|Every person in Harris County and across this nation should be entitled to make decisions about their bodies, health, and future. In June, the United States Supreme Court decided to strip women of this right by handing the determination of the legality of abortion to state government. In response to this devastating decision and Texas’ subsequent trigger law banning abortion, Harris County Commissioners Court last month voted to seek ways to legally increase access to affordable family planning and women’s health programs in Harris County.
Judge Lina Hidalgo and fellow Commissioners requested the Court Analyst’s Office, Intergovernmental and Global Affairs, and other relevant departments find opportunities for Harris County to provide adequate, affordable contraception, health education and other programs critical to the safety and wellbeing of Harris County women and families. The Court also passed a resolution that supported a woman’s right to decide whether, when, and with whom she has children is essential to gender equality and stated that no one should have to live in fear of prosecution for seeking medical care, providing care for others, or supporting friends and family who seek care. Read the Judge’s statement below:
“After nearly 50 years of progress, Roe v. Wade has been overturned and the state’s trigger law takes effect in a matter of weeks, making abortions in Texas a felony. Neither will stop abortions, they will just make them less safe. The functional banning of abortions is an extreme position that will force those seeking help into the shadows. And with it will come dire consequences for many women in Harris County.
We know those who are met with an unplanned pregnancy face a number of challenges and any disadvantages like economic or educational circumstances are exacerbated when one is left without services to support their safety and wellbeing.
My office will continue to work towards the health and safety of women. Whether that is through identifying affordable family planning, or expanding women’s health programs, we will find ways to be a resource for high quality care and provide support during this major setback in our nation.
As the only woman on Harris County Commissioners Court, I feel an obligation to give a voice to the millions of women in our county and to assure them I’ll seek ways to help them navigate and survive in this post Roe v. Wade era. I will also not allow extreme politics to shame or diminish their lives by keeping them from resources needed to survive under our state’s extreme abortion-ban.”