El Paso GRACE Act Testimony: Ivonne Diaz

My name is Ivonne Diaz, and I’m a Regional Organizer with Texas Rising in El Paso. I’m in favor of item 31.

Last year when this item was introduced, I shared my story with you. I said it was the story of a friend when in reality it was my story. I didn’t want to talk about it as mine because of the stigma and condemnation of people sharing their own stories, including the testimonies you’ve been hearing. I didn’t want anyone saying I needed therapy without them knowing me. And if I ever needed therapy, it would be to heal from their hate. 

After sharing my story last year, I went on to organize my community. We demanded the former District Attorney meet with me. We had a sit-in outside her office as she wouldn’t even give us an appointment. When I was able to finally meet with her, I was searched, had to remove my shoes, then was placed in a room with other attorneys where I was intimidated. No one should have to go through this to fight for basic healthcare rights, because abortion is healthcare. The ask here is simple. Separate religious beliefs from state duties to protect the lives of everyone. Everyone includes those who have abortions and may die in the quest for unsafe alternatives without access.

Please don’t fail to protect the health of pregnant people once again, the goodwill of medical providers, and the people that need city funding for better use.