Amid Maternal Death Crisis, Texas Reproductive Rights Coalition Condemns Governor Abbott’s Cruel Anti-Abortion Agenda
Ahead of Texas lawmakers’ return to the Capitol to take up Governor Greg Abbott’s extreme anti-abortion, special session agenda, a broad coalition of reproductive health, rights, and justice groups from across the state — the Trust. Respect. Access. coalition — denounce his dangerous anti-abortion priorities.
Despite an ongoing women’s health crisis in Texas, Gov. Abbott put forward three reckless and politically motivated anti-abortion measures aimed at restricting women’s access to reproductive health care. Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. Yet instead of working to save women’s lives and improve women’s health outcomes, Governor Abbott and his fellow anti-abortion lawmakers are working to make it harder for women to get the care they need.
Gov. Abbott’s anti-abortion agenda includes measures that ban insurance companies from providing coverage for abortion, single out abortion providers for increased reporting requirements, and further limit health care access for communities that rely on Planned Parenthood.
Just last month, Gov. Abbott signed a sweeping and cruel anti-abortion bill into law and unilaterally vetoed a bipartisan bill extending the Women’s Health Advisory Committee, which was tasked with ensuring low-income Texans have access to reproductive health care.
Marsha Jones, The Afiya Center:
“We do not want Black women to continue dying. Black women are dying at a rate higher than women in the developed world due to conditions related to maternal mortality. Conditions that are preventable with access to prenatal and postnatal care. Sadly in our beloved Texas the majority of women impacted by the current maternal mortality concerns lose access to Medicaid benefits shortly after delivering, and the death rate correlates to when they lose these benefits. The insistent and deliberate focus on defunding Planned Parenthood is really defunding access to well women care, like prenatal and for some postnatal care. When will we speak the truth and say, ‘Hey, I am afraid I am becoming extinct. That is my real issue.’ The truth is what will help all of us live better lives. Anything else will only support the trend of Black women continuing to die and we, The Afiya Center, find that unacceptable.”
Yvonne Gutierrez, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes:
“When Gov. Abbott continues to politicize reproductive health care including abortion, it’s everyday Texans who suffer the consequences. State politicians jeopardize the health of women, men, and teens who will go without vital care when they attack Planned Parenthood. Texas lawmakers should be working to expand access to quality, affordable health care and providers like Planned Parenthood instead of banning partnerships that advance health care in local communities.”
Amanda Williams, Lilith Fund:
"Existing bans on abortion coverage already pose a serious threat to Texans' health and safety. Now Texas politicians are doubling down on this bad policy by eliminating coverage for even more people. All Texans should be able to get safe and legal abortion care, however they are insured and whatever their income. Anti-abortion lawmakers should be ashamed of this poorly-veiled attempt to push abortion out of reach."
Andrea Ferrigno, Whole Woman’s Health:
“The reality is that abortion care is one of the safest medical procedures in healthcare. Abortion providers already adhere to reporting requirements, in addition to the strict reporting that is required of abortion providers specifically by the state. These proposed changes to the reporting requirements are a back-end approach to further burden medical providers and stigmatize abortion care. We ask that the state address the multiple barriers Texans face accessing basic healthcare, instead of trying to blatantly disregard the Supreme Court ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt by passing medically unnecessary laws, with the goal of closing clinics and ultimately harming Texans.“
The Trust. Respect. Access. coalition envisions a Texas where everyone — regardless of their age, income, zip code, gender identity, immigration status, or whether they are incarcerated or detained — has access to all reproductive health care options. The coalition partners include: ACLU of Texas, The Afiya Center, Jane’s Due Process, Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, Progress Texas, Shift., Texas Equal Access Fund, Texas Freedom Network, and Whole Woman’s Health.