In a post-Roe era and with a near-total abortion ban in our state, we need a bold and unapologetic strategy that declares abortion is healthcare. Texas lawmakers must provide access to abortion care, support abortion providers, and address the gaps in our healthcare system to fully show up and take care of Texans.
Here’s what’s in the Avow Abortion Access Agenda:
#1: Protect the Right for all Texans to Access Abortion Care
Affirm that Texans have a right to bodily autonomy and the right to make decisions about their reproductive health care, including abortion
- Remove physician criminalization
- Affirm District Attorneys to execute prosecutorial discretion and deprioritize the criminalization of abortion care
- Prevent adverse action by a licensing board against a health care practitioner solely based on the provision of reproductive health care or gender-affirming care that is legal in Texas but violates another state’s law, with exceptions for unprofessional conduct, negligence, and malpractice.
- Prohibit a medical malpractice insurer from taking any adverse action, including but not limited to denial or revocation of coverage, sanctions, fines, penalties, or rate increases against a health care provider or health insurance purchaser if based solely on a covered provider providing, authorizing, recommending, aiding, assisting, referring, or otherwise participating in an abortion or other health service provided for an abortion, or gender-affirming care if provided in a manner consistent with Texas law.
- Texans should not be harassed, intimidated, or harmed for providing or seeking health care.
- Protect confidentiality of patients, including minors, who are using insurance to access providers
- The First Amendment protects donations as political speech. The networks that fundraise and distribute in order to aid those seeking abortion care deserve the legislative clarity that their actions are not in violation of Texas law.
Queremos un Texas libre para toda persona que decida tener un aborto. Todes las personas somos libres de decidir en nuestro cuerpo. #NuestroCuerpoNuestraDecisión #OurBodyOurChoice. Cada mujer tiene una historia, tu que haces las leyes, no la sabes; como puedes cear leyes que prohíben el aborto y por consecuencia orillas a Texanes a tener abortos clandestinos, que ponen en riesgo la vida y salud de las personas que deciden tener un aborto. El aborto es un tema de salud, atención medica y un derecho que toda la persona debe de tener. Las clínicas que cerraron nos ayudaban a tener un aborto seguro con atención medica. Cada persona que va a una clínica hacerse un aborto tiene una historia; no le juzgues, no decidas por elle; as valer su derecho a decidir en su cuerpo.
– X, madre de Luz y Esperanza
Provide timely, seamless, and high-quality reproductive healthcare for people in detention and custody
Protect interstate traveling for those seeking healthcare, regardless of documentation status
- SB 8
- SB 4 to remove medically unnecessary requirements around medication abortion
- HB 1280
- 1961 pre-roe ban (2a texas penal code, arts. 1191-1194, 1196)
- Repeal medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion via the Abortion is Healthcare Act
- 24-hour waiting period and 2 appointment requirements
- “Woman’s Right to Know” Act
- Targeted restrictions on abortion providers
- Physician-only requirement
- End forced sonograms
- End parental notification and consent
- Remove the ban on medication abortion via telehealth
- Allow physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, physician assistants, and other advanced practice clinicians to provide abortion care within their scope of practice.
- Remove all barriers to abortion care training and require all public universities and medical schools to provide training for physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, physician assistants, and other advanced practice clinicians within their scope of practice.
- Make abortion care information readily available in multiple languages on the Texas government’s website to ensure people are aware of their rights and resources, and can trust that the information is accurate.
- Require public colleges and universities to provide medication abortion at their on-campus health centers at no cost.
#2: Prioritize reproductive health and abortion in the budget
Although abortion is considered an essential form of healthcare by major medical associations like ACOG, public and private health insurance in Texas are prohibited from covering it. In Texas, funding for abortion is prohibited and funding for preventative reproductive healthcare is actively under attack.
Despite ACOG’s position that “it is critical that all Americans be provided with adequate and affordable health coverage” and that people often “jeopardize the health and well-being of themselves and their families [due to] an increasing portion of the American population that does not have health insurance coverage.”
