Jesus Zamora: Support

Comments: Yes, I do believe that the government needs to have limited, to not involvement in abortion matters.

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Oppose

Comments: I do not think it is in the interest of any municipal entity to be prevented with working with credible healthcare partners for the greater good of the community.

Karla Cisneros: Oppose

Comments: Again, this should be a decision made by local officials.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Oppose

Naoufal Houjami: Oppose

Demetria Smith: Oppose

Kendall Baker: Support

Sue Lovell: Oppose

Sylvester Turner: Oppose

Comments: Republican legislators should not be interfering in women’s health care.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Support

Raj Salhotra: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Oppose

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Oppose

Ashton P. Woods: Oppose

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Support

Ralph B Garcia: Support

Comments: That is an individual and business right.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Oppose

Robin J Anderson: Oppose

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Oppose

Abbie Kamin: Oppose

Comments: As the Committee Director for the State House Human Services Committee during the 85th Legislative Session, I combated one of the first, if not the first, iteration of a “sincerely held religious beliefs” exemption to anti-discrimination laws at the state legislature, that a committee member attempted to attach to an omnibus bill as a direct attack on the rights of the community to become foster parents. I continued this fight at the state legislature through my work for the Anti-Defamation League.

Shelley Kennedy: Oppose

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Oppose

Dr. Carla Brailey: Oppose

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Oppose

Jesus Zamora: Oppose

Comments: I strongly believe in the separation of church and state and no involvement.

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Oppose

Comments: As a lesbian I have experienced first hand this kind of harmful behavior in a healthcare setting. I do believe we tread a fine line on this topic regarding speech and religion issues, but overall I understand we need enact protections in government and healthcare settings to protect individuals from discrimination and undue harm.

Karla Cisneros: Support

Comments: This is just a backdoor attempt to refuse to provide reproductive health services.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Oppose

Naoufal Houjami: Oppose

Demetria Smith: Oppose

Kendall Baker: Support

Sue Lovell: Oppose

Sylvester Turner: Oppose

Comments: Republican legislators should not be interfering in women’s health care.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Agree

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

Ashton P. Woods: Agree

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Disagree

Comments: EC doesn’t prevent fertilization; other reproductive technology is better.

Ralph B Garcia: Agree

Comments: I see no great harm..

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

Robin J Anderson: Agree

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Agree

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Comments: This is a commonsense health care position.

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

Dr. Carla Brailey: Agree

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Agree

Jesus Zamora: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Comments: All healthcare options should be readily available to those in need.

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Comments: This is just good policy.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Agree

Naoufal Houjami: Agree

Demetria Smith: Agree

Kendall Baker: Agree

Sue Lovell: Agree

Sylvester Turner: Agree

 

 

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Agree

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

Ashton P. Woods: Agree

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Disagree

Comments: Those with the least skills, experience, etc. need an easier on-ramp to the economy.

Ralph B Garcia: Agree

Comments: This should have happened 20 years ago.  We are too far behind.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

Robin J Anderson: Agree

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Agree

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Comments: I support this in principle, subject to the city’s budget constraints and state laws prohibiting cities from setting their own minimum wages. The existing minimum wage – the federal standard of $7.25/hour – is wholly insufficient to support a family. Texas law does not permit cities to raise the minimum wage for private sector employees, a restriction that should be overturned. Fortunately, the city pays its employees more. The minimum hourly wage for a city worker is $13.55. Budget permitting, I would be open to an increase to $15.

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

Dr. Carla Brailey: Agree

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Agree

Jesus Zamora: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Comments: Yes! To the point it is one of the major items I am advocating for on my campaign.

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Comments: We can’t enjoy the benefits of a growing economy if we are not paying a livable wage.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Agree

Comments: personally i feel that it should be $17-$19/hr bc of the rapid increase in cost of living in our city

Naoufal Houjami: Agree

Demetria Smith: Agree

Kendall Baker: Agree

Sue Lovell: Agree

Sylvester Turner: Agree

 

Comments: I support this in principle, but we must acknowledge the obstacles, from state law prohibitions on cities setting minimum wages to the city’s severe budget constraints. That said, we are making progress at the city. We’ve gotten to $12/hour with janitors and security guards and are on a path to $15/hour. We are engaged in discussions with United Airlines and other contractors to find a path to $15 for all workers.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Agree

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

Comments: The City of Houston should provide paid family and medical leave and I’m open to supporting paid leave for private employers with broad stakeholder support. I will be following closely the outcomes of pending litigation over other cities’ paid leave ordinances.

