PPTV is hiring a Government Relations & Political Affairs Director

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes
Government Relations & Political Affairs Director
Position: Full-time, permanent
Location: Austin

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (PPTV) is the statewide advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas that engages supporters of reproductive health and rights to fight to protect and expand women’s access to preventative and reproductive healthcare, including abortion. The work at PPTV is fast paced and deals with complex and high priority matters related to the  politics of women’s health in Texas. Our programs range from talking to voters about the politics of abortion to advocating to protect funding for preventive health care.

General Description

PPTV is expanding our team and is hiring a Government Relations & Political Affairs Director that will work for both PPTV and PPTV Political Action Committee (PAC).The Government Relations & Political Affairs Director will be responsible for leading the cultivation and stewardship of positive relationships with elected officials and candidates for office, and managing the day to day activities of public policy and electoral activities. The position directs and executes the legislative and electoral strategies and projects of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes and PPTV PAC with guidance and input from the Executive Director and the Deputy Director. The Government Relations & Political Affairs Director will work closely with staff at Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and external consultants.

Duties and Responsibilities

LEGISLATIVE

  • Direct and manage the relationship development strategies for legislators, legislative staff, various coalitions, workgroups, and councils, and with health policy and advocacy groups
  • Coordinate, edit and prepare information for legislative offices, and respond to information requests from state legislative offices
  • Coordinate, edit and prepare presentations and briefing material for legislative hearings or meetings
  • Monitor and attend state legislative committee hearings
  • Keep Planned Parenthood staff, at the affiliate, state and national level,  informed on legislative and policy developments
  • Research and write legislative summaries and regular updates for internal communications
  • Manage the planning and execution of legislative events and activities to publicize and promote the goals and mission of Planned Parenthood, including legislative receptions, briefings and lobby days
  • Schedule meetings between state legislators and/or their staffs with Planned Parenthood leadership
  • Maintain a cloud-based filing system of relevant legislative information and communications
  • Track all lobbying expenses and maintain appropriate documentation in compliance with Texas Ethics Commission requirements
  • Provide general administrative support as needed

POLITICAL

  • Direct and manage the relationship development strategies for PPTV endorsed candidates and their staff as well as partner organizations that support  PPTV endorsed candidates
  • Inform voter contact strategies and coordinate information with campaigns and partners
  • Stay abreast of developments in state and local elections, including special elections, state, municipal and county level elections, of interest to the organization
  • Distribute and collect candidate questionnaires, and respond to inquiries from the campaigns
  • Track all political contributions and expenditures and maintain appropriate documentation in compliance with Texas Ethics Commission requirements

Qualifications

  • Strong support for the mission and goals of Planned Parenthood
  • Thorough knowledge of and interest in the Texas legislative process, politics and elections
  • Combination of at least four years experience working on campaigns and/or in the legislature
  • Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Familiarity with Texas Ethics Commission reporting requirements and procedures for lobbying and political activities
  • Ability to comprehend and research legal and policy documents with minimal oversight
  • Strong skills in creating spreadsheets and charts, manipulating statistical data, and reviewing and interpreting documents for research purposes
  • Tech-savvy; early adopter; excited to learn new tools, systems and skills
  • Familiarity and comfort with Google applications including Google Drive and Docs
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to compose correspondence in a professional manner; ability to proofread documents for spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Ability to establish workflows, manage multiple projects, meet necessary deadlines and contribute in a positive and effective manner in a team setting or independently in stressful situations and at times with limited resources
  • Be self-motivated, reliable, positive, willing to learn, and detail-oriented
  • Ability to use diplomacy and appropriate judgment, and maintain confidentiality
  • Have reliable transportation and the flexibility to be able to attend special events with minimal notice
  • Planned Parenthood Texas Votes is a fast-paced, needs-responsive environment. While office hours may be flexible, full-time employees are expected to work nontraditional hours, including evenings and weekends.

To Apply
Applicants should send a resume, cover letter and a writing sample of less than 1000 words to jobs@pptexasvotes.org

Additional Position Information

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes is an equal employment opportunity employer and is committed to maintaining a non-discriminatory work environment, and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.  Planned Parenthood is committed to creating a dynamic work environment that values diversity and inclusion, respect and integrity, customer focus, and innovation.

