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Elections & Politics

ICYMI: While you were sleeping -- 1,000 descend on Texas Capitol

Contact: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Media Office, 212-261-4433

For Immediate Release: 06.24.13

Yesterday evening, as Republicans in the Texas House crammed through a last-minute omnibus bill that would endanger the health and safety of millions of women in the state, over 1,000 supporters of women’s health took to the Capitol to make their voice heard loud and clear. 

PHOTOS: Here. Here. and Here.

As the Associated Press reports: “The proposal would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and limit abortions to surgical centers.  Other states have passed similar bills, but few have the full set.  Federal judges have thrown out the restrictions in some states.”

Read the full AP story here

This bill would have far-reaching consequences and would mean abortion would be virtually banned in the state of Texas.  Many women could be forced to resort to dangerous and unsafe measures.

The outpouring of opposition to this bill on social media was huge.  Last night, the hashtag #TXlege was trending nationwide.  There were more than 120,00 tweets over the weekend.  Other hashtags included #standwithTXwomen, #sb5, and #hb60

And in a sign of solidarity, people from all over the country – including Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Maryland – sent over 250 pizzas.  People also sent numerous boxes of cookies, orders of Red Bull and coffee, and apples and oranges.

In states like Kansas, North Dakota, Mississippi and Arizona – where opponents of women’s health have passed dangerous laws that harm women’s health and seriously restrict access to abortion – the state has spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars defending these out-of-touch bills.  In fact, the AP recently reported that recent estimates in Kansas total more than a million dollars.

Following is a statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund: 

“Like never before, people in Texas are standing up to demand that politicians respect women’s ability to make our own personal medical decisions, and the whole country is watching.  This bill would endanger the health and safety of millions of women in Texas.  If this passes, abortion would be virtually banned in the state of Texas, and many women could be forced to resort to dangerous and unsafe measures.

“This bill is dangerous and deeply unpopular, and it will hurt a lot of women. We won’t go back, we won’t back down, and we won’t forget when these politicians are on the ballot.” 

BACKGROUND

In the first few months of 2013, more than 300 provisions to restrict abortion access were introduced in state legislatures across the country, signaling this year would be just as bad as the record-breaking worst years for women’s health in 2011 and 2012.  Earlier this year, Governor Rick Perry said he wants to make abortion “a thing of the past” in Texas. Senate Bill 5 is part and parcel of that strategy.

Earlier this month, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a national organization representing thousands of women’s health experts, came out against these types of abortion restrictions, reinforcing that they are dangerous to patients’ health and safety.

For additional information about the situation in Texas, or if you would like to talk to a Planned Parenthood Action Fund spokesperson, please contact the Planned Parenthood Action Fund media office at 212.261.4433.

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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.