As abortion funds, we know that the fight for reproductive rights and justice is about more than right to choose an abortion — it’s about real access. On our hotlines, we hear stories every day from people who can’t afford their abortions and who face various barriers to access. We hear firsthand how abortion restrictions disproportionately impact low-income people, people of color, immigrants, young people, and people from our rural Texas communities. Our clients’ experiences are not typically centered around the concept of “the right to choose” but rather they’re situated within larger, systemic barriers created by economic, racial, and gender inequities often perpetuated by the Texas Legislature. This is why The Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity and Texas Equal Access Fund – TEA Fund have teamed up to coordinate the first-ever Texas Abortion Funds Advocacy Day at the Texas Legislature. We’re coming to the Capitol in a united front to share client stories and unveil a comprehensive agenda that best addresses the needs of those most struggling to gain abortion access in Texas.
Over 50 abortion funds advocates (hotline volunteers, folks who drive patients to their appointments, volunteer board members, etc) are coming to the State Capitol on March 7th to encourage legislators to sign on in support of our comprehensive advocacy agenda.
Sign on to support our advocacy agenda today!
No one should be denied abortion access just because they cannot afford to pay. Abortion care should be covered under private and state-funded insurance programs. Every day, abortion funds in Texas hear from people who want an abortion and cannot afford it. Because of restrictions in the federal budget known as the Hyde Amendment, as well as Texas state statute and appropriations, Medicaid will not cover abortion except in extreme circumstances. Currently, 17 states cover abortion with state Medicaid funding. 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. Abortion is healthcare, like any other medically necessary procedure, and should be recognized as such under all relevant health care coverage programs.
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 over 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.
Texas should expand Medicaid. 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.
Texas State Prisons should provide funding to cover abortion procedures for inmates. The Legislature should ensure that incarcerated pregnant people have access to abortion care and resources needed to pay for their procedures.
Texas should end the “Alternatives to Abortion” program. The Legislature should stop putting taxpayer dollars towards biased programs and unregulated 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 or received medically inaccurate and biased information from a CPC.
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.
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 and family leave 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.
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.
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