Compensation and Benefits

This position is full-time, with a salary range of $68,000 to $75,000 annually, commensurate with experience. PPTV is proud to offer a competitive benefits package for full-time employees that includes 100% employer paid medical, dental and vision coverage, life and AD&D and short term and long term disability for the employee. We also offer optional flexible spending account and additional life coverage. Full-time employees receive 11 paid holidays plus an additional winter break and two weeks paid time off.

PPTV is hiring a Central Texas Community Organizer

POSITION: Permanent, full-time
REPORTS TO: Organizing and Training Director
LOCATION: Austin, TX

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (PPTV) is the statewide advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas that engages supporters of reproductive health to fight to protect and expand women’s access to preventative and reproductive healthcare, including abortion. The work at PPTV is fast paced and deals with complex and high priority matters related to the electoral and legislative politics of women’s health in Texas. Our programs range from talking to voters about the politics of abortion to advocating to protect state funding for breast cancer screenings.

PPTV is expanding our field team and is hiring a Community Organizer that will work for both PPTV and PPTV Political Action Committee (PAC).

The Community Organizer is responsible for carrying out Planned Parenthood Texas Votes’ mission and advocacy objectives, engaging new supporters in the fight for reproductive health in Texas, developing volunteer leaders and advocates, building and attending community events, and executing effective issue and voter education campaigns.

This is a full time position based in Austin, Texas.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Recruit, train, and activate volunteers to support Planned Parenthood and access to reproductive healthcare by engaging in issue advocacy, voter education, and electoral campaign activities.
  • Build effective volunteer leaders and teams and communicate with volunteer leaders on a regular basis.
  • Implement effective programs, actions and campaigns to increase advocacy for local Planned Parenthood supporters.
  • Organize and execute field tactics such as rallies, phone banks, door-to-door canvasses, and other community events such as house parties, town hall meetings, volunteer orientations, and leadership development trainings.
  • Attend community meetings, conferences, and events on behalf of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes.
  • Develop meaningful relationships with community leaders, allied organizations, and coalition groups to build the base of support in the community.
  • Maintain all data in the Voter Activation Network (VAN), including new supporter sign ups and events.
  • Additional duties, as assigned.

EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION

  • Any combination of at least (5) years of work experience and/or college-level education, with at least one (1) of year experience directly related to women’s issues, public policy, politics, community organizing, movement building, and/ or volunteer management.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships, and work collaboratively, with Planned Parenthood supporters and volunteers, PPTV and affiliate staff, as well as external partners and consultants.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and complete assignments in an efficient manner, as well as adapt to changing priorities.
  • Ability to work independently and carry out work effectively, with minimal supervision while working remotely.
  • Ability to manage a diverse team effectively.
  • Ability to meet deadlines in a fast-paced, deadline driven team environment .
  • Working knowledge of Google Docs, Microsoft Office Suite, and other technical tools.
  • Willing and able to work a flexible schedule, including evenings and weekends.
  • Licensed driver with access to a reliable, insured vehicle.
  • Bilingual, English/Spanish preferred.

PERSONAL QUALITIES

  • Deep appreciation for the mission of Planned Parenthood and knowledge of and commitment to other progressive causes.
  • Enjoys meeting and speaking with new people, and sharing with and learning from others.
  • Interest in Texas and progressive politics.
  • Self-motivated; able to identify priorities and complete work independently.
  • Comfortable in ambiguity; able to create clarity and understanding.
  • Strong organizational skills and detailed-oriented.
  • Flexible work style; enjoys operating in a fast-paced and demanding environment.
  • Excited to learn the use of data to set goals and measure progress.
  • Comfortable with technology, and able to learn new tools quickly.
  • A direct and open interpersonal communication style
  • Integrity, independent thinking, and personal courage
  • Diplomatic style; and high emotional intelligence

HOW TO APPLY

To apply, send a resume, cover letter, and three references to jobs@pptexasvotes.org.

  • Indicate “Community Organizer – Central Texas” in the email subject line.
  • All applications must be received by 11:59pm CST, Friday, December 7, 2018.
  • All attachments should be saved in PDF format and named in the format of “Last Name, First Name – Document Name”.
  • Cover letters included in the body of the email will not be accepted.
  • References from employment, academic and volunteer experience are acceptable.