Texans shouldn’t have to hurdle unnecessary financial obstacles to access a necessary form of healthcare. By removing abortion from the Texas Medicaid program, the Texas Legislature has added financial burden to families that are already struggling.
At almost twenty weeks I learned my son, Isaiah, had a fatal fetal anomaly and was incompatible with life.
Because of how far along I was, I had three days to navigate Texas’ already complex path to abortion care as well as come up with the $3500 it would cost. My doctor could not perform the procedure so I would have to locate a clinic who could take me.
I was lucky to find a local clinic. Day one was to share state-developed informational materials, a mandatory ultrasound, then a mandatory 24-hour wait period. All of these restrictions on abortion care in Texas make it more difficult to access safe and legal care and was medically unnecessary because I had already discussed this plan with my doctor.
Texans deserve the right to unrestricted abortion care. I ask you to remember my story and repeal these laws and leave healthcare choices to pregnant people and their doctors.
- 1+ year postpartum coverage
- Accept federal Medicaid dollars
- An examination of the activities of CPCs in order to protect Texans from false and misleading information
CPCs have stigma written all over it! From the time you walk until the time you leave you are judged. That’s how I felt when I was there. Why mislead people under religious circumstances? CPCs are very harmful because they give out false information. They claim they want to explore all options, but really only want you to explore those options that are pro-life. As a Black woman, I had to sit with someone at a CPC and talk about how I would receive financial support and care if I continue with my pregnancy which is very misleading. Because not only will I have a high risk of not being able to provide for my family due to racial disparities and income inequality but also a high risk of pregnancy mortality. CPCs need to be shut down! They do not care about the people they see and as they continue to stay open more people will experience receiving false information and more stigma for seeking abortion care.
Reallocate $100 million to clinic and provider infrastructure, abortion funds, and diaper banks
Remove restrictions on which providers can participate in the state Family Planning and Healthy Texas Women Program
Increase CHIP funding to include youth contraception
#3: Enact public health policy to benefit all Texans
Abortion care is a public health issue that intersects with housing, environmental, and educational concerns. Reproductive justice is necessary for Texans to not only live but thrive, and fascist bans by legislatures put both life and freedom at risk. The choices we make for our own lives deserve respect, but also, legal protection to ensure that they are as private as we wish, accessible to all, and without shame or unjust retribution.
As a Faith Leader and youth advocate for abortion rights, health, and justice since 2017 when I first needed access to abortion care… I am sitting with the weight of being needed in the ongoing fight for the protection of what has always been a sacred experience within our society.
I know abortions, family planning, and many other sacred experiences that involve the body of any person should not be mediated within the government, I know firsthand that some laws restrict and harm families needing access to care but because these things are already being governed for us as free-willed persons, I am moved to push for laws that simply support Texans; the way Texans are clearly stating we need support within healthcare, school systems, housing stability and many of our social justice endeavors lying at the intersection.
- Pass the Bosses Out of the Bedroom Act
- No one should lose their housing or employment due to reproductive health choices, be it abortion, fertility treatments, breastfeeding, or other decisions.
- Provide targeted rental and utility assistance to pregnant Texans at high risk of infant mortality.
- Repeal parental consent requirement for birth control in Texas (My Body My Future Act)
- Enact a statewide standing order to allow pharmacists to dispense both emergency contraception approved for over-the-counter sale and emergency contraception that requires a prescription, without requiring individuals to jump through the hoops of acquiring a prescription from their health care provider
- Rosie’s Law
- Ensure Medicaid reimbursement rates are adequate and sustainable for both in-clinic and telehealth care.
- Require insurance providers to provide consumer-friendly information about covered services and cover abortion and abortion-related care among the full range of reproductive health care at no cost to the patient.
- Authorize state Medicaid funding to cover healthcare for pregnant women and minors, regardless of documentation status.
- Provide culturally competent and linguistically appropriate care, including coverage for translation services, asynchronous and synchronous care, and communication via multiple technologies.