CommunityFDL Main Blog

Texans Build a Diverse Movement for Reproductive Choice and Health Care

Texans For Reproductive Justice Banner: Without Access There Is No Choce

Hundreds gathered at the Texas Capitol on October 3, 2014 to mark the day that all provisions of the Texas Omnibus Abortion Bill (HB2) were upheld by the Fifth Circuit.

AUSTIN, TEXAS — What does it mean to have a choice?

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Americans’ right to choose an abortion, but that choice is meaningless if someone can’t access a legal abortion clinic or legally obtain the abortion pill. Decades of the anti-abortion movement’s attacks on abortion access depend on this, and it’s a strategy which may have just won a major victory.

The challenge of accessing abortion just became far more difficult for millions of Texans. On Thursday, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court upheld all provisions of HB2, the Texas Omnibus Abortion Bill. As a result of the ruling, all but eight of the clinics in Texas providing abortions closed on Friday. Many Texans depended on these clinics for essential medical care beyond abortions.

Other provisions of the bill already restricted access to abortions after 20 weeks and access to the abortion pill, and added onerous requirements on abortion providers to receive hospital admitting privileges, which are often refused by the mostly Catholic hospitals in the state.

“This decision is a vindication of the careful deliberation by the Texas Legislature to craft a law to protect the health and safety of Texas women,” Lauren Bean, a spokesperson for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, told Fox News.

“Texas faces a health care crisis, brought on by its own legislators,” Amy Hagstrom Miller, the CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, a group of abortion providers that were party to the legal challenge, told RH Reality Check.

Rather than protecting the health of the state’s citizens, opponents of the law say HB2 is especially dangerous in a state where dozens of clinics have already closed due to budget cuts since 2011. It’s also a state that refused Medicaid expansion and that leads the country in the number of uninsured residents.

These “reproductive justice” organizers, activists and volunteers are building coalitions designed to reach the most disadvantaged in the state. They say it’s a movement that is about helping the most vulnerable — those who will suffer the most under HB2 and those who are most often overlooked by historic pro-abortion rights politics. [cont’d.]

CommunityMyFDL Front Page

Texans Build A Diverse Movement For Reproductive Choice And Health Care

Texans For Reproductive Justice Banner: Without Access There Is No Choce

Hundreds gathered at the Texas Capitol on October 3, 2014 to mark the day that all provisions of the Texas Omnibus Abortion Bill (HB2) were upheld by the Fifth Circuit.

AUSTIN, TEXAS — What does it mean to have a choice?

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Americans’ right to choose an abortion, but that choice is meaningless if someone can’t access a legal abortion clinic or legally obtain the abortion pill. Decades of the anti-abortion movement’s attacks on abortion access depend on this, and it’s a strategy which may have just won a major victory.

The challenge of accessing abortion just became far more difficult for millions of Texans. On Thursday, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court upheld all provisions of HB2, the Texas Omnibus Abortion Bill. As a result of the ruling, all but eight of the clinics in Texas providing abortions closed on Friday. Many Texans depended on these clinics for essential medical care beyond abortions.

Other provisions of the bill already restricted access to abortions after 20 weeks and access to the abortion pill, and added onerous requirements on abortion providers to receive hospital admitting privileges, which are often refused by the mostly Catholic hospitals in the state.

“This decision is a vindication of the careful deliberation by the Texas Legislature to craft a law to protect the health and safety of Texas women,” Lauren Bean, a spokesperson for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, told Fox News.

“Texas faces a health care crisis, brought on by its own legislators,” Amy Hagstrom Miller, the CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, a group of abortion providers that were party to the legal challenge, told RH Reality Check.

Rather than protecting the health of the state’s citizens, opponents of the law say HB2 is especially dangerous in a state where dozens of clinics have already closed due to budget cuts since 2011. It’s also a state that refused Medicaid expansion and that leads the country in the number of uninsured residents.

These “reproductive justice” organizers, activists and volunteers are building coalitions designed to reach the most disadvantaged in the state. They say it’s a movement that is about helping the most vulnerable — those who will suffer the most under HB2 and those who are most often overlooked by historic pro-abortion rights politics.

 

Inspired to defend choice and access

Several funds in Texas provide financial assistance to those seeking abortions, but one nonprofit, Fund Texas Choice, serves a unique role. This organization helps with the other logistics of an abortion such as transportation to and from a clinic and lodging during legally mandated waiting periods and post-procedure recovery.

Aimee Arrambide is a board member at Fund Texas Choice and a legal fellow at RH Reality Check, a source of news and analysis relating to sexual health and abortion access. Arrambide, who recently took the bar exam, told MintPress News that she was inspired to work on abortion access issues because of her father, an obstetrician who also performed abortions.

She recalled her confusion as a child when she first learned what an abortion was and that her father provided them.

“Someone came up to me in middle school and told me my dad killed babies, and I didn’t understand. I came home and questioned why would they say that and he explained to me what an abortion was. I was age 10 or 11. I was kind of shocked. Why would anyone need to get an abortion?” she said. “Until he explained the reason behind it and took me to the clinic in Laredo. He showed me people sitting in the office. He went once every two weeks, alternating between Laredo and Corpus Christi, and the waiting room was always filled. With people sometimes as young as I was, many of them immigrants … the picture of the waiting room showed me that these were people in need who really needed his help.”

(more…)

Previous post

Fukushima Update

Next post

FDL Movie Night - Forward 13: Waking Up The American Dream

Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and Occupy.com.