Ashton P. Woods: Agree

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Agree

Ralph B Garcia: Disagree

Comments: We are becoming too dependent and lazy.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

Robin J Anderson: Agree

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Agree

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Comments: I would support an election by the voters and would campaign in favor of the measure.

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

Dr. Carla Brailey: Disagree

Comments: The City of Houston should provide paid family and medical leave and be a model for all employers, with the exception of small businesses that have a limited stream of revenue and employees.

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Agree

Jesus Zamora: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Comments: It is the right thing to do.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Agree

Naoufal Houjami: Agree

Demetria Smith: Agree

Kendall Baker: Agree

Sue Lovell: Agree

Sylvester Turner: Agree

 

Comments: I support paid sick leave. Regulating private businesses in this way, however, would be a big step for the City of Houston. I am open to a voter initiative on this issue.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Agree

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

Ashton P. Woods: Agree

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Agree

Ralph B Garcia: Agree

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

Robin J Anderson: Agree

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Agree

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Comments:

Comments: An employee’s pregnancy is no excuse for discrimination by employers.

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

Dr. Carla Brailey: Agree

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Agree

Jesus Zamora: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Comments:

Comments: It is another reason we need to pass a local equal rights ordinance that helps protect people from discrimination based on pregnancy status.

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Comments:

Comments: Without question.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Agree

Naoufal Houjami: Agree

Demetria Smith: Agree

Kendall Baker: Agree

Sue Lovell: Agree

Sylvester Turner: Agree

Comments:

 

Comments: Of course, and my understanding is that this is the law. Please let me know if I am mistaken.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Agree

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

Ashton P. Woods: Agree

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Disagree

Ralph B Garcia: Agree

Comments: Do we really need a lwa for that?

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

Robin J Anderson: Agree

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Agree

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Comments: This is a matter of common sense and fairness.

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

Dr. Carla Brailey: Agree

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Agree

Jesus Zamora: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Comments: This is a perfect example of why we need to pass a local equal rights ordinance.

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Comments: The right thing to do.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Agree

Naoufal Houjami: Agree

Demetria Smith: Agree

Kendall Baker: Agree

Sue Lovell: Agree

Sylvester Turner: Agree

 

Comments: I am opposed to all forms of discrimination.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Agree

Raj Salhotra: Agree

Comments: We must ensure that all students are receiving this information, and our Council Members should advocate for this.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

Comments: Through its health department

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

Ashton P. Woods: Agree

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Disagree

Comments: Even if parents are negligent, government should be kept out of the sex education business; there is too much debate and disagreement here to find “one curriculum” that would satisfy everyone.  Leave that to the nonprofit and private sector, where individuals can seek out the sources they trust for information.

Ralph B Garcia: Disagree

Comments: City should stay out of school districts business.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

Robin J Anderson: Disagree

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Agree

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Comments: I agree in principle but want to learn more about how the city could play a role here.

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

Dr. Carla Brailey: Agree

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Agree

Jesus Zamora: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Comments: While I do not know how influential the City itself can be in setting education policy for the independence school districts, I do support sexual health education in public schools.

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Comments: Again, good public policy.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Agree

Naoufal Houjami: Agree

Demetria Smith: Agree

Kendall Baker: Disagree

Sue Lovell: Agree

Sylvester Turner: Disagree

 

Comments: I agree that school districts should provide this education, but I do not know what the city’s jurisdiction would be here.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Agree

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

Comments: I would need to understand the full budgetary impact of municipal identification as the city has tight fiscal constraints. I am open to supporting municipal identification with broad stakeholder support.

Ashton P. Woods: Agree

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Disagree

Comments: The undocumented are only “reported” when arrested for a crime.  Otherwise there’s no cause for fear from seeking help from City resources.   Yet, I would leave it to the philanthropic and charitable sectors, rather than the City, to provide reproductive health to undocumented people.

Ralph B Garcia: Agree

Comments: Your approach to this is from the wrong perspective.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

Robin J Anderson: Agree

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Agree

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Comments: I have worked with local immigration advocacy groups, civil rights groups, business community groups and HPD on a variety of matters over the past several years, related to healthcare, safety and family separation issues.

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

Dr. Carla Brailey: Agree

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Agree

Jesus Zamora: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Comments: This is critical in the intersection of immigration and reproductive justice policies. Undocumented individuals should not risk their health or life in not seeking certain services for fear of retribution.

