Reaction to HB896

The decision to terminate a pregnancy is a difficult and deeply personal decision. Women deserve the right to make any and all decisions pertaining to their reproductive health. In a time when Republican lawmakers are drafting bold and malicious bills towards women, we need lawmakers who will boldly advocate on behalf of women’s rights.

Texas House Bill 896 is making national news this week. The bill, which was introduced in the Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee, isn’t anticipated to make it out of the committee. However, the committee held a hearing and allowed testimonies of those for and against the bill. If passed, it would punish women who exercised their right to have an abortion by charging them with capital murder—a crime punishable by death.

As a citizen, I grapple with the reality that, more often than not, the same lawmakers who champion the all-out assault on women’s reproductive rights also contribute to some of the very problems which factor into many women’s right to choose. These same lawmakers, who demonize a woman’s right to govern her body, have a pattern of casting votes against programs to assist struggling families, casting votes against affordable and accessible healthcare for young citizens, casting votes against living wages, and casting votes against quality education.

As an African American woman, my right to choose is tied to my right to live. In America, the maternal mortality rate of African American women is disproportionately high when compared to other groups. As a mother of two, I have experienced health issues coupled with systemic racism within my healthcare that could have resulted in my death or the death of my sons.

As your Representative, I would fight boldly for the right of all women to govern their bodies.