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.

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The Latest on Reproductive Rights

Click below for contact information of committee members.

Tuesday, April 14 House State Affairs Committee

Wednesday, April 15 House Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence Committee

Even after passing the most restrictive laws in the country, anti-abortion zealots in the Texas Legislature are back at it, trying to pass laws further squeezing access. They won’t stop until they’ve ended access to safe, legal abortion care for all women in Texas. Three bills with that goal will be heard this week in two separate committees:

Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence (Tuesday)

HB 723 by state Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, would prohibit a court from appointing an attorney for a minor seeking an order authorizing consent for an abortion.

State Affairs (Wednesday)

HB 3446 by state Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, forces abortion providers to post signs with state-mandated language about the prohibition against forcing a woman to undergo an abortion, an abuse hotline number, and other information.

HB 3765 by state Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, adds even more rules dealing with parental consent for minors seeking an abortion.… Read More

First things first: a big round of applause for Texas Monthly‘s R.G. Ratcliffe, who dug up this info. We encourage you to venture over to the magazine’s website to ready his piece.

Here are some interesting numbers Ratcliffe dug up:

75758: 180 75756: 74 75770: 55 75763: 61 75751: 46* 75148: 100 75124: 63 75143: 91 75158: 49 75142: 67 75160: 97 75126: 67 75161: 35* 75114: 34* 75147: 18* 75778: 24*

Random numbers? No. As you probably guessed, the first number is a zip code. The number after the zip code is the number of teen pregnancies per 1,000 teenagers in that zip code. The asterisk indicates a teen pregnancy rate for that zip code that is below the average rate for the entire state, which is 47 for every 1,000 teenagers. Only 5 of those 16 zip codes are below the state’s rate.

What all those zip codes have in common is that they’re in the state House district represented by Rep. Stuart Spitzer, R-Kaufman.

A couple of nights ago, during the House debate on the state budget, Spitzer drew plenty of attention… Read More

The following press release is from the Trust. Respect. Access coalition, of which the Texas Freedom Network is a part.

ADVOCATES PUSH FOR BIRTH CONTROL ACCESS FOR YOUNG PARENTS

Speakers: Trust Teens Who Are Already Parents to Make Their Own Decisions about Birth Control

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 18, 2015

 AUSTIN – Two years after lawmakers promised to address the high number of unintended pregnancies in Texas, reproductive health advocates are calling today for passage of common sense legislation making it easier for teens who are already parents to obtain birth control.

The Texas House State Affairs Committee is set to hear testimony today on House Bill 468 by state Rep. Mary González, D-Clint. HB 468 would allow teen parents ages 15 and over to obtain birth control without having to get the consent of their parents or guardians.

“We trust teen parents with making health care decisions for their own children, but currently we don’t respect them enough to make their own decisions about birth control,” state Rep. González said. “In a state with rates of teen births and multiple births among teens that are among the highest in the nation, that simply has to… Read More

When Texas lawmakers two years ago passed extreme legislation limiting access to abortion care, they promised to come back this legislative session to address the issue of unintended pregnancy. Now they can take a first step toward keeping that promise.

The State Affairs Committee of the Texas House is set on Wednesday to hear testimony on a proposed bill that would help lower the high number of unintended teen pregnancies in Texas. House Bill 468 by state Rep. Mary González, D-Clint, would allow teen parents over the age of 15 to obtain birth control without having to get the consent of their parents or guardians.

Lawmakers should trust teen parents and other Texans to make their own reproductive health care decisions, including the timing and spacing of their children. You can support this bill in two ways. First, contact members of the State Affairs Committee to express your support for HB 468. Second, testify at the public hearing on Wednesday, March 18, at 10:30 a.m. or after the House has adjourned for the day. The hearing is set for Room JHR 140 in the John H. Reagan Building at 105 West 15th Street in Austin.

Tell members of the House State… Read More

One of the most appalling examples of the contempt many politicians and religious-right activists have for the freedom of Texans to make even the most intimate decisions about their own health care was the case of Marlise Muñoz last year. Marlise was 14 weeks into a pregnancy when she suffered a pulmonary embolism. Although doctors declared her brain dead and she had previously made it clear to her family that she wanted to forego medical intervention in such a circumstance, the hospital argued that Texas law forced it to keep Marlise’s body hooked up to machines until the fetus was delivered or died.

As an NPR story pointed out, the hospital “maintained a corpse against the wishes of the family, for the protection of a fetus that couldn’t live.” Her family fought in court for two months for the right to respect Marlise’s expressed wishes. Her husband was even forced to sue the hospital for “cruel and obscene mutilation of a corpse.” Eventually, a state judge ordered the hospital to obey the wishes of Marlise and her family and unhook her body from its machines.

Right-wing politicians like state Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, have sneeringly questioned the motives of Marlise’s devastated family. One has even filed legislation this year that would require the… Read More

Equality Texas

Any bill that carries the expectation that every Texan needs a birth certificate to use the restroom is an unenforceable bill. #TXLege

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