ADDITIONAL POSITION INFORMATION

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes is an equal employment opportunity employer and is committed to maintaining a non-discriminatory work environment, and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.  Planned Parenthood is committed to creating a dynamic work environment that values diversity and inclusion, respect and integrity, customer focus, and innovation.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

This position is full-time, with a minimum salary of $40,000 annually, commensurate with experience. PPTV is proud to offer a competitive benefits package for full-time employees that includes 100% employer paid medical, dental and vision coverage, life and AD&D and short term and long term disability for the employee. We also offer optional flexible spending account and additional life coverage. Full-time employees receive 11 paid holidays plus an additional winter break and two weeks paid time off.

New poll shows high engagement, strong support for Planned Parenthood this election cycle among likely Texas women voters

In the wake of Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court and the upcoming midterm elections, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes recently surveyed what issues are resonating the most with likely women voters in Texas.

Hart Research Associates carried out the telephone survey of 500 likely women voters in Texas who identify as Democrat, Independent or soft Republican.

The results from the survey released today reveal that women voters in this audience are highly engaged (77% consider the upcoming election extremely important) and have a firm set of progressive policy priorities and preferences (health care, education and pay equity) as they head into the final weeks of the 2018 midterm campaign.

This includes strong support for Planned Parenthood (66% favorable view) as a uniquely trusted voice and provider of healthcare services to women in Texas. Additionally, women voters surveyed expressed overwhelming support for access to reproductive health care, including abortion, and a favorability for Democratic candidates who back Planned Parenthood.

“The poll results reaffirm that women voters listen to and trust Planned Parenthood Action Fund on issues affecting women’s health in Texas. PPTV PAC has a critical role to play in getting out the vote and helping elect more women’s health champions, who will stand up to Trump’s and Gov. Abbott’s dangerous agendas, into office,” said Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director of PPTV. “Early voting starts next week and Election Day is 18 days away — we will continue talking to voters at their doors, over the phone and online to elect more leaders to the Texas legislature who are committed to fighting for our health and our rights, no matter what.”   

More than three-in-four women voters surveyed (77%) do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned  and among those, nearly seven in 10 (68%) say that they feel strongly about this issue. PPTV is running a robust campaign to reach 100,000 Planned Parenthood supporters and likely supporters across the state.

References:

PPTV Poll, October 2018 — View memos regarding Planned Parenthood Support Among Women Voters and Summary of Findings on Texas Women Voters.

Crosstabs, toplines and slidedeck data available upon request.

CONTACT: Alyah Khan, Communications Manager | C: 682.250.0458 | alyah.khan@pptexasvotes.org

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Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (PPTV) is the nonpartisan policy, advocacy and political arm for Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas.

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes Announces 2018 State General Election Endorsements

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (PPTV) is proud to announce our list of candidate endorsements for the 2018 general election cycle. The PPTV board of directors assesses candidate positions on a variety of reproductive health issues including access to birth control, evidence-based sex education, and safe, legal abortion. Endorsement decisions are based on a combination of voting records for incumbents, responses to candidate questionnaires, and publicly stated positions.

“Extreme Texas politicians have led the nation in attacks on reproductive health care with the support and favor of the Trump administration,” said Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director of PPTV. “The only way to stop the attacks against our basic health and rights is to change who represents us. Our ground game is focused on making sure that the 860,000 Planned Parenthood supporters in Texas turn out to vote for leaders who will fight against Donald Trump’s agenda, no matter what. Every politician who has made a career of undermining our freedom and rights, is on notice. We’re fighting to elect officials at every level of government who will protect women’s health and rights.”

In 2017, reproductive rights were under attack at the federal and state levels. During the Texas legislative session, lawmakers filed nearly 40 anti-abortion regulations — several of which passed under Senate Bill 8, which includes a ban on certain abortion procedures that has been blocked in federal district court. The 2018-2019 state budget continues to block patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers through health programs and goes even further to ban Planned Parenthood health centers from receiving any state funding whatsoever. At the federal level, Donald Trump and Mike Pence spent the last year working to block access to affordable birth control, defund Planned Parenthood health centers, cut teen pregnancy prevention programs, and strip away women’s fundamental right to control their own bodies.  

As a result of these attacks, Planned Parenthood saw an unprecedented outpouring of organizing, activism, and support. This year more than 90,000 Texans took action to support Planned Parenthood for the first time. Texans are demanding elected officials who will stand strong in support of their health and rights. Between now and Election Day, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes will work around the clock to make sure that voters know what is at stake in this election and where the candidates stand.