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Comments: I would say we need to be careful on municipal IDs. We don’t want to create a database of individuals that could be accessed by anti-immigrant groups.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Agree

Naoufal Houjami: Agree

Demetria Smith: Agree

Kendall Baker: Disagree

Sue Lovell: Agree

Sylvester Turner: Agree

 

Comments: Undocumented people should be allowed access to all health care, including reproductive health care. I support municipal ID cards, but was asked by immigration advocates to hold off, out of a concern that ICE would be able to access the database.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Agree

Raj Salhotra: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Agree

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Agree

Comments: Community service and indigent courts are better options.

Ashton P. Woods: Agree

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Disagree

Comments: Abolish? No.  Restructure, yes.

Ralph B Garcia: Disagree

Comments: depending on the offense.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Agree

Robin J Anderson: Agree

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Agree

Abbie Kamin: Agree

Comments: I agree that the municipal courts should be subject to the same bail reform rules that have been imposed on our district courts by Federal Judge Lee Rosenthal.

Shelley Kennedy: Agree

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Agree

Dr. Carla Brailey: Agree

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Agree

Jesus Zamora: Agree

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Agree

Comments: It is not right to further criminalize individuals for being too poor to post bail. Bonds should be used only as a limited tool to hold individuals who truly would pose a danger to the community, not as a procedural matter to secure more funds for the court system.

Karla Cisneros: Agree

Comments: We should not  be incarcerating people for being poor.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Agree

Naoufal Houjami: Agree

Demetria Smith: Agree

Kendall Baker: Agree

Sue Lovell: Agree

Sylvester Turner: Agree

 

Comments: If I interpret your question correctly, I agree that municipal courts should find alternatives to incarceration for those too poor to post bond.

Getting to Know the Candidate and How They View Reproductive Freedom

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Prenatal care and counseling should be available to all

Raj Salhotra: I believe that access to vital healthcare services such as reproductive health care is essential and therefore we should not create obstacles to accessing these services. I believe we need to increase access to reproductive healthcare so individuals can get the healthcare they need; those seeking reproductive health care should be able to get all of their needs met without restriction.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson:

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: I believe these are all fundamental elements of healthcare.

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: I staunchly belief in a woman’s right to choose and make decisions for her own reproductive health with access to all safe means of contraception and abortion. It is the birthright of every woman to choose whether or not to reproduce.

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: I support full access to reproductive health care, including family planning, contraception, and access to abortion.

Ashton P. Woods: My stance is simple, reproductive healthcare should be accessible to everyone. I am a cis/gay man and I believe that we should not be telling women how to run their bodies and I have a deep respect for personal autonomy. Access to planning, contraception and abortions is a right and not a privilege.

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: I empathize with womens’ struggle for reproductive rights.  There was a time in this country where when did not control their own fertility. Women’s fertility was largely controlled by the men in their lives.  Our popular culture didn’t even have a word for rape or sexual harassment until the ‘80s. Even in marriages, the husband would dictate when the pair had sex (as one husband asked his pastor, “If I’m the head of the house according to the Bible, what does her consent matter?” He missed the Bible’s instruction that husbands sacrifice themselves for their wives like Jesus did for us.).  Yet, the husband would blame the wife for “getting pregnant.”  Abortion is always wrong, as it involves an unjustified killing of another person, but I understand that in those years, it was the only technology available by which a woman could control her fertility.

That is no longer the case.  Technology has given women almost perfect control over when and how they get pregnant.  No woman has to get pregnant, and in those cases where rape or incest result in pregnancy, I favor permitting abortions, but favor more encouraging the woman to take that baby to term and even to allow another family to adopt it, automatically severing paternal rights to the child to speed that along.  I would allow abortion to save the life of the mother.  So, I favor building a policy framework, supported by charitable efforts, aimed at saving the lives of the unborn to the maximum extent possible. 

Ralph B Garcia: Mine is vague, just as my knowledge of the service is. It seems to be openly available.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: I believe everyone should have access to reproductive health care and wrap around services. When elected I plan to work with prochoice advocates to create programs to support these type of services

Robin J Anderson:

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: I think access to reproductive health care is very important for everyone.  I support women’s rights to bodily autonomy in every way.

Abbie Kamin: I have been a strong and vocal supporter of access to reproductive health care. I’ve marched, I’ve raised money, I’ve advocated in multiple forums.

