RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TX — Planned Parenthood Texas Votes released the following statement on the first debate between women’s health champion Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott, who has been a leading opponent of access to affordable birth control, safe and legal abortion and live-saving, preventive health care access for Texas women. Outside the debate, supporters of women’s health are wearing bright pink #WomenWinTX t-shirts and holding signs.
Statement from Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes:
“Tonight, we saw the stark contrast between the two candidates when it comes to their views on women. Wendy Davis strongly stated her support for a woman and her family to have access to the health care they need. And she openly called out Greg Abbott for not protecting Texas women. Meanwhile, Abbott continued to defend his dangerous record that would send women back decades. It remains clear: Greg Abbott doesn’t trust women to make our own health care decisions – and we can’t trust him to be our next Governor.
“Texans want leaders who will expand access to health care for Texas women, not continue to dismantle the little that remains. That’s what our supporters and volunteers are hearing at the doors and on the phones and why we’re seeing a growing number of women reject Greg Abbott’s attempt to dictate his personal views upon Texas women. Texas women are watching, and we will vote to stop Greg Abbott this November.”
Planned Parenthood Texas Votes PAC has launched a robust voter education program in key Texas communities. Our field program will talk to over 400,000 voters – through door knocks, phone calls and mail – to educate about what’s at stake for women’s health on November 4th. This venture is a multi-million dollar investment in the future of Texas.
Greg Abbott: just another insider who wants to impose his views and judge what’s best for all women.
Greg Abbott wants to make abortion illegal, even in the case of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the woman. Abbott supports overturning the Roe v. Wade decision. In 2013, he reiterated his beliefs: “If you really are pro-life, you are thinking about the life of the child,” he said. “And once you start putting exceptions into that, you’re saying that there are certain children who really are not worthy of life.” [Houston Chronicle, 2/26/06; Austin American Statesman, 1/26/13]
Greg Abbott blocked access to affordable health care for Texas women and families. As attorney general, Greg Abbott has supported efforts to block access to affordable health care for tens of thousands of Texas women and stripped Planned Parenthood health centers of funds to provide lifesaving cancer screenings and care. In response to criticism of the state’s attempt to eliminate Planned Parenthood’s participation in the Texas Women’s Health Program, a team of attorneys led by Abbott compared Planned Parenthood to a terrorist organization. While rolling back health care access for thousands of Texas women in need, Greg Abbott helped implement increased funding for so-called crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), anti-women’s health organizations that are known for providing biased and medically inaccurate information to women seeking information about birth control and abortion.
Greg Abbott believes bosses should control whether women get birth control. Abbott used taxpayer money to file a Supreme Court amicus brief and spoke out in support of Hobby Lobby, the for-profit arts and crafts chain that is now able to deny its employees access to insurance coverage for birth control thanks to the Supreme Court and Abbott. Women already have saved $483 million in the last year alone from the birth control benefit. Studies also show that women who receive birth control with no copay or at a reduced cost are able to avoid more than two million unplanned pregnancies each year, which also reduces the need for abortion.
Greg Abbott blocked rape victims from suing those who negligently hire their rapists. As a judge, Greg Abbott repeatedly ruled to stop rape victims from suing those who negligently hire their rapists. An analysis by the Dallas Morning News in 2002 found that Abbott ruled in four of five cases that victims could not sue to recover damages in suits that accused churches and companies of negligently hiring sexual predators or allowing their property to become invitations for rapists. In 1998, Abbott dissented from a Texas Supreme Court majority decision allowing a rape victim to sue a company after being raped by an employee on the job.
Greg Abbott opposes equal pay for equal work. Abbott would not sign a measure to make it easier for women to bring pay discrimination lawsuits in state court. Emphasizing just how out of touch his campaign is with Texas women, two of his surrogates stumbled in television interviews, saying women don’t push for equal pay because they are “extremely busy” and insisting that the reason women are paid less is that “men are better negotiators.” In Abbott’s own attorney general’s office, women are paid about $6,000 less than men for the same work, while only three out of the top 20 highest-paid employees at the agency are women. While folks like Greg Abbott are giving themselves raises, women are struggling. According to the Shriver Report, one-third of all American women are living at “the brink of poverty,” meaning that they earn less than $47,000 per year for a family of four. “Forty-two million women, and the 28 million children who depend on them, are living one single incident—a doctor’s bill, a late paycheck, or a broken-down car—away from economic ruin,” the report reveals. To succeed in the workplace and in life, women need a fair chance to make what they earned, deserve and they need.