The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

loretta Kane, Camino Public Relations Phone: 917.410.7242 Email:

Latina Advocates Commend SCOTUS Decision to Review Texas Clinic Shutdown Laws

Implications of decision will be far-reaching for Latinas, immigrant women


Today, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) stands with a coalition of reproductive healthcare providers represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights in commending the U.S. Supreme Court for deciding to review a June 2015 decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The previous decision upheld Texas' omnibus anti-abortion law, HB 2, which has already resulted in the closure of half of the abortion clinics in the state and would threaten to shut down all but 10 providers if permitted to remain law, cutting off access to legal abortion for millions of Texans.

As described in the expert opinion of Lucy Felix, the Texas Latina Advocacy Network senior field coordinator for NLIRH, who testified during the earlier court proceedings, HB 2 has already had a devastating impact on Latinas' ability to access safe and affordable reproductive healthcare in the Rio Grande Valley.

Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, executive director of NLIRH, issued the following statement:

"We are hopeful that when the Supreme Court reviews these deceptive and devastating laws, which fall hardest on Latinas and immigrant women, they will see what we already know. These laws have nothing to do with protecting women, and everything to do with creating coercive and nearly impossible-to-navigate hurdles for those who seek abortion.

"These restrictions were designed by politicians to make abortion harder to get. While this politically-motivated attack threatens all Texas women, it's particularly harmful for the 40 percent% of Texas women who are Latina. We're already suffering from recent clinic closures and funding cuts throughout the state. Latinas are twice as likely to experience unintended pregnancies as non-Latina white women and are more likely to be of reproductive age. We already face too many barriers to getting the healthcare we need."

Ana Rodriguez DeFrates, Texas Latina Advocacy Network (TX LAN) state policy and advocacy director for NLIRH, added:

"Latinas in Texas are watching this case closely. Unfortunately, ever since a woman's ability to end her pregnancy was legalized four decades ago, anti-choice politicians have tried to block it. They've passed laws to make abortion less affordable, force women to wait, and shut down clinics in our communities. Now we look to the Supreme Court to reject these politically-motivated attacks and reaffirm a woman's basic dignity.

"For too long, we have suffered the harms of political interference with our healthcare. 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.