Shelley Kennedy: I fully support a woman’s right to choose and believe access to reproductive health care, family planning and abortion is a fundamental human right. All women should have access to safe and legal abortion services free of governmental interference and impediments.

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: I believe that all women should have access to reproductive health car, Including family planning, contraception, and access to abortion

Dr. Carla Brailey: All women deserve access to quality healthcare, affordable contraception, family planning and abortion.

City Council District F

John Nguyen: First, educate.  Second, plan.  Third, act accordingly,

Jesus Zamora: I believe with how things are going now with Texas and other States making it difficult/illegal for someone who is seeking resources when it comes to an abortion is wrong. A woman has the right to do with her body what she sees best. If she is in a situation that she knows either she is not financially stable or the baby won’t be brought up in proper condition.

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: I believe abortion services, as part of reproductive healthcare, should be easily accessible and affordable to all individuals. We need to as a community stigmatize access to reproductive health by standardizing science-based sex education in schools, providing affordable contraception regardless of health insurance access, and allowing individuals to make the best decisions for their health as informed by trained medical professionals. Reproductive healthcare is healthcare and should be treated as such.

Karla Cisneros: I have been outspoken on this my entire life.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Access to these should always be accessible. Not all girls/women have guidance to prevent pregnancy or disease. It is actually a great benefit for the public to ensure its safety from continued disadvantage and overall health of our communities to thrive and progress!

Naoufal Houjami: Family planning is one of the most basic and essential healthcare services.

Demetria Smith: I believe and support that all people from all walk of life should have access to all healthcare services and needs

Kendall Baker: Abortion rights should be granted only in cases that the pregnancy will cause risk to the expected mother’s life. Family planning is appropriate. Contraception should be available for those who are most likely to spread STDs.

Sue Lovell: I strongly support access to reproductive health care, including family planning, contraception, and access to abortion.

Sylvester Turner: I support access to reproductive health care in all these instances.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Number one in that category

Raj Salhotra: The health of Houstonians is of utmost importance to me. I will fight for every Houstonian’s access to healthcare and their right to choose.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: High, yet generally outside the authority of Houston City Council.

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: It will be in the top 5 priorities as an elected official

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Because I feel that the City has a limited role here, I prioritize this as an area where we the City of Houston can and should have influence and resist State overreach in this area, but it would be dishonest of me to say that this falls within my top three priorities.

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: The city has had the benefit of progressive leadership in recent years, so access to reproductive health care has not been a contentious issue on city council. I will be supportive of measures to promote full access.

Ashton P. Woods: Reproductive rights are embedded in all of my platform points, I believe that change and removing barriers to entry should be holistic. Workers’ rights, access to healthcare and education about human sexual behavior are forms of direct support for repro rights.

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: It is not a top priority for the City of Houston.  I could imagine going an entire four year term without once dealing with a City sponsored initiative on reproductive health, except maybe to convene a symposium where it is discussed.

Ralph B Garcia: Not very high. I am too old be have need for the services. My religion promotes begatting. Need I say more.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: District B has historically been forgotten by the city. So we’ve got a lot of issues which they are all high priority.  When elected I commit to working with

Robin J Anderson:

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: I think  healthcare is very important, and reproductive health is healthcare.

Abbie Kamin: Reproductive freedom is a very high priority for me. I believe it should be a city priority as well.

Shelley Kennedy: I have spent a lifetime fighting for women’s rights and gender equality and those rights, including access to reproductive health care, are very high on my list of prioritie.

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: This is a high priority as women should be able to make decisions about their bodies and health care is a right.

Dr. Carla Brailey: As a woman and an advocate for equity and quality of life, it falls high on my list of top priorities.

City Council District F

John Nguyen: My priorities are determined by the person(s) bringing the topic to me.

Jesus Zamora: On my top list of priorities.

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: My top priorities are affordable housing, increasing the minimum wage, and equality issues. Closely following those top priorities is reproductive healthcare justice. We cannot thrive as a society unless we provide for the health of our communities.

Karla Cisneros: It is one of my ongoing concerns.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: This is one of the issues i am highly passionate about.

Naoufal Houjami: my top priorities

Demetria Smith: Top 10

Kendall Baker: 2 of 10

Sue Lovell: I do not have a list of priorities but reproductive rights and women’s health is a very important issue to me.

 

Sylvester Turner: This is a high priority.

