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

Federal District Judge Sam Sparks has had just about enough of attorney Allen Parker’s attempts to grandstand on the pending sonogram lawsuit (courtesy of BurkaBlog):

However, the Court is forced to conclude that Allen E. Parker, Jr., the attorney whose signature appears on this motion, is anything but competent. A competent attorney would not have filed this motion in the first place; if he did, he certainly would not have attached exhibits that are both highly prejudicial and legally irrelevant; and if he foolishly did both things, he surely would not be so prejudicial as to file such exhibits unsealed. A competent attorney who did these things would be deliberately disrespecting this Court and knowingly shirking his professional responsibilities, offenses for which he would be lucky to retain his bar card, much less an intact bank balance.

For Mr. Parker’s sake, and because the Court has not time to hold a sanctions hearing–in part because it must take time out of deciding the actual legal issues in this case to address the self-serving entreaties of attention-seekers like Mr. Parker–the Court assumes Mr. Parker is as incompetent as he appears. Rather than sanction him, the Court simply does what… Read More

Religious-right pressure groups have been on the warpath throughout the regular and special sessions of the Texas Legislature this year. They have made cutting funds for women's health programs and, especially, providers like Planned Parenthood a priority. Late last week, for example, the Texas Pastor Council sent out an email to activists calling for the Texas Legislature to approve "the complete defunding of Planned Parenthood from tax dollars." Their goal, these groups claim, is to keep tax dollars out of the hands of abortion providers. But state Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, revealed that such claims are little more than a lie when he admitted that he and his allies on the right are engaged in "a war on birth control, abortion, everything — that’s what family planning is supposed to be about." In truth, the religious right is engaged in an all-out assault on common sense when it comes to women's health and responsible disease and pregnancy prevention. And that assault is based on an ideologically driven and dangerously misguided desire to control the private decisions that individuals make about their own health and reproductive lives. Read More

Wayne Christian lets the truth slip in an interview with the Texas Tribune:

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

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9gS1gYyozs&feature=player_embedded]

This wasn’t a momentary slip of the tongue. Christian is just saying out loud what many Texas lawmakers believe — and many more supported with their votes this session. The ideology underlying all the attacks on abortion and Planned Parenthood is fundamentally anti-birth control and anti-family planning. And as so many others have pointed out, it is ultimately self-defeating, as depriving Texas women of birth control is one sure-fire way to increase the number of abortions in this state.… Read More

State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, had the following to say today as Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed into law his bill requiring women seeking an abortion to have a sonogram of the fetus at least 24 hours before the procedure. Sen. Patrick was responding to remarks by someone in the audience talking about women who have abortions being guilty of killing their children. Patrick said:

“The good news is through the blood of Jesus Christ he forgives, and women who have aborted children need to know that message … I believe this can be the beginning of the end of 75,000 abortions we have every year in Texas.”

Here’s video from the Texas Tribune:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TZVAsmqdhc&w=450&h=284]

Sen. Patrick also told listeners just before that comment:

“Standing for life isn’t a partisan issue. It’s a God issue.”

The Dallas Morning News has more here about Sen. Patrick’s comments.

Patrick made similar comments earlier in the legislative session when the sonogram bill was debated on the Senate floor.

Here’s video from earlier in the session:… Read More

Today responsible, evidence-based sex education could get a vote on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives. State Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, has filed his Education Works! bill, HB 1624, as an amendment to important fiscal legislation pending in the House. The amendment, which the Texas Freedom Network supports, would direct school districts that teach sex education to provide evidence-based, age-appropriate, comprehensive information on both contraception and abstinence. Read More