Target: Joe Strauss, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives
Goal: Return funding to Planned Parenthood in Texas to protect women from self-administered abortion.
In the past five years, the Texas legislature removed Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood affiliate clinics across the state. This decision caused many women in low-income households to have unexpected pregnancies. According to a study performed by the Guttmacher Institute, as restrictions on access to abortion tightens, the number of women who research or attempt to perform a self-induced abortion rises. Demand that Texan women be granted easy access to oral contraceptives and medical abortions once more.
Lack of access, or lack of consistent access, to birth control is one of the main reason that women of low socioeconomic status fail to use contraceptives. The state of Texas removed funding from Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers due to the fact that the clinics provided abortion services. However, this removal of funding also prevents women of low socioeconomic status from gaining access to intrauterine devices and contraceptive implants, which are one-time services that can prevent pregnancies for up to 12 years. Due to this removal of funding, low-income women no longer have access to these services.
The Texas Policy Evaluation Project recently performed a study which found that 4.1 percent of women in Texas were certain that a close friend had attempted a self-induced abortion. Just last year, there were more than 700,000 Google searches that were verbatim or a variant of “how to have a miscarriage” or “how to self-abort,” which demonstrates that women are willing to perform the task themselves if they do not have access to a healthcare facility that will do the procedure.
Eight of the 10 states with the highest search counts are politically opposed to abortion, with Texas having a search rate of more than 10 percent higher than the national average. This number sharply increased when Texas began defunding Planned Parenthood affiliated clinics five years ago.
By signing the petition below, you will help urge the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives to return Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood affiliate clinics. Help grant women across the state easier access to birth control and abortions, vastly reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies or self-induced abortions.
Dear Speaker Strauss,
In Texas, a study recently found that 4.1 percent of women had a close friend who had self-administered an abortion. The study asked about close friends because there was uncertainty as to whether the women would answer honestly about themselves. Furthermore, Google searches about how to self-administer an abortion is at 700,000 annually, and the number sharply increased five years ago when Texas began defunding Planned Parenthood affiliated clinics.
The main reason women don’t take, don’t take consistently, or stop taking birth control is due to a lack of convenient access. Allowing women 18 years of age and older access to affordable birth control plans via Planned Parenthood affiliate clinics would significantly lower the number of unwanted pregnancies statewide, thus lowering the number of self-administered abortions.
I am urging you to allow women across Texas easier access to contraceptives and medically supervised abortions. Please take actions to enforce policies that will lower the rate of unexpected pregnancies and protect women from self-administered abortions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: William Murphy