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Yes

Raj Salhotra: Yes, there is a connection between reproductive rights and other issues. For example, black women have the highest abortion rate, meaning that cutting access to reproductive services disproportionately affects them more than their white counterparts. Moreover, we also know that folks of color and lower income folks have higher rates of maternal mortality. I believe that one’s racial, economic, or migrant background should not impact their ability to receive healthcare, especially in a city as diverse as Houston. Therefore, we should do everything in our power to expand access.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Yes

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Yes. POC/low-income families are treated negatively for expanding their families. Families/individuals who prioritized other life goals before or instead of children, are treated as selfish. Migrant families are treated as if they use their children as access to US, and once arrived, neither parent nor child is treated with humanity.

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Yes, I believe that restricting a woman’s right to choose is a legislative tool in institutionalizing, perpetuating, and exacerbating long-standing social inequities.

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Yes , denial of reproductive care is denial of general health care to marginalized communities – people of color, poor, immigrants.

Ashton P. Woods: Yes, people of color tend to be the most vulnerable and the pushed to the fringes which means that basic quality of life in non existent. Many Reproductive rights orgs supply basic medical services that range from HIV testing and treatment to cancer screenings of various types. In a time when a great deal of Houstonians lack acces to healthcare in terms of prevention rely on these services.

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: Yes, I believe current abortion practices are part of the factors keeping African Americans as a community from doing better materially in this country.

Ralph B Garcia: I see no need to distinguish between abortion and other issues.  Does it merit attention, yes.  Any time you have public funds involved you’re gonna have politics.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: Yes, I see that there is a connection between reproductive rights and other issue.  Black and Brown economically disadvantaged women are often neglected when needing reproductive wrap around services. Although my years of advocacy have been around the criminal justice system, I do understand how these issues are connected.

Robin J Anderson:

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: Yes.  The laws that have been passed all over the country to limit women’s access to healthcare will have a negative impact on economically disadvantaged women.  Migrant women and women of color will also be disproportionately affected by such laws.

Abbie Kamin: Absolutely. Denying reproductive rights is an age-old tool – and an insidious one – to maintain oppression.

Shelley Kennedy: Yes. Governmental regulation that restricts reproductive rights or imposes barriers to access of services disproportionately impacts people of color, immigrants and economically challenged and under served communities.

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Certainly, humans have a right ot make decisions about their own bodies and to preclude them from doing so is a violation of our human rights.

Dr. Carla Brailey: As discussed in my most recent co-edited book, Women and Inequality in the 21st Century, racial; economic; and migrant disparities are very pronounced in reproductive and sexual health. I will work to bring equity and advancement in women’s health initiatives in Distirct D and the City of Houston.

City Council District F

John Nguyen: No.

Jesus Zamora: Yes, I do see a connection. As mentioned above government plays a key role in all of these issues. I have mentioned numerous times that racism does play a role in this as we always see the minority communities that get the short end of any laws that are signed.

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Absolutely. We know Texas has the highest rate of Black individuals dying during childbirth, which is rooted in the biases of race in the healthcare system. We know LGBTQIA+ individuals face stigma in accessing reproductive healthcare if they do not present as a feminine women, which can cause severe mental and physical health issues. We know that indigent individuals who may not be able to access abortion services (because of state imposed wait or travel times) may feel it necessary to chose dangerous alternatives or face providing for a family past their current means. Reproductive justice is the acknowledgement that reproductive healthcare is healthcare, as must be made available to all as such.

Karla Cisneros: Yes.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: Absolutely. These are MAJOR decisions in a woman’s life. Women create the population. If we want to progress as a city full of productive individuals, we should want people to have every advantage possible. It is our duty to ensure that.

Naoufal Houjami: a large gap persists between women’s reproductive intentions and their access to family planning options including contraceptives and safe abortion

Demetria Smith: Yes absolutely!

Kendall Baker: Yes. The question is how far does the City of Houston get involved in this matter when so many main  core services and their under funding are more important to citizens.

Sue Lovell: Yes, all of these issues are interconnected and we must go out of our way to define ourselves as a city that cares about the dignity of all people.

Sylvester Turner: Yes. People facing discrimination in the areas you identify are often least able to access reproductive health care (or any health care, for that matter).

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Yes

Raj Salhotra: As a city council member, I will use my platform to support reproductive rights. I am open to any opportunity to champion reproductive rights and health and will work with organizations such as NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Planned Parenthood to create legislation for the benefit of reproductive health.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Yes, especially as our Houston City Council agenda provides the opportunity to do so.

