AUSTIN, Texas — After Texas Senate Republicans passed horrific anti-abortion legislation last week, the House versions of these anti-Texas bills are being heard in the Public Health Committee of the Texas House today.
These seven extremist anti-abortion bills, including House Bills 1280, 1515, 2313, and 2337, will put up even more unnecessary barriers to Texans seeking an abortion — in a state that’s already made it nearly impossible for people to access this crucial health care. They include what advocates have called the most dangerous six-week ban in the country, which would ban abortions starting around six weeks — before most people know they are pregnant. They also include measures to criminalize abortion procedures, both for providers and for people seeking an abortion, in the event of any federal rollbacks of abortion rights — and would greenlight collecting personal information on all Texans seeking an abortion.
Abortion is a safe and common medical procedure that everyone should have access to. However, desperate to distract from their failures, Republicans are weaponizing abortion to try to cover up their inability to achieve progress for our state. With Texans coping with a pandemic, ongoing fallout from the winter storm, and continued economic uncertainty, Texas Republicans are wasting precious legislative time gutting our rights — whether our right to vote or our right to access abortion.
In contrast, Democrats have filed several key bills that would protect Texans’ rights and make sure Texans can access abortion and other critical health care. Among these bills are:
The Abortion in Health Care Act — House Bill 4389, filed by Rep. Donna Howard (HD-48) — would repeal all medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion in Texas.
House Bill 627 and House Bill 698, filed by Rep. Jon Rosenthal (HD-135), would protect abortion clinics and providers from harassment and prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of reproductive health decisions, including abortion.
House Bill 3369, filed by Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos (HD-102), would allow teens to consent to their own contraception.
The Free Choice of Provider Act — House Bill 3825, also filed by Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos (HD-102) — would help restore patient access and repair the reproductive health care safety net across the state by undoing a decade’s worth of funding restrictions.
Texas Democratic Party Vice-Chair Dr. Carla Brailey issued the following statement:
“Abortion is health care, and it’s our right. Today’s extremist bills are a dangerous attack on the few remaining avenues of abortion access left to Texans. Criminalizing abortion is an outrage. Banning abortion at six weeks is an outrage. These are direct attacks on Texans’ ability to choose what’s best for their lives. Every Texas Republican who pushes these bills through the House will wear this shame.
“I am grateful to all the abortion advocates and Democratic legislators who are fighting relentlessly against these attacks. Whether it’s gutting what’s left of our abortion access, or trying to plunge us back into Jim Crow-style voter suppression, Texas Republicans are constantly throwing us under the bus to try to score political points. Republicans are weaponizing abortion to try to distract from their abysmal failures to accomplish anything positive for Texans. They failed to manage the pandemic, they failed to keep us safe during the winter storm, and they failed to protect Texas families from economic freefall. If Republicans actually cared about Texans, they would take responsibility and focus on fixing their mistakes, not attacking our rights. Texans deserve better.”