Texas Uses Special Legislative Session to Target Abortion Access

Aug. 15, 2017
Contact: Christie Petrone, 646-520-3504, [email protected]

Statement by National Institute for Reproductive Health President Andrea Miller

New York — “In a special legislative session called with the intent of limiting Texans’ access to abortion care, Texas’ anti-choice Gov. Gregg Abott signed HB214, HB13, and HB215 into law — three bills that shame, pressure, and punish women who have decided to have an abortion in Texas.

“The National Institute for Reproductive Health condemns these latest actions by Texas lawmakers to restrict access to abortion. The most recent bills signed by the governor include House Bill 214, which will block all insurance plans from covering abortion, forcing Texans to anticipate the need for an abortion and purchase a supplemental health insurance plan. This bill disproportionately impacts low-income Texans, people of color, and young people, making it difficult and in some cases impossible for women to access abortion. HB13 and HB215 require more state involvement in abortion providers’ practices and make it more complicated for younger women to access care.

“HB 214 defies the national trend of cities and states demanding insurance coverage of abortion care. NIRH, All* Above All, and partners in 12 cities have worked to pass resolutions calling on Congress to lift restrictions on abortion coverage, and there’s growing momentum urging Congress to pass the EACH Woman Act, which would ensure abortion access for every woman who receives care or insurance through the federal government by prohibiting political interference in insurance coverage of abortion.

“The last time the Texas legislature tried to push abortion out of reach for Texas women, advocates, outraged Texans, and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in to stop them. Now, the Texas legislature is back at it.

“As Texas and other states across the country attempt to restrict abortion coverage and access to critical reproductive health care, NIRH will continue to fight back. We’re proud to work in Texas with the Lilith Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, Texas Equal Access Fund, and West Fund to advance abortion access and build grassroots power on the local level via their ReproPowerTX agendas. Collectively, we will not back down until we live in a society in which everyone has the freedom and ability to control their reproductive and sexual lives.”


The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) builds power at the state and local levels to change public policy, galvanize public support, and normalize women’s decisions about abortion and contraception.