For Immediate Release
Latina Advocates Welcome SCOTUS Review of Texas Clinic Shutdown Laws
WASHINGTON - Today, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) stands with a coalition of reproductive health care providers represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights in their request that the U.S. Supreme Court review a June 2015 decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. This decision upheld a law that would close more than 75 percent of abortion clinics in Texas and cut off access to legal abortion for millions of Texas women.
Texas’ clinic shutdown law would leave only 10 providers in the entire state, denying needed healthcare to countless Texans, with the greatest harm falling on the state’s Latinas and immigrant women, who already struggle to access the health care they need.
As described in the expert testimony of Lucy Felix, Texas Latina Advocacy Network’s senior field coordinator for NLIRH, who testified during the earlier court proceedings, these laws have a devastating impact on Latinas’ ability to access safe and affordable reproductive health care services in the Rio Grande Valley.
Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of NLIRH, issued the following statement:
“We welcome Supreme Court review of these deceptive and devastating laws, which fall hardest on Latinas and immigrant women in the Rio Grande Valley and across the State of Texas. Let’s be clear: the purpose of these sham laws was never to protect women, but to make abortion — which is a safe and legal procedure — out of reach for those who need it.
“These restrictions were designed by politicians, not doctors, and their sole purpose is to block the right to legal abortion by cutting women off from health providers. While this threatens all Texas women, it’s particularly harmful for Latinas, who have been among the hardest hit by recent clinic closures throughout the state. Nearly 40 percent of Texas women are Latina, and Latinas are twice as likely to experience unintended pregnancies as non-Latina white women and more likely to be of reproductive age. Latinas already face formidable barriers to health care, including: poverty, lack of transportation, linguistic and cultural barriers, and restrictions on health care for immigrant women. This means that Latinas are among the most likely to rely on the very clinics these laws were designed to shut down.
“Latinas will be watching as we help take this case all the way to the Supreme Court. We will not stop until every woman has access to abortion care when she needs it, regardless of her income, where she lives, or her immigration status.”
The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national reproductive justice organization dedicated to building Latina power to advance health, dignity, and justice for 26 million Latinas, their families, and communities in the United States through leadership development, community mobilization, policy advocacy, and strategic communications.