Open Letter from Planned Parenthood to Texans
By Planned Parenthood Advocates of Texas | July 26, 2022, 10:04 p.m.
It's been one month since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending the federal constitutional right to abortion. The decision leaves heartbreak, anger, and fear in its wake - and even with the knowledge that it was coming, it has been no less shattering for us all.
Since the federal decision, the Texas Supreme Court has allowed our state’s 1925 pre-Roe abortion ban to take effect, banning nearly all abortions and forcing abortion providers in Texas to suspend services due to the state's extremely hostile legal landscape.
These last 30 days have left us devastated, but by no means defeated. It is crucial that our doors remain open and that we expand availability of our other sexual and reproductive health services that are needed now more than ever. One in five women will rely on Planned Parenthood in their lifetime, and each year Planned Parenthood health centers in Texas provide care to over 120,000 patients. Texans continue to rely on Planned Parenthood as their trusted provider of quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care and information.
But as a result of the ban, our doctors, nurses, and health care staff have been forced to turn away people who need abortion.
People like a distraught mother who feared for her life and ability to care for the family she already has, after her doctor advised that any future pregnancies could result in her death.
People like parents of a minor who is not ready to become a parent themself, and cannot financially support a child and grandchild.
People like a devastated mother, already working two jobs, whose underage daughter with a bright future in school now faced an unintended pregnancy and knew she could not afford a child.
Being forced to deny people the health care they need and deserve has been devastating to our health center staff who are experts at providing confidential, nonjudgmental care to people in our communities.
Despite wide support for abortion access from a majority of Texans and the clear need for care in Texas, anti-abortion politicians have been relentlessly and maniacally focused on blocking the rights of Texans to make deeply personal medical decisions.
For those of us on the frontlines of this fight in Texas, the fall of Roe did not come as a surprise. Over the past decade we have seen cruel and escalating attacks aimed at denying Texans access to safe abortion and preventive sexual and reproductive health care. Lawmakers have relished stripping away our fundamental freedoms while they ignore the real crises of gun violence, an ongoing pandemic, and rising maternal mortality rates. For rural and low-income Texans, who already faced extreme barriers to health care before Roe was overturned, access to essential care is now even further out of reach.
Make no mistake: This is a politically manufactured public health crisis that will have catastrophic consequences, including worsening the already stark health disparities for so many communities in our state.
The post-Roe world envisioned by anti-abortion extremists is unfolding before our eyes and does not stop with banning abortion. Everything from marriage equality to contraception to civil rights is now even more at risk.
But despite these dark and trying times, Planned Parenthood is here to stay, no matter what.
As we write this letter to our greater community, our teams are working hard to meet the increased demand for services, including birth control, testing and treatment for sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), breast and cervical cancer screenings, gender-affirming care, fertility assistance, primary care, and more. Our phones are ringing with questions about long-acting reversible contraception like IUDs and hormonal implants. Like we’ve done for decades, we’re answering the call, providing expert, compassionate healthcare for everyone who needs us.
In a state that does not prioritize the health of its citizens and consistently cuts back support for mothers and their families, Planned Parenthood is a lifeline. And we’re here for good.
Our doors remain open in Texas, and we are offering sexual and reproductive health care here in the communities we have faithfully served for nearly a century.
Texas’ anti-abortion lawmakers are relentless— but so are we.
You know what’s best for you and your family, and you are not alone. Planned Parenthood is with you and remains committed to ensuring sexual and reproductive health care access.
We won’t give up. Not now — not ever.
Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas
President & CEO
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast
President & CEO
Planned Parenthood South Texas
Acting President & CEO