Abortion Funds 2019 Advocacy Agenda
Texas local abortion funds and practical support organizations are proud to present the following advocacy and policy priorities for the 2019 Texas Legislative Session. Our organizations include: The Afiya Center, The Bridge Collective, Clinic Access Support Network, La Frontera Fund, Fund Texas Choice, Jane’s Due Process, Lilith Fund, The Stigma Relief Fund, Texas Equal Access Fund, and West Fund.
- Texas should remove barriers to abortion and ensure that all Texans have unrestricted access to abortion care. Many Texans already live in communities with little to no access to safe abortion throughout the state. The restrictions on abortion in Texas are extreme, punitive, unjust, and medically unnecessary. Our legislature should trust Texans to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions and respect the judgement of medical providers
Bills for: HB 248, HB 249, HB 992, HB 1870, HB 3238, SB 150, SB 2059
Bills against: HB5, HB 16, HB 47, HB 896, HB 1500, HB 1685, HB 1929, HB 2350, HB 2434, HB 2447, HB 2735, HB 3071, HB3605, HB 3107, HB 3205, HB 3321, HB 3873, HB 4199, HB 4213, HB 4240, HB 4407, HB 4463, HB 4523, HB 4526, HB 4527, SB 22, SB 23, SB 24,SB50, SB 389,SB444, SB 906, SB1027,SB 1033,SB1107, SB 2145, SB 2160, SB 2243, SJR 3, HCR 56
- No one should be denied abortion access just because they cannot afford to pay. Abortion is healthcare, like any other medically necessary procedure, and should be recognized as such under all relevant health care coverage programs. Every day, abortion funds in Texas hear from people who want an abortion and cannot afford it. For more than 40 years, low-income people in Texas and across the country have been denied affordable abortion care due to the Hyde Amendment, a federal policy that prohibits the Medicaid program from covering abortion. Currently, 35 states and the District of Columbia do not cover abortion within their state Medicaid programs, except for limited exceptions. Texas lawmakers banned Medicaid coverage for abortion decades ago, and a ban on private insurance coverage of abortion was passed during the 2017 Texas legislative session. Coverage bans of all kinds force low-income Texans to pay out of pocket for their abortion care and primarily affect low-income communities of color. We call upon the state of Texas to strike the statute barring state Medicaid funding of abortion, and remove the rider on the state budget that prevents the funding of abortion.
Bills for: HB 895, known as “Rosie’s Law”, HB60
- Travel expenses for abortion should be covered under state Medicaid, along with the procedure itself. Currently in Texas, if a patient needs to travel long distances for specialized care covered by Medicaid, then the travel expenses related to said care are also covered. In 2013, the state of Texas passed a law known as HB2 that closed more than half of Texas’s abortion clinics, forcing many residents to travel hundreds of miles to the nearest clinic. The state Medicaid program should not only cover abortion care, as it is a basic form of healthcare, but it should also include coverage for related travel expenses to ensure that all Texans, regardless of their means, are able to access a safe and legal abortion.
- Ensure all people, regardless of age, have the support they need to build the families they choose. Guaranteeing equal pay, fair wages and paid sick, family leave, and greater access to healthcare in general allows people in Texas to prioritize the health and safety needs of their families and bolsters economic security. Additionally, pregnant and parenting students of all ages should have comprehensive support and respect needed in order to succeed in school and graduate.
Bills for: HB 60, HB 243, HB 253, HB 311, HB 315, HB 541, HB 607, HB 670, HB 719, HB 755, HB 938, HB 952, HB 1041, HB 1071, HB 1478, HB 1559, HB 1707, HB 2029, HB 3410, SB 45, SB 112, SB 146, SB 149, SB 256, SB 1826, HB 2161
Bills against: HB 222, SB 85, SB 1107
- Texas should expand Medicaid coverage and services. While the ACA has increased health care coverage, our state continues to be last in health care access. Even if the state used state Medicaid funds to cover abortion, there would be many who could not access abortion or other vital health care services for themselves and their families because of the Medicaid gap. We call on the state to expand Medicaid coverage, and to make health care of all kinds, including abortion, available to all people regardless of age, immigration status, gender, abilities, and economic status.
Bills for: HB 170, HB 220, HB, 241, HB 411, HB590, HB 606, HB 610, HB 744, HB 800, HB 1589, HB 1641, HB 1879,HB 1913, HB 2028, HB 3230,HB 2029, SB 147, SB 189, SB 307, SB 308
- Pregnant minors should have access to safe abortion care. Young people deserve respect and compassion. Parental involvement for abortion laws ignore the reality of homeless, neglected, or abused youth. The state should work to ensure that other trusted adults, such as grandparents, adult siblings, or medical consenters, can consent to abortions for minors, and that minors who are already parents can access confidential and affordable abortion care. However, if there is going to be a judicial bypass process, it should be one that pregnant minors can navigate timely, confidentially, and without discrimination.
Bills against: HB 3605, SB 1027
- Texas should ensure that incarcerated people have access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare services, including abortion care. Incarcerated people deserved to be treated with respect. Incarcerated people in Texas should have access to abortion care and the resources needed to pay for their procedures. Our legislature should take the necessary steps to guarantee incarcerated people safe, dignified, and comprehensive healthcare, including freedom from shackling during birth and/or during transport to medical facilities. Texas should also increase transparency of its policies and records relating to the care of pregnant incarcerated people.
Bills for: HB 650, HB 1553, HB 1601, HB 1651, HB 1889, HB 2701
- Texas should end the “Alternatives to Abortion” program. The legislature should stop putting taxpayer dollars towards biased programs and unregulated so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPC) that coerce, manipulate, and lie to Texans. Those funds would save the state money if they were invested in family planning, CPS workers, children’s therapy, daycare programs, or any other of a number of cash-strapped programs that provide measurable, positive results for the state. Abortion funds hear from numerous callers on our hotlines who were forced to delay their abortion and/or received medically inaccurate and biased information from a CPC.
Bills against: HB 2271, HB 3873
- People should be guaranteed access to abortion and all other forms of healthcare (including family planning, prenatal care, postpartum care, and more) regardless of immigration status, and should not risk detention or deportation when seeking medical services of any kind. Our legislature should take necessary steps to ensure that patients and clinic staff are able to access an abortion clinic free of harassment, violence, and obstruction. Undocumented immigrants should be able to access healthcare without fear of their status being reported to the authorities, deportation, or detainment.
Bills for: HCR 34