Like many of us, I was appalled and devastated to hear that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked a lower federal court’s injunction that will force many of your abortion providers to close their doors. As of Friday, the Texas Tribune reported that at least nine abortion providers have been forced to stop providing services.
In the midst of all of this, your activists, providers, legislators, reporters, and others have worked tirelessly to make change and bring your fight into the national spotlight. Texas: your courage, determination, and mobilization has changed the way that I think about restrictive legislation, and has given the rest of the country hope that we can turn the tide.
Yet, when the bad news about HB 2 came out this week, I was appalled by the responses on my Twitter feed that I should give up on you, that I should have expected this to happen. Some said that Texans who care about reproductive health access should just move somewhere else. These folks were quick to judge you, Texas, but I imagine that they were singing a different tune during Wendy Davis’s game-changing filibuster and when they watched the sea of thousands in orange shirts united and committed to the fight. Are these people who are urging me to just give up on you the same folks who have donated to Wendy Davis’s campaign for Governor?
Texas: Don’t let these people get you down. (Not that you would, because you don’t take any shit.) Let the haters hate, and know that you have changed and reinvigorated all of us. You are facing extreme difficulties in an increasingly oppressive climate, but each time someone tries to knock you down you come back stronger.
Reasons for my love include but are not limited to:
- Local abortion providers stood up for your rights and filed a lawsuit with the ACLU and Center for Reproductive rights against HB 2.
- You formed your own nonprofit organization, Fund Texas Women, in the face of HB 2 dedicated to funding transportation and practical support for people in Texas so that they can travel to have an abortion.
- You are responsible for our very own Shelby Knox.
- Amy Hagstrom Miller at Whole Women’s Health, who is facing a crisis of closing half of her clinics and letting staff go, is still helping people who need abortions that come through her doors to get transportation to go somewhere else.
- Andrea Grimes is a badass.
- When the news of the blocked injunction broke, Lindsay Rodriguez and the Lilith Fundimmediately began calling providers to figure out who was open, and then called all of their clients with appointments at clinics that were closing to help them figure out where else they could go.
- Dr. Lester Minto in Austin was quoted in the New York Times saying “he has stood up to protesters, at times numbering in the hundreds, who have picketed the clinic and frightened his patients.”
- And of course, Wendy Davis.
The reasons go on and on, and I wish I could write a love note to each one of you who are fighting day in and day out. What I want you to know is that I care about you, no matter how many people want me to abandon you. I might not be able to be there in person, and I will never understand the huge barriers that you face. But I believe in you.
With all my love,