Last week, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health released an excellent policy agenda that outlines forward-looking policies and priorities that the Texas Legislature should enact to "end the current healthcare crisis in Texas and restore access to critical reproductive health care services for millions of Latinas."
Check out their full report: Nuestro Texas: A Reproductive Justice Agenda for Latinas.
The report, which was delivered to every member of the Legislature, focuses on what the state can do to improve reproductive health access outside of Texas' main urban areas, specifically looking at rural and underserved areas. The report makes recommendations concerning:
- Access to safe, legal, and affordable abortion for all Texas women
- Expanded healthcare coverage to improve the health and well-being of all Texans
- Protecting non-citizens’ basic human rights, including the right to health
- Eliminating transportation barriers Latinas face
- Strengthening public health infrastructure to ensure quality delivery of care
We will follow up on more of these issues as the Legislative session continues. Below is more from the Center for Reproductive Rights and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health on their report.
The Reproductive Justice Agenda was developed in response to the devastating cuts to family planning services in the state, as well as ever-shrinking abortion access as a result of years of coordinated attacks on basic reproductive health care services. Starting in 2011, the 82nd legislature dismantled the reproductive health care safety net by slashing funds for reproductive health care, denying millions of low-income women access to affordable contraception and other preventive health services. The impact of these cuts have been particularly devastating for Latinas living in the Rio Grande Valley, as documented in the groundbreaking 2013 report Nuestra Voz, Nuestra Salud, Nuestro Texas: The Fight for Women’s Reproductive Health in the Rio Grande Valley.
Latinas have also been hit particularly hard by Texas’ omnibus bill HB2, legislation that has already shuttered over half of the reproductive health care clinics offering abortion services, including many providers in rural and underserved sections of the state. The Center for Reproductive Rights is currently challenging two components of HB2 and awaiting a ruling from the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit which will determine the fate of the remaining clinics, including the last abortion provider in the Rio Grande Valley.