Washington D.C. - Gov. Greg Abbott signed two abortion restrictions to put safe, legal abortion further out of reach for Texans. The measures he signed include one that will ban insurance coverage for safe, legal abortion and another that will impose additional onerous, medically unnecessary reporting requirements on abortion providers. Gov. Abbott named each of these restrictions on his agenda for the special session.
Texans have been protesting the special session since it was gavelled to order. On the first day, more than 350 Texans gathered at the state Capitol in Austin to protest Abbott’s extreme legislative agenda. They have since continued to protest as session continued. The mayors of Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio have also called on Gov. Abbott to reject these attacks on reproductive health care.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
Shame on you, Gov. Abbott, for attacking Texans’ health and rights. It's wrong for politicians to withhold a woman’s health coverage just to try to stop her from having an abortion. Each woman has the right to make her own decisions about her body and her family, and that shouldn’t be up to a politician. Texans have been protesting since day one of this special session, and we will never stop fighting for the health, safety, and dignity of all people in our state. Stop punishing women.
The legislature is still considering another bill that targets access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers and programs by targeting local public entities’ partnerships with health centers to provide care in their communities. If enacted, this legislation could threaten partnerships between these public entities and programs like Planned Parenthood’s Zika prevention outreach program in South Texas.
Statement from Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes:
Gov. Abbott is hell-bent on cutting off access to reproductive health care, regardless of how many women he hurts. It is a disgrace. Politicians are attacking a woman’s right to safe, legal abortion and targeting essential preventative health care and education. In a state with rising maternal mortality rates and the highest rate of uninsured, we should be expanding access to health care—not taking it away.
These laws are part of a coordinated national strategy by anti-abortion politicians, who’ve passed more than 330 restrictions on abortion at the state level since 2010.
During the Texas legislature’s regular session, Gov. Abbott signed SB8—the most sweeping anti-abortion bill to pass in the nation this year. SB8 bans the safest and most common method of ending a pregnancy after 15 weeks and doubles down on regulations finalized by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) in 2016, forcing the burial or cremation of embryonic and fetal tissue when a woman has a miscarriage management procedure, an ectopic pregnancy surgery, or an abortion—regardless of her personal wishes, religious beliefs, or values.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.