Make no mistake, one of the most critical elections in our lifetime is currently underway. With so many issues on the ballot, it can be hard to know what all is at stake this November. But one thing is certain: reproductive rights are on the line.
With Republicans attempting to push through a Supreme Court nominee who will be hostile to rights that are protected at the federal level, the people we have making decisions here in Texas at the state level are more important than ever.
Extremist anti-abortion Texas representatives are up for re-election this November, and they’re competing in close races. These lawmakers have a lengthy history of restricting and attempting to criminalize abortion. If Texans vote them out and replace them with reproductive champions, then we’ll be another step closer to flipping the Texas House, and protecting abortion rights for all Texans.
Here’s more information on some of Texas’ worst anti-abortion lawmakers:
Matt Shaheen, HD 66
- Voted to pass HB 2271, a bill that authorizes the Attorney General to advertise that state funds generated by license plate fees can be appropriated to "Choose Life Grants”
- Failed to disclose he serves on the board of a crisis pregnancy center, which are facilities designed to confuse individuals seeking abortion or other reproductive healthcare
Morgan Meyer, HD 108
- Voted for SB 8, a bill that would criminalize dilation and evacuation, or D&E, abortions, the most common form of second trimester abortions
- Meyer voted against a bill that would extend the Women’s Health Advisory Committee. “The women’s health advisory committee was created in 2015 to help consolidate the state’s various women’s health programs to create its own version after Texas pulled the Medicaid Women’s Health Program to create its own version in 2013 that banned Planned Parenthood.” - Texas Observer
Jeff Leach, HD 67
- Leach voted to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and also voted in favor of enacting restrictions that closed more than half of Texas’ abortion clinics before it was struck down by the US Supreme Court. Out of the more than 40 clinics that were operating before the bill passed, only 22 remain.
- Leach wrote a personhood bill that would ban all abortion and subject providers and patients to felony charges, which sought to ignore the federal law established by Roe v. Wade.
Matt Krause, HD 93
- Voted for HB 215, which further placed obstacles for young people seeking abortions. It requires physicians who perform an abortion on a minor to note in the patient’s medical record and report the method by which authorization was obtained.
- Sponsored HB 3994, a bill that amends the requirements for minors petitioning to have an abortion without parental consent, like requiring the minor to file a request for a court order that would allow them to have an abortion without the consent of a parent or legal guardian in the county they reside and are seeking the abortion.
Tony Tinderholt, HD 94
- Authored the bill HD 896 which criminalizes abortion and opens up the possibility of prosecutors charging a woman who has an abortion with criminal homicide, which can be punishable by the death penalty under current Texas law.
- Voted in favor of HB16, which requires the physician who performed or attempted to perform the abortion to “exercise the same degree of professional care to preserve the life and health of the child as they would any other child of the same gestational age.” In the case the physician failed to do so, they would face criminal charges.
Meet their Democratic challengers
- Sharon Hirsch for HD 66: “Texans should have affordable access to a full range of reproductive healthcare—including contraception, prenatal and postpartum care, childcare, and abortion—regardless of their income, ZIP code, gender identity, or immigration status.”
- Alisa Simmons for HD 94: Named one of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas' 2020 Abortion Access Champions
- Lorenzo Sanchez for HD 67: “We must ensure access to the full range of reproductive healthcare, from contraception to abortion to prenatal and postpartum care.”
- Lydia Bean for HD 93: Named one of Pro-Choice Texas 2020 Abortion Access Champions
- Joanna Cattanach for HD 108: “I oppose defunding Planned Parenthood and support a woman’s right to choose from a full range of pregnancy-related healthcare options, including abortion."
Abortion is a human right, one that is clearly being infringed upon by these legislators who will stop at nothing to restrict abortion access. We have the opportunity to flip the Texas House and end their reign of anti-abortion terror this November at the ballot box, but we must get out and vote for candidates who will fight for our rights. Spread the word and encourage your fellow Texans to vote these extremist lawmakers out of office and replace them repro rights champions.
For more information on how to vote in this election, visit GoVoteTexas.org.
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