Press Releases

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

At Fifth Circuit hearing on HB 2, Texas Latinas are watching

Press Release
Washington
loretta Kane, Camino Public Relations Phone: 917.410.7242 Email: lk@caminopr.org

NEW ORLEANS — In anticipation of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s hearing on Whole Woman’s Health v. Lakey, the second legal challenge to Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion law House Bill 2 (HB 2), 11 community leaders from the Texas Latina Advocacy Network, the Texas organizing and advocacy presence for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), made the 10-hour drive from the Rio Grande Valley — one of the areas hardest hit by the unconstitutional provisions of HB 2 — to New Orleans to observe the hearing and hold a peaceful demonstration.

Notably in attendance was Lucy Felix, Senior Texas Field Coordinator for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, who testified during earlier proceedings on the law, highlighting the harmful impact of HB 2 on Texas Latinas’ ability to access safe and affordable reproductive healthcare services.

Following the hearing, organizers gathered outside the courthouse for a peaceful demonstration where they were joined by other Texas advocates, including representatives of Whole Women's Health, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, and local leaders from the New Orleans Abortion Fund. The gathering, which proclaimed a message of "Salud, Dignidad y Justicia" (health, dignity and justice), clearly demonstrated that Latinas in Texas and their allies are mobilized and galvanized to fight the devastating effects of this unconstitutional attack on women’s healthcare.

"If HB 2 is allowed to stand, Texas Latinas are among those with the most to lose. Nearly 40 percent of Texas women are Latina, and Latinas are twice as likely to experience unintended pregnancies as non-Latina white women and more likely to be of reproductive age. Latinas already face formidable barriers to healthcare, including: poverty, lack of transportation, linguistic and cultural barriers, and restrictions on healthcare for immigrant women. For these reasons, Texas Latinas will be watching." – Ana Rodriguez DeFrates, Texas Policy & Advocacy Director for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

The chants lead by activists were simple and powerful: “HB 2 no es para nosotras.” “HB 2 is not for us.” – Lucy Felix, Senior Texas Field Coordinator for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

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The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national reproductive justice organization dedicated to building Latina power to advance health, dignity, and justice for 26 million Latinas, their families, and communities in the United States through leadership development, community mobilization, policy advocacy, and strategic communications.