Today, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit in federal court to stop the Texas law that would drastically reduce access to safe and legal abortion for many women from taking effect.The law is unconstitutional, it interferes with the ability of women to make their own personal medical decisions, and it threatens women's health and safety.
Growing up in Texas, I learned from an early age that women have only ever gotten what we're willing to fight for -- and people in my home state have never fought harder for women's health.
We saw that this summer, when we headed down to Texas to fight alongside the thousands of folks who came to speak out for women's health in Dallas, Fort Worth, Waco, Houston, San Antonio and Austin. We rallied under the "Stand with Texas Women" banner -- and people all over the country stood with us.
At the end of the day, Governor Perry, Lt. Governor Dewhurst, and their allies in the legislature managed to pass this dangerous bill over the strong opposition of 80% of Texas voters -- and experts in the medical community. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Hospital Associations all agree that provisions in this bill will put women's health and safety in danger -- leaving some to resort to desperate and dangerous measures.
We can't let that happen. And we won't.
Planned Parenthood v. Abbott is the latest chapter in what will be a long fight to restore health care to women in Texas who need it most.
Over the past two years, 76 women's health centers have been forced to close their doors. Not because women weren't coming to them -- they were: from women in Midland who needed a place togo for their well woman visits to women in Hidalgo County who counted on Planned Parenthood for lifesaving cancer screenings.
These health centers closed because of politics, simple as that.
Since Governor Perry and his allies in the legislature ended the Texas Women's Health Program, more than 130,000 women in the state are already going without medical care every year.
Texas already has the highest rate of uninsured people of any state in the country -- and according to a new report that came out this week from the Center for American Progress, it ranks near the bottom when it comes to women's economic security and access to health care.
Texas can do better -- and Texas women deserve better.
For more than 75 years, Planned Parenthood has been there for women in Texas -- providing quality, affordable health care, and fighting on behalf of our patients.
This is no time to back down. And we're not planning on it.