Purpose and Strategy
The Reproductive Rights Huddle advocates for women and their right to choose the reproductive options that are the best for them, their families, and their future. We will:
- Collaborate, learn, and support allied organizations also engaged in reproductive choice.
- Develop effective relationships with certain legislators and key staff.
- Monitor and address regulations and legislation at affiliated agencies and departments.
- Watch for local legislation that impedes on women’s right to choose.
The goal of the group is to educate, inform, and help empower local indivisible groups and activists to hold their legislators and government accountable and support reproductive rights in Texas.
Issue Priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session
- Monitor legislation as it moves through the session utilizing TX Lege Online (TLO). Testify and engage with legislators, affiliates, and the public as appropriate.
- Monitor regulations as they are presented at affiliate agencies such as Health & Human Services (DHHS). Testify and engage with legislators, affiliates, and voters as appropriate.
- Work with allied groups in a collaborative and supportive manner.
- Watch for local “sanctuary cities for the unborn” legislation and engage as appropriate.
- Check on reproductive rights legislation in Washington DC and engage as appropriate at the local and state level.
How the Huddle will Function
- Members of the huddle should be passionate about protecting women’s reproductive rights.
- Members will be asked to be informed and engaged throughout the session.
- We will hold regular conference calls and provide members the opportunity to work collaboratively so that they are part of a team effort.
- Members will engage and educate the public and the Legislature through issue briefs, Calls to Action (CTAs) and legislative visits and contacts.
- Members will reach out and collaborate with allied advocacy groups to support our cause and strengthen our voices.
Allied Advocacy Groups
- Greater Texas: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-greater-texas (Austin to DFW and West to El Paso and Lubbock)
- Gulf Coast: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-gulf-coast (Houston to the Gulf Coast and Louisiana)
- South Texas: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-south-texas (San Antonio to the RGV)
NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League)
Jane’s Due Process (support for young women)
Center for Reproductive Rights (legal team)
Advocates for Women of Color
- Sister Song: https://www.sistersong.net/reproductive-justice
- The Afiya Center: https://www.theafiyacenter.org/
- Tea Fund: https://teafund.org/ (Central/North Texas)
- Fund Texas Choice: https://fundtexaschoice.org/ (Central/South Texas)
- Frontera Fund: https://fronterafundrgv.org/ (RGV)
- Lilith Fund: https://www.lilithfund.org/ (Statewide)
Bills We Are Tracking
Emboldened by their gains in the Supreme Court and their majority in the Texas Legislature, Republicans in the 87th Texas Legislature will take up dozens of bills designed to strip away reproductive rights from Texans.
Bills We Oppose
- SB 8/HB 1515 – the Heartbeat Bill. The bill would ban abortions at about 6 weeks or when a heartbeat is detected. The opposition believes that this bill has a better chance to survive than those in other states because of the 3rd party enjoinder language and ‘pre-enforcement’ restrictions (it would prohibit abortion providers from going to court to protect their clients’ rights). The Texas Tribune: Texas lawmakers push bill to make it easier to sue abortion providers and harder for new anti-aborion laws to be blocked by courts.
- SB 9/HB 1280 – Trigger bill to ban abortions in Texas if/when Roe V Wade is overturned. There are currently 60+ bills in the SCOTUS pipeline designed to challenge Roe.
- SB 394/HB 2337 – More regulation of medical abortions. It would force women to go to a clinic in person for their pills (a minimum of 3 trips). It would eliminate tele-health options and mail delivery of pills. It also bans medical abortions after 49 days (about 6 weeks), the current limit is about 10 weeks.
- SB 650/HB 1173 – Closes a ‘loophole’ in SB22 (from the last session) that the Austin City Council used to assist women who came to Austin to get an abortion by helping them with childcare, transportation and housing costs.
- SB 802/HB 2313 – EMMA – Every Mother Matters – Requires women considering abortions to have ‘counseling,’ but the counseling would be done by ‘pro-life’ groups and they would not be allowed to mention abortion as an option. The woman would have to contact the counselor who would then assign them a red-tagged number that would be flagged in a database managed by an undisclosed agency. Privacy and the protection of client information is paramount at abortion providers – this bill would blow a hole in that protection.
- SB 1173/HB 3218 – Prohibits ‘discriminatory’ abortions which include birth defects and genetic disorders such as Downs Syndrome, and would require Texas families to carry a non-viable pregnancy to term.
- SB 1647/HB 3760 – Pro-Life Omnibus Bill. Includes the ban on ‘discriminatory’ abortions, a heartbeat provision, and creates a ban on all abortions with a trigger provision tied to SCOTUS.
Bills We Support
- SB 448/HB 1362 – Rosie’s Law: Provides for Medicaid insurance coverage for abortions and allows private insurance to cover abortion.
- HB 3825 – Choice of Provider: Restores funding to Planned Parenthood to provide women’s reproductive services.
- HB 4389 – Abortion is Healthcare: rolls back 15 years of obstructions to abortion.