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes Endorsed Candidates:

Challenger Endorsements:
Statewide
Lupe Valdez, Governor
Mike Collier, Lieutenant Governor
Justin Nelson, Attorney General
Miguel Suazo, Land Commissioner
Joi Chevalier, State Comptroller
Kim Olson, Agriculture Commissioner 

State Senate Districts
Mark Phariss, SD 8
Beverly Powell, SD 10
Nathan Johnson, SD 16
Rita Lucido, SD 17
Steven Kling, SD 25

State House Districts
L. Sarah DeMerchant, HD 26
Erin Zwiener, HD 45
Vikki Goodwin, HD 47
James Talarico, HD 52
Michelle Beckley, HD 65
Sharon Hirsch, HD 66
Ana-Maria Ramos, HD 102
Terry Meza, HD 105
Joanna Cattanach, HD 108
Brandy Chambers, HD 112
Rhetta Andrews Bowers, HD 113
John Turner, HD 114
Julie Johnson, HD 115
Trey Martinez Fischer, HD 116
Celina Montoya, HD 121
Alex Karjeker, HD 129
Gina Calanni, HD 132
Jon Rosethal, HD 135
John Bucy, HD 136

Incumbent Endorsements:
State Senate:
Kirk Watson, SD 14
John Whitmire, SD 15

State House: Endorsed or 100% pro-choice voting record
Bobby Guerra, HD 41
Gina Hinojosa, HD 49
Joe Moody, HD 78
Nicole Collier, HD 95
Rafael Anchia, HD 103
Victoria Neave, HD 107
Phil Cortez, HD 117
Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, HD 120
Ina Minjarez, HD 124
Alma Allen, HD 131
Sarah Davis, HD 134
Mary Ann Perez, HD 144
Garnet Coleman, HD 147 
Jessica Farrar, HD 148

Harris County: 
Marilyn Burgess, Harris County District Clerk
Adrian Garcia, Harris County Commissioner Precinct 2
Lina Hidalgo, Harris County Judge
Dylan Osborne, Harris County Treasurer
Diane Trautman, Harris County Clerk

Texas Cities Stand With Planned Parenthood

Today, the mayors of the four largest cities in Texas — Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio — released a letter addressed to Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) urging him to stop the proposed legislation that prohibits local governmental entities from partnering with Planned Parenthood. By limiting a local government’s ability to address the unique health care needs of their communities, this bill is an attack on local control.

In the early morning hours on July 26, the Senate approved SB 4 by Sen. Charles Schwertner, which specifically targets Planned Parenthood patients and goes farther than previous “defunding” efforts to extend to the local level what the Texas Legislature has implemented on the state level. If it succeeds, Planned Parenthood would be barred from activities such as participating in city and county health fairs for free HIV and STD testing or partnering to distribute mosquito spray to prevent the spread of Zika. On July 27, the House State Affairs Committee approved the House companion bill HB 14 by Rep. Drew Springer, which will head to the House floor for debate unless Speaker Straus prevents it from moving forward.

Planned Parenthood is one of Texas’ most trusted providers of reproductive health and family planning services, including breast and cervical cancer screenings. When lawmakers politicize reproductive health care, Texans lose access.

Statement from Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes regarding Governor Greg Abbott’s call for a special session

On Tuesday afternoon, after signing into law the extreme, multi-part anti-abortion law SB 8, Governor Greg Abbott called a special legislative session that will last for 30 days starting July 18. In an unprecedented move, Abbott announced a 20-item agenda including further cruel and unnecessary abortion restrictions. Among his priorities are a bill that explicitly puts women’s health and wellbeing at risk by not allowing a person to insure themselves for all emergency situations, and another that would prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving any government funds or indeed anything of potential value from the government.

Statement from Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes regarding Governor Greg Abbott’s call for a special session:

“Gov. Abbott has made it clear he’ll stop at nothing to ban safe, legal abortion and end access to preventive health care at Planned Parenthood health centers. Today, Gov. Abbott signed the multi-part SB 8 law that further restricts Texans’ right to make the best decisions for their health and their life. However, that was not enough for Abbott — he had to further prove his extreme ideology by reviving every anti-abortion regulation that failed to pass during the regular legislative session and add them to the call for an unnecessary special session.

This is not what Texans want, which is why thousands of women and men across the state have spoken out against legislation that hurts reproductive health and rights time and time again. The attacks on women are as cruel and unnecessary as they are relentless. We have come to expect the worst out of these extreme elected officials, but we are more committed than ever to fighting for Planned Parenthood patients and for all Texans.”