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: I look forward to supporting measures that advance access to repro care for all cis/LGBTQIA Houstonians, regardless of socio-economic status.

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: I will participate intensively on our City budgeting process, drawing from my years of finance experience, and intend to keep a close eye out for opportunities to increase gender equity and public health.

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Yes, I will support expanded access to health care and supporting equal rights ordinances.

Ashton P. Woods: I am running to do what I already do as an activist and I believe that when Im elected, I will be able to use my platform to speak up and bring those most effected by repro rights to the table and to the forefront. As a member of the LGBT community, I believe that we need a non discrimination ordinance that protects every single right of all Houstonians, including the Trans community.

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: No.

Ralph B Garcia: I don’t see how it or any other concern should impact or sway my agenda. I’m not running because I have an issue. I’m running so the people can speak up without fear and expect action.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: I understand that there are too many barriers to reproductive health. I will work to support reproductive justice because everyone deserves access to reproductive healthcare.

Robin J Anderson:

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: I will be glad to speak up for women’s rights.  My first plan is to create an equality ordinance for the LGBTQIA community and some changes on how we do housing in this city.  I do, however, support women’s rights completely.

Abbie Kamin: Yes. I have been following the actions by the City of Austin in response to SB 22. Whether or not they are ultimately successful, it is important to test the boundaries of this dangerous law until we can overturn it.

Shelley Kennedy: I plan to continue to advocate for women’s rights and equality in Houston and beyond. I have lobbied on the state and federal level for equality and will continue to do so. I will fight for an equality ordinance that provides protection for all Houstonians including based on gender and pregnancy status.

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: I will always be a champion for reproductive rights, gender equity and access to health care period.

Dr. Carla Brailey: It will impact because due to my high level of consciousness of intersectionality of disparities that impact gender equality and equity, I will be intentional about being a  convener of discussions via town halls, community forums, supporting local nonprofit organizations that have a women’s first agenda.

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Yes.

Jesus Zamora: Yes, when I am elected I will make sure to lobby in Austin to make change across Texas and in Houston to ensure reproductive rights are our main priority.

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Absolutely. I am running as a Progressive Democrat because I understand the important of being proactive in our support for reproductive justice issues. I was proud to have championed these issues when working for Representative Jessica Farrar and Senator Sylvia Garcia and will continue to do so as a Councilmember.

Karla Cisneros: I always have.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: I intend to protect women and girls of Houston by any means necessary.

Naoufal Houjami: Educating the public first. advance reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right. I will sponsor and promote proactive laws and to defeat discriminatory ones.

Demetria Smith: Yes! By holding town halls to get the ideals from the public in terms of what ordinance they like to see pass concerning healthcare and equal access to healthcare services

Kendall Baker: No. Refer to previous answer.

Sue Lovell: As a former election official, I demonstrated that I would proactively seek out opportunities to champion action for reproductive rights, including by drafting and sponsoring creative items to increase gender equity and access to reproductive health for all Houston residents. As the mayor of the city of Houston, I will continue to do the same.

Sylvester Turner: Yes. We have worked at the city to support reproductive rights and health, even in the face of a hostile state and federal government.

How do you feel about preemption of local government on progressive issues? Specifically, are you willing to champion, support, and vote for legislation that may ultimately be preempted if you feel it’s the right thing to do, including on issues of abortion access?  Will you, subsequent to passage of progressive legislation, work to stop potential preemption, including actively opposing state legislative overreach and providing resources to defend city laws in court?

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Yes

Raj Salhotra: I believe that Houstonians should govern Houston, not politicians in Austin. I will work for issues I believe to be in the best interests of Houstonians, including opposing legislative overreach. I will also advocate in Austin to ensure that we can oppose and repeal any local preemption laws.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Yes

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: Absolutely.

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Yes and yes. I will always vote for what’s right.

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: Yes, the state is increasingly trying to deny local control. I will advocate at the state level, appearing in person, and also signing support letters.

Ashton P. Woods: During past legislative sessions I have reperesented Black Lives Matter Houston in testimony and have personally worked on bills that decriminalize, expand access for repro rights and I have also stood against bill as they have arisen that could harm vulnerable communities. As a city council member, I will continue to fight and do what I have always done, create new paths to equity.

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: No.  Subtract “progressive issues” and my answer would be “yes” especially for those policy areas that vary by municipality.

Ralph B Garcia: Progressive to me is just a buzz word for “why haven’t we dealt with this yet?”

