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As the final curtain falls on the Texas Legislative Session, we bring you the grand finale in our weekly blog series, the Hall of Fame and Hall of Shame edition. Our blog's special final edition will recap the session's shenanigans and victories with our picks of the best and worst of the 88th legislative session. 

Hall of Fame

Representative Donna Howard

Rep. Howard is the Chair of the Texas Women's Health Caucus in the House and is one of Planned Parenthood’s fiercest Champions. She is the House author of the C.A.R.E No Matter What Act (HB 3606/SB 1314), which aimed to increase the accessibility and affordability of reproductive health care for Texans. She is also a joint author of HB 12, which intends to expand postpartum Medicaid coverage for new moms to 12 months, and was the House sponsor of SB 379, which will improve menstruation equity and make it easier for people to afford period products and baby-related items, which has been sent to the Governor to be signed.

Senator Sarah Eckhardt

Senator Eckhardt is an incredible champion in the Senate and has pushed for bills prioritizing pregnant people’s health such as the C.A.R.E. No Matter What Act (SB 1314) to restore funding to reproductive health centers and family planning programs like Planned Parenthood. She is also a co-sponsor of HB 12, which will expand postpartum Medicaid coverage to 12 months.

Senator José Menéndez

Senator Menéndez is a Planned Parenthood champion and one of the LGBTQ’s community biggest allies in the Senate. He filed 11 pro-LGBTQ+ bills this session, fiercely opposed SB 14 and other bills aiming to criminalize trans people, drag, and gender affirming care;  repeatedly got up on the mic to amend and improve bills to reduce their harm, and stood up for the full spectrum of reproductive rights. 


Senator Carol Alvarado

Senator Carol Alvarado is a dedicated Planned Parenthood champion and iconically known for her 15 hour filibuster on the anti-voting bill last session. She also filed SB 123 which would have clarified language on a patient's ability to receive abortion care in Texas when it is considered a medical emergency. Additionally, she co-sponsored HB 12, which expands postpartum Medicaid care from 6 to 12 months and HB 916, which extends birth control supply from 6 to 12 months at a time. 

Senator Morgan LaMantia

Senator Morgan LaMantia filed SB 1637, which would protect pregnant people from possible criminal prosecution by prohibiting nurses and doctors from reporting miscarriages and abortions to law enforcement. On the floor, she also opposed SB 24, a bill that would permanently funnel millions of taxpayer dollars to fake clinics that provide inaccurate and often religious opinions on pregnancy and abortion.

Representative Claudia Ordaz

Representative Claudia Ordaz, a Planned Parenthood Champion, authored HB 916, which would allow Texans to receive a full 12 months supply of birth control at a time, instead of needing a refill every 30 or 90 days and risking the possibility of temporarily not having access to contraception. The bill passed both chambers and has been sent to the Governor to be signed.

Representative Ana María Ramos

Rep. Ramos, a Planned Parenthood champion and bold fighter for reproductive health care, filed HB 1176, which sought to remove unnecessary barriers and delays for Texas teens seeking contraceptive care by ensuring that young people who are uncomfortable or unsafe discussing sexual activity with their parents can still access confidential and judgment-free health care from their providers. She also filed HB 1478, which would have set basic standards for pregnancy centers, such as protecting the health and safety of the patient and having at least one licensed obstetrician or gynecologist present when providing services to a patient.

Hall of Shame

Senator Bryan Hughes

For authoring and co-authoring 15 anti-LGBTQ bills, including the now-passed SB 14, which will ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth, even though medical experts agree it can be lifesaving; SB 12 and SB 1601, which attempt to stigmatize and criminalize drag shows; SB 1072, which sought to end Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs in schools; and SB 1690, which aimed to remove trans kids from their parent’s home if the parent took them out of state for gender affirming care. Senator Hughes has continuously filed transphobic, homophobic, and racist legislation, but this year may have been the worst yet.  

Speaker of the House Dade Phelan:

For kicking out and deploying DPS troopers against peaceful activists and community members protesting SB 14, claiming they had “breached decorum”. Phelan’s office also locked his office door and refused to meet with parents of trans kids who wanted to share their story.

Representative Steve Toth:

For authoring and co-authoring 20+ anti- LGBTQ+ bills, among them HB 1686 (companion bill to SB 14), which would prohibit physicians from providing best practice, life-saving care for transgender youth. Toth also authored a bill to censor websites that offer information about medication abortion and called for abortion funds to be investigated by the indicted (and now impeached) Attorney General.

Senator Donna Campbell:

The primary author of the now-passed SB 14, which will ban gender-affirming care for trans youth. Campbell also authored SB 959, which would have prevented charter schools from choosing which trusted education providers they partner with to give evidence-based sex education in schools that empower students to make informed decisions to protect their health.

Representative Matt Schaefer:

The Chair of the extreme right-wing Texas Freedom Caucus. Schaefer has authored and co-authored nine anti-LGBTQ+ bills, such as HB 1686 (companion bill to SB 14) and HB 1155, which would ban classroom instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity in Texas from K-8th grade and in any grade if deemed "not appropriate”. He is also an anti-abortion extremist that opposes HB 12, a bill extending postpartum Medicaid coverage from 6 to 12 months, and spoke out against ending corporal punishment in schools.

Senator Lois Kolkhorst:

For authoring SB 24, a bill that would permanently funnel millions of taxpayer dollars to Crisis Pregnancy Centers (also known as Anti-Abortion Centers), fake clinics that often have religious affiliations and provide inaccurate and often religious opinions on pregnancy and abortion. These centers are not regulated like actual medical facilities and are not even required to have medically trained staff on hand.

Tags: Legislative, Texas


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