Press Releases

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Latina Health Advocates Applaud SCOTUS Decision in Texas Abortion Restriction Case

Loretta Kane (917-410-7242 or lk@caminopr.org)
Press Release
Washington

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) applauds today’s order by the US Supreme Court which overturns an October 2nd Fifth Circuit decision requiring the closure of 13 clinics across Texas. As a result of this ruling, these clinics will be legally allowed to re-open pending the final result of ongoing litigation.

During the district court case, NLIRH had the honor to include the perspective of Texas Latinas through the expert testimony of Lucy Felix, the Texas Latina Advocacy Network’s senior field coordinator for NLIRH, who testified during the proceedings. Felix highlighted the harmful impact of the bill on Latinas’ ability to access safe and affordable reproductive healthcare services, gained from her experience as a seasoned community health worker and organizer.

Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, has issued the following statement in response:

“We are elated at the positive impact today’s court ruling will have on Latinas' lives. Today's decision means that 13 clinics across Texas will have the opportunity to reopen, resources permitting, and provide the necessary reproductive healthcare on which Latinas and other Texas women rely. Make no mistake, the purpose of HB2 was never to protect women, but to place abortion — which is a safe and legal procedure — out of reach in the state of Texas. This law is an unconscionable violation of the human rights of Latinas across the state and a prime example of politicians meddling with the health and lives of our community. Today’s decision is a small step in showing Texas lawmakers that these unconstitutional attacks on abortion access will not be tolerated.

“While the appeals process moves forward, more Latinas be able to access the care they need. Latinas in Texas have been among the hardest hit by recent clinic closures throughout the state. 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 coverage for immigrant women. This means that Latinas are among the most likely to rely on the very clinics HB2 was designed to shut down, and will be most harmed if additional clinics close.

“No matter what the court says, we are going to keep fighting for the nearly five million Latinas in Texas. Our activists and community leaders in the Rio Grande Valley and across the state will not rest while violations of their human rights are allowed to stand. We will continue to fight to ensure that every woman has access to abortion care when she needs it, regardless of her income, where she lives, or her immigration status."

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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.