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: For nearly 20s years I’ve fought for fairness and equality for all people. I will support legislation that protects access to reproductive health care and

Oppose anti-abortion legislation.

Robin J Anderson:

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: I will do anything within my power and use my position as a podium to speak up for what is right!

Abbie Kamin: Yes, absolutely. As a civil rights attorney, I am well versed in legal strategies to get around or ultimately invalidate discriminatory legislation. I am all in on this.

Shelley Kennedy: I am willing to champion legislation that furthers progressive causes for equality and human rights. In Texas, pre-emption is to be expected which is why I have been fighting since the 90s to turn Texas blue. I would welcome your support in fighting the legislature’s continual overreach and oppressive policies.

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: Yes

Dr. Carla Brailey: Government should not interfere with the right of women to determine their own health care. I am willing to intentionally and unapologetically champion support and vote for legislation that moves moves women’s agenda forward. I will work to stop potential preemption. Every woman has the ability to make her own informed choices about her reproductive health and I will advocate for the protection of abortion access/reproductive rights of women in District D.

City Council District F

John Nguyen: Yes.

Jesus Zamora: Yes, I will make sure to vote for legislation that will always defend the rights of everyone especially when it comes to abortion. When looking at the constitution and “We the People” is my favorite part that shows we are elected to serve the people and make sure their voice is heard.

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: Absolutely. We can’t hold ourselves doing what is right because of what actions may or may not happen in the future. Additionally, laws that are preempted now may not be in the future. So we need to work towards and plan for the community we envision, not the short-term political realities that may prohibit us from certain actions.

Karla Cisneros: Absolutely.

Mayor

Victoria Romero: My whole campaign is running on true  integrity and complete transparency. I will make it MY priority as Mayor of Houston to ensure women have every resource they need at their disposal, I will do everything in my power to leave these matters in the hands of local government.

Naoufal Houjami: Engaging the community and the government about advance reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right.

Demetria Smith: Yes! and with the help of the people my administration will only act on the will of the people per the declaration of independence

Kendall Baker: No

Sue Lovell: Yes I will and I’ve proven that throughout my career.

Sylvester Turner: I am opposed to state preemption of local government actions. In my view, our current state government has become hostile to local control for political reasons, not legitimate policy reasons.

Tell us about a time when you stood up for reproductive rights and gender equity. Have you ever been publicly outspoken about your values in supporting access to abortion? Have you ever had conversation with colleagues, coworkers or other community members, published an opinion piece in the paper, attended a public event in support of reproductive rights, etc?

City Council At-Large Position 1

Larry Blackmon: Yes

Raj Salhotra: Quite frankly, I have not published an opinion piece or publicly been outspoken about reproductive rights; however, I have attended Planned Parenthood events and recently visited with the Planned Parenthood office in Houston and learned more about the issue and how best I can advocate for the issue.

As a teacher, I had high school students who accessed Planned Parenthood’s services, and I supported them and advocated for them to do so.

City Council At-Large Position 2

David W. Robinson: Yes, I am proud of my record in support of progressive issues, including a number of local activities in Houston as well as with trips to both Austin and Washington, D.C. for advocacy.  Particular to reproductive rights and issues of discrimination, I remain proud of my stance in support of the passage of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) that I voted for along with a majority of my colleagues under the leadership of Mayor Annise Parker during the last term of her administration.

City Council At-Large Position 3

Janaeya Carmouche: I have not spoken publicly regarding reproductive justice issues, but have personally supported expansive access in personal and organizational settings.

City Council At-Large Position 4

Bill Baldwin: Yes, I publicly and vocally supported Wendy Davis in her brave and heroic opposition of SB 5 in the 2013 Legislative Session, on social media at that time, and by serving on her campaign for Governor after that. I attend the annual Planned Parenthood Roe v. Wade Luncheon every year I am able.

City Council At-Large Position 5

Sallie Alcorn: I attend Planned Parenthood events and was a strong proponent of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance when it first passed in 2014.

Ashton P. Woods: I can recall many times, however this is a personal issue that I have first hand experiences with. I have had the honor of excorting friends and strangers to seek abortion services. While I have publically spoken up about abortion rights and access, we need more than talk…  we need action. When it comes to gender equity I check my cis/male privilege often by speaking out and yeilding space to women,(cis/trans) femmes and Trans masculine people who are directly effected by lack of access. I have been loud, will be loud and yes I have and will do all of what is needed to educate and create paths to access.

Dr. Marvin McNeese Jr.: No.