85th Legislative Session Wrap-up: Texas Fails Women Once Again

Monday was the last day of the 85th Texas Legislative Session and once again extreme legislators demonstrated a total disregard for the health and wellbeing of Texas women. In total, lawmakers filed nearly 40 anti-abortion regulations — several of which passed under the now multi-part Senate Bill (SB) 8. The 2018-2019 budget continues to block patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood through  state health programs and goes even further to cut Planned Parenthood off from all state funding — period.

While extremists were able to claim several victories off the backs of women who will now face further obstacles to getting reproductive health care, our women’s health champions in the legislature were able to defeat a number of cruel and unnecessary bills.

BILLS PASSED

SB 8 is the most significant and restrictive anti-abortion regulation since 2013, when the Texas Legislature passed HB 2 — the law struck down by the Supreme Court just last summer. The bill, by Sen. Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown), started as a ban on the donation of fetal tissue for medical research and on an abortion method already illegal at the federal level. After six-hours of debate on the House floor during which extreme legislators piled on further restrictions, SB 8 grew into a dangerous and cruel multi-part bill. The bill now also requires fetal tissue from an abortion procedure to be buried or cremated, even if the patient’s health was at risk or she was a victim of rape or incest and bans the safest, most common method for second trimester abortion. While the vast majority of abortion procedures take place in the first trimester, some health risks to pregnant women may not become apparent early in pregnancy and identification of fetal anomalies most often occur during the second trimester. Banning the safest method for these abortions forces doctors to resort to alternatives that may not be what they, based on their professional judgment, think is best for their patient. SB 8 imposes an excessive burden on patients seeking access to safe, legal abortion and similar provisions have already been challenged in court. In anticipation of a ruling against the constitutionality of SB 8, lawmakers included a “severability” clause that will keep the rest of the bill intact if any one piece is struck down by the courts.

HB 2858 by Rep. DeWayne Burns (R-Cleburne), requiring abortion facilities to post human trafficking signage, passed as an amendment to HB 2552. Planned Parenthood supports requiring all health care facilities in Texas to be trained to identify human trafficking and intimate partner violence. However, this amendment singles out abortion providers and further stigmatizes abortion. Human trafficking experts say that victims are likely to be intercepted in emergency rooms, doctors offices, and even dentist offices and a genuine effort to help victims would include a variety of health care providers. Meanwhile, lawmakers opted to cut funding from sex trafficking victims’ services out of the state budget.

SB 1, or the state budget for 2018-2019, continues to block low-income women from accessing care at Planned Parenthood through the Healthy Texas Women and Breast and Cervical Cancer Services programs because some health centers also provide abortion services. Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) and Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving) went even further by adding  a budget rider that prevents Planned Parenthood from receiving any state funds whatsoever, threatening health centers’ ability to provide critical health care and education to communities in need. At the same time, the budget allocates up to $38,300,000 for the Alternatives to Abortion program, which funnels money to crisis pregnancy centers known to mislead and deceive women in an attempt to coerce women against having an abortion. Crisis pregnancy centers generally provide no health care services at all.

BILLS DEFEATED

SB 20 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) would have banned insurance companies from providing abortion coverage in private health plans and those available through the Affordable Care Act. This bill made no exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal abnormality, and explicitly put women’s health and wellbeing at risk by not allowing a person to insure themselves for all emergency situations.

SB 25 by Sen. Brandon Creighton (R – Conroe) would have allowed doctors to withhold vital information from a patient about her own pregnancy by taking away the patient’s legal recourse. This bill was nothing more than yet another attempt by anti-abortion activists to chip away at the already narrow exception for fetal abnormalities.

HB 2962 by Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake) would have required additional extensive reporting related to abortion complications despite the fact that abortion is one of the safest medical procedures performed in the United States and that Texas already has robust reporting systems in place. An alarmingly invasive amendment proposed to the bill during floor debate would have required women who experience an abortion complication to disclose their marital status, last menstrual period, and other personal information to be recorded in a state database.

A number of proactive women’s health bills also died before the deadline this session. HB 745 by Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) would have eliminated the mandatory 24-hour waiting period before a patient can have an abortion. HB 1373 by Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston) would have allowed minors who are already parents to access birth control without parental consent.

Years of hostile policies have already left tens of thousands of Texas women without access to cancer screenings, birth control, and safe, legal abortion. Together, we keep fighting for a legislature that will work for health care access for all Texans.

