Press Releases

Friday, August 29, 2014

Latina health advocates applaud Texas court’s decision to strike down HB 2

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

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) applauds the Texas federal district court’s decision today to strike down House Bill 2 (HB 2) — a package of harmful abortion restrictions that has already forced approximately half of the state’s abortions clinics to close, and further threatened access to safe and legal abortion within the state.

During the case, NLIRH had the honor to include the perspective of Texas Latinas through the expert testimony of Lucy Felix, Texas Latina Advocacy Network’s senior field coordinator for NLIRH, who testified during the proceedings. Felix highlighted the devastating impact of the bill on Latinas’ ability to access safe and affordable reproductive health care 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 statement below about today’s decision:

“We are pleased with the court’s decision to strike down HB 2, which was a major violation of human rights, and proud to have played a role in fighting this terrible law. Today the court affirmed that the purpose of HB 2 was never to protect women, but to make abortion — which is a safe and legal procedure — out of reach in the state of Texas.

“While this decision is a win for all Texas women, it’s particularly important for Latinas, who 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 health care, including: poverty, lack of transportation, linguistic and cultural barriers, and restrictions on health care for immigrant women. This means that Latinas are among the most likely to rely on the very clinics HB 2 was designed to shut down. We’re encouraged by today’s ruling, and we’re even more anxious for the day that clinics across Texas can be reopened and expanded, so that all Latinas in the state can get the health care they need.

“Although we’re pleased with today’s decision, we know that we still have work to do in Texas. Currently there are only 19 clinics to serve the state’s 13 million women, including nearly five million Latinas. 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.