Reproductive Rights

Texas has become a laboratory for bad ideas when it comes to reproductive rights. In recent years state lawmakers have passed some of the toughest anti-abortion measures in the country, essentially making the procedure almost inaccessible for many Texas women.

The Texas Freedom Network supports efforts to ensure women have access to abortion and other reproductive health care services. That access requires adequate state funding and broad availability of birth control, especially for low-income women.

Resources

Just Texas: Faith Voices for Reproductive Justice

Just Say Don’t Know: Sex Education in Texas Public Schools (2009 report)

Sex Education in Public Schools: Progress in the Lone Star State (2011 report)

Texans Stand Up for Access to Birth Control: Results from a Statewide Survey of Texas Voters (2013 report)

“Last I checked we don’t have a rubber shortage in America. When I was in college we had a machine in the bathroom, you put .50 cents in and voila! So yes, anyone who wants contraceptives can access them, but it’s an utterly made-up nonsense issue.”

That’s Texas Senator Ted Cruz at a presidential campaign event in Iowa Monday night, answering a question about “making contraception available to women who want to control their own bodies.” Cruz doesn’t see why women have a problem so long as men can get cheap condoms. Seriously.

Even more stunning is that Cruz also used the question to claim that the “war on women” is a myth. So all the right-wing efforts to cut funding for women’s reproductive health and family planning services and to make abortion care almost impossible to obtain? All the efforts to prevent women from controlling their own bodies? “Made-up nonsense,” he says.

Polls show that Cruz’s support for the Republican presidential nomination is rising.… Read More

Here are some of the week’s most notable quotes culled from news reports from across Texas, and beyond. Read More

Today the Texas Freedom Network joined with partner organizations in raising the alarm about the harmful effects of anti-abortion legislation passed two years ago in Texas. Here’s the joint press release that just went out:

Independent research confirms that Texas is already seeing the harmful consequences reproductive rights organizations warned would happen following the passage of draconian anti-abortion legislation, leaders of those organizations said today. A new study from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP), released on Monday, reveals that widespread clinic closures are substantially increasing wait times for abortions, pushing women seeking abortion care later into their pregnancies.

Nan Little Kirkpatrick, executive director of the Texas Equal Access Fund, an organization that provides financial assistance for abortion said, “Access to abortion shouldn’t depend on where a person lives or how much money they have, but this is the Texas we live in today. If a person is traveling from Lubbock to Fort Worth and facing waiting periods of 20 days or longer, the level of financial and life stress caused by the combination of finding time off of work, the cost of travel, finding childcare, and the higher cost of a second trimester procedure… Read More

Texas politicians like U.S. Senator (and Republican presidential candidate) Ted Cruz have been leaders of the effort to — as they call it — “defund” Planned Parenthood because that organization provides abortion care services (although not with federal dollars). In other words, they want to end Medicaid and other government payments for reproductive health care services — like “well-woman” checkups, STD treatments, cancer screenings and birth control — that Planned Parenthood clinics provide to millions of women (and men) across the country.

Sen. Cruz and other religious-righters have even insisted that congressional Republicans should shut down the government rather than allow that health care funding to continue.

But a review of national polling shows they are seriously out of touch with the desires of most Americans on this issue. Most Americans strongly oppose cutting off funding for health care services at Planned Parenthood clinics. An even larger majority opposes shutting down the federal government as a means to that end. Here are some of the poll results:

Suffolk University/USA Today. Sept. 24-28, 2015. N=1,000 likely voters nationwide. Margin of error ± 3. “Do you think all federal funding for Planned Parenthood should be cut off: yes or no?” Yes: 29% No: 65% Unsure: 6%

As soon as this week, the U.S. Supreme Court could decide whether it will hear a challenge to Texas’ restrictive anti-abortion law. Also this week, far-right politicians will continue to push the notion that Planned Parenthood should be defunded even if it means shutting down the federal government, a move that retiring Speaker John Boehner has suggested ignores political realities and is deeply unpopular with the American public.

So here, attempting to talk some sense into those same politicians by using facts, is our friend Bill Nye the Science Guy.

Read More

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