I’m Amy Hagstrom Miller, President and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health and Whole Woman’s Health Alliance. I will be direct with you: I am furious.
It’s a righteous kind of fury I am feeling.
I’m infuriated that — yet again — we have to go back to the courts to plead with them to protect the people of Texas from extremists who have hijacked the state legislature.
Access to abortion in the state of Texas is under attack by hard-right, mostly white, mostly male politicians who do not represent the kindness, decency, diversity, and shared values of the majority of Texans.
Make no mistake: We are in the majority. Recent polling shows that most Texans oppose Senate Bill 8, and that overwhelming majorities are appalled by its most extreme provisions.
This does not surprise us. This is the Texas we know. This is the Texas we are proud to serve and call home, and to represent in this fight.
We also know — from firsthand experience with the people who walk through our doors every day — all the ways this law will devastate communities across the state of Texas.
People seeking to end a pregnancy will not have access to the thoughtful advice, first-rate services, and compassionate, personal care we offer. Some will have to travel great distances to other states. Others will consider doing their own abortion. Still others will be forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term — and we will not be able to help them.
Communities, neighbors, and even friends and family members will be pitted against each other as this law encourages people to involve themselves directly in the most personal decisions of their fellow Texans — to meddle in their private affairs and appoint themselves enforcers of the will of the politicians who enacted this law.
And the structural inequities that have diminished the options available to people of color, immigrants, the economically disadvantaged, and other marginalized communities will be further hardened.
We’ve beaten back these attacks before. We can and will do it again. These are dark days, and it’s easy to feel like the extremists in the Texas legislature are running the table. But it’s useful to remember that the reason they’re so obsessed with devising more and more extreme ways of trying to block abortion rights and access is that we keep beating them. We represent the majority, and they know it.
We must all keep this in mind and maintain hope and faith amid our fury as we set out once again to demonstrate that it’s our vision of the future that the people of Texas have chosen — and that it’s the people who are really in charge.
At the heart of this battle is a stark choice — between a nightmarish future in which extremist politicians succeed in banning abortion and turning Texans against each other, or a much brighter one in which people facing unplanned pregnancies can get the advice, support, and care they need.
Texans have made it clear which future they want.
It’s the one we offer and the one we’re fighting for.
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