Trust Texas Women

Some high-profile cases are chipping away at some of the strides made by Roe v. Wade – but the Center for Reproductive Rights, an Overbrook Foundation grantee, is stepping in to meet one such challenge.  A seminar at the Center’s national office earlier this month outlined some of the frightening ways in which pro-life legislation has been encroaching on reproductive rights.  The measure set to go into law later this year in Texas is one of the most restrictive in recent memory.

Starting this fall, a woman seeking an abortion will not be able to undergo the procedure before meeting certain requirements.  More specifically, the law will force a patient to receive an ultrasound, look at the images, and hear detailed information on the fetus.  And it doesn’t end there.  After the initial visit, the patient will have to wait 24 hours to receive the abortion (unless she traveled at least 100 miles to the abortion provider).  Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed the measure into law this past May, calling it an “emergency item.”  It places Texas on par with Oklahoma, in terms of having some of the most restrictive ultrasound laws in the nation.

But the Center isn’t letting the law take effect without calling for some emergency action of its own.  Last week, the Center filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the physicians and medical clinics affected by the measure.  It also unleashed its newest campaign: “Trust Texas Women.”  According to the campaign’s website, the suit calls the new law an attack on “physicians’ free-speech rights by requiring them to deliver ‘politically motivated’ messages” and “that the law could put doctors cross-wise with the wishes of their patients.”

Hopefully, the initiative – and impending lawsuit – will help restore a woman’s full right to choose, which measures like this are unfortunately trying to overturn.  Roe v. Wade entrusts women to be able to make decisions about their bodies for themselves; and politics shouldn’t get in the way of a doctor being able to provide much-needed services.

If you’d like to contribute to the Center’s campaign, or join Team Texas, click here.