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)

“Now listen, I have been a conservative my entire life. I have never met anybody, any conservative who wants to ban contraceptives.”

That’s Texas Sen. Ted Cruz again, complaining about people who point out Republicans and other conservatives who want to make it harder for women to get access to birth control. But Sen. Cruz either doesn’t know what he’s talking about or is deliberately trying to mislead his audience. In fact, he wouldn’t have to look very far to find conservatives who want to get rid of birth control.

Four years ago, for example, Wayne Christian, then a Republican state representative from East Texas, proudly declared that he and his fellow conservative lawmakers at the Texas Capitol were engaged in a “war on birth control”:

“Of course it’s a war on birth control, abortion, everything — that’s what family planning is supposed to be about.”

Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania and a fellow Republican candidate for president alongside Cruz this year, said in 2012 that states should have the authority to ban birth control:

“The state has a right to do that, I have never questioned that the state has a right to do… Read More

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has insisted that the vile rhetoric of anti-abortion extremists played no role in the mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. In fact, speaking at an event for his presidential campaign on Sunday in Iowa, Cruz bizarrely characterized the alleged gunman as a “transgendered leftist activist.”

But it’s important to know that Cruz has closely associated with — and has touted endorsements from — anti-abortion activists who are so extreme that they have advocated for and justified the killing of abortion providers.

As the Huffington Post reports, just last month Cruz touted the endorsement of Troy Newman, who heads the radical anti-abortion group Operation Rescue. Right Wing Watch notes that Newman, in his book “Their Blood Cries Out,” called for the execution of abortion providers:

“In addition to our personal guilt in abortion, the United States government has abrogated its responsibility to properly deal with the blood-guilty. This responsibility rightly involves executing convicted murderers, including abortionists, for their crimes in order to expunge bloodguilt from the land and people.”

The same Huffington Post story also points out that Cheryl Sullenger, currently Operation Rescue’s vice president, was convicted with her husband in 1988 for

“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

LGBT Foundation

Happy International #PronounsDay! Today is a chance for us to make respecting, sharing & educating about personal pronouns more commonplace Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity Find out more at lgbt.foundation/pron… pic.twitter.com/dy8l…