May 1: At the Capitol This Week

For more than 100 years, May 1st has been about fighting for the rights of workers and immigrants. This May Day, Planned Parenthood is proud to stand in solidarity with our allies to protect the lives, health, and safety of all people in Texas. Planned Parenthood activists and supporters joined in a sit-in outside of Governor Greg Abbott’s Austin office today to demand that he veto the hateful ‘show me your papers” bill, SB 4. We know what happens when communities who already face barriers to accessing care are driven further into the shadows – they will forsake the care they need to preserve their own safety and economic security for their families. Together, we keep fighting so that all Texans can live free from discrimination.

Legislative committee hears bill to ban abortion coverage in health plans

On Wednesday, House State Affairs will hear HB 1113 by Rep. John Smithee (R-Amarillo). This is the companion bill to SB 20 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R- League City), which seeks to ban insurance companies from providing abortion coverage in private health plans and those available through the Affordable Care Act. This bill makes no exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal abnormality, and explicitly puts women’s health and wellbeing at risk by not allowing a person to insure themselves for all emergency situations. Restricting insurance coverage for abortion jeopardizes the health and safety of Texans and disproportionately impacts low-income Texans, obstructing their access to health care.

April 24: At the Capitol This Week

lobby day (1)

There is a little over one month left of the legislative session, which means our state lawmakers will spend more time  on the House and Senate floors to pass more legislation in the coming weeks than in the preceding five months combined. Our top priorities continue to be to prevent state efforts to bar Planned Parenthood health centers from providing health care services to Texans, and to stop dangerous anti-abortion bills from advancing to the floor. We are working with our allies in both chambers to defend reproductive health and rights. Please read below for details on legislative activity this week and how to take action.

Fight back against a state budget that threatens the health of Texas women and families

 The Texas House and Senate have both proposed versions of the 2018-2019 state budget that include new provisions that further attack access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers. Both the House and Senate versions of the budget would continue to prevent Planned Parenthood from participating in the state’s Healthy Texas Women and Breast and Cervical Cancer Services programs. One far-reaching budget-wide amendment by Representatives Drew Springer (R-Gainesville) and Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving) goes even further by banning any and all state funding to Planned Parenthood.

Now, a Conference Committee of ten appointed legislators will work to reconcile a single version of the state budget before it can receive final approval from the full legislature. The conference committee process is one of the very last opportunities to remove these new provisions that further prevent Planned Parenthood from participating in state programs. Politicians in Texas have targeted access to health care for Planned Parenthood’s patients again and again and it’s women and families that continue to suffer the devastating consequences.

Stop 5 anti-abortion bills from advancing to a vote by the full House

Five anti-abortion bills have been passed by House State Affairs Committee and now it’s up to the Texas House Calendars Committee whether or not they advance to the full House of Representatives for a vote. Send committee members a message now, asking them to stop these attacks on Texans’ reproductive rights today.

House Debates Anti-Immigrant Sanctuary Cities Ban on Wednesday

On Wednesday, the Texas House will debate its version of the anti-immigrant sanctuary cities ban bill by Rep. Charlie Geren (R-River Oaks [outside Ft. Worth]). The House version, like SB 4 in the Senate, would ban cities from adopting sanctuary policies that prevent law enforcement from inquiring about immigration status or enforcing immigration law. Unlike the Senate version, the House bill does not include a provision that would cut state funding to entities that do not enforce national immigration law, and stipulates that an officer cannot ask about immigration status until after a suspect is arrested.

Rep. Victoria Neave (D-Dallas) is taking a stand against this discriminatory bill by leading a fast that began Sunday and will last until Wednesday — the day the House plans to debate the legislation. Click here to learn how to join Rep. Neave in fasting in opposition to legislation that will destroy families and communities.

Statement: House State Affairs Committee Approves Four Bills to Push Abortion Further Out of Reach for Texans

Yesterday, the House State Affairs Committee voted to approve four additional bills that are nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to ban abortion. House bills 35, 200, 2962, and 1936 unnecessarily target an extremely safe, legal medical procedure and hurt women and their families.

Statement from Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes:
“These bills are just the latest in a relentless wave of legislation aimed at chipping away at the right to safe, legal abortion. They do nothing to improve the health and safety of women, and the politicians behind them have only one objective: To push their extreme agenda onto Texans who don’t want or support these dangerous policies. Politicians have no right to control the lives of women and their families and should turn their attention to helping Texans access quality, affordable health care.”