Ralph B Garcia: When I was 17 I was on the Planned Parenthood Board.  When I was 26 I helped design and open the first sole public school 20 females, for pregnant students.

City Council District B

Tarsha Jackson: I believe everyone should have the right to chose without government interferance. when elected,  I commit to protect anyone seeking reproductive care regardless of race, gender, citizenship status or income; I will support increased community education about family planning and reproductive health.

Robin J Anderson:

City Council District C

Michelle Ganz: I have been to every women’s march held in Houston.  I come from a very conservative background and family.  I have spoken up for women’s rights, the LGBTQIA community, people of color and immigrants my whole life.  This is my first time to step out into the public, but I will speak up for what is right.

Abbie Kamin: Standing up for these values is at the heart of everything I do. I have marched, spoken out at rallies, and helped organize Houston’s Roe v. Wade luncheon. I’ve also served on public panels discussing these issues. Examples include a panel on maternal mortality and another on the nexus between Houston’s proposed equal rights ordinance (H.E.R.O.) and reproductive justice.

Shelley Kennedy: As a lifelong activist, I have been fighting for equality and women’s rights since the 90s. I marched at rally’s with Cecile Richards in Houston and Austin. I participated in all the Women’s Marches since Trump’s inauguration. I have financially supported Planned Parenthood and other organizations that fight for reproductive rights. On February 14th of this year I attended a Roe V. Wade Luncheon and fundraiser celebrating the 46th Anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision. I volunteer and  financially support candidates on the state, local and federal level that support gender equality and reproductive rights. You can count on me to continue to advocate for these rights as a city council member.

City Council District D

Dr. Carolyn Evans-Shabazz: I was a vocal supporter of Proposition 1 and stood with the NAACP at the City Council Board meeting.  I abhor discrimination in any form.

Dr. Carla Brailey: I’m currently a co-founder of the State of the Black Women and we have directly addressed matters related to pro-choice. As an Assistant Professor of Sociology, I take a critical sociological approach in addressing social inequality, which includes enriching students’ consciousness related to gender equality. I most recently co-edited a book, Women and Inequality in the 21st Century and have presented several papers related to women’s equality and liberation at several conferences.

City Council District F

John Nguyen: None yet.

Jesus Zamora: Speaking with my fellow church members I have multiple times expressed how the importance of giving a woman the right to choose what she wants to do with her body, and not dictate what is right or wrong.

City Council District H

Isabel Longoria: During my first legislative session in 2011 in the Texas Houston I served as Director of the Women’s Caucus under Chair Jessica Farrar’s leadership. Tea Party Republicans had just swept the elections and the Texas Legislature began passing a series of incredible conservative bills limiting reproductive healthcare access. I wrote talking points, researched topics, and helped our reproductive justice partners and other elected officials with strategy and other resources. I was proud to stand up for reproductive justice then and throughout my three session at the Texas Legislature under a conservative Republican reign. I will continue for the rest of my life to steadfastly support reproductive justice issues with my donations, volunteer time, professional experience, and personal conviction.

Karla Cisneros: I had the honor of introducing Beto O’Roark at a campaign rally at White Oak Music Hall that was attended by over 3,000 people. It was the largest and most public event that I’ve had the opportunity to address before. Before I introduced him, I spoke about gender equity and women’s rights and how we needed to say yes to candidates who support and value the contributions of women. The crowd roared!

Mayor

Victoria Romero:

Naoufal Houjami: yes

Demetria Smith: I support freedom and equality by upholding the United State Constitution which means under my administration all people rights will be protected and voices will be heard

Kendall Baker: No. I’ve always been pro-life.

Sue Lovell:

As a leader in the Democratic Party and Women’s movement, as well as a former City Council Member At-Large, I’ve been very outspoken in my support for reproductive rights. As a young activist I travelled to the State Legislature lobbied for a bill that Deborah Danburg had sponsored that made spousal rape a crime and we were successful in passing that legislation. I feel very proud of my record on these issues

Sylvester Turner: My answer would span my entire career as an elected official. The El Paso Times described Turner as a “lion of pro-abortion rights.” I have consistently fought state efforts to restrict abortion, including the state bill to ban cities from entering into legal contracts with Planned Parenthood and other private organizations that provide abortion services. With respect to gender equity, I was a strong supporter of the HERO ordinance in 2015, helping then Mayor Annise Parker to win support among conservative clergy. My support for a HERO ordinance has not wavered.

Read Each Candidate's Response