Abbott’s Anti-Women Record
Greg Abbott is just another insider, who wants to impose his views and judge what’s best for all women.
Over the last decade, Attorney General Greg Abbott has made a name for himself by both defending the extreme policies pushed forward by Governor Rick Perry’s administration, and by expressing his support for numerous policies that restrict a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions — policies that threaten women’s health. Greg Abbott said, “My pro-life position has been unwavering throughout my personal life and political career,” and believes governments should interfere in decisions best left to a woman, her family, her doctor and her God.
Now Abbott wants to take his ideological agenda to the top of the ticket, as governor of Texas.
Here’s where Greg Abbott stands on women and their health:
1) Abortion should be illegal, even in cases of rape, incest, or the life of the woman.
Greg Abbott supports overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. In fact, he believes that abortion should be illegal with no exceptions for rape, incest, or to protect the life of the woman.
He has the endorsement of leading anti-women’s health organizations, including the Texas Right to Life’s Political Action Committee, who said this of their endorsement of Greg Abbott for governor:
“As Attorney General, Greg Abbott has achieved a decade of defending Pro-Life laws and provisions, and his many legal opinions from the Office of the Attorney General have resulted in increased protections on the sanctity of human life…”
As attorney general, he defended a law requiring abortion providers to perform a mandatory ultrasound, forcing doctors to provide state-mandated, ideological materials to their patients. In response, The Houston Chronicle editorial board lambasted the law, declaring it to be a “blatant attempt to enact barriers to women seeking legal abortions” that should not be enforced.
For someone who expounds on his staunch opposition to government overreach, Abbott doesn’t seem to mind when the government reaches all the way into medical exam rooms of Texas women.
2) Blocked access to affordable health care for Texas women and families.As attorney general, Greg Abbott has supported efforts to blocked 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. Unsurprisingly, Texas leads the nation in the number of uninsured where one in four Texas women lacks health insurance, and ranks in the top five states for cervical cancer rates. 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. One local editorial criticized Abbott, saying: "Texas...would be better served if the state's leaders would drop such misguided challenges and continue funding for a Health Care Program that saves lives and taxpayer dollars.” 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.
Texas women need more access to health care, not less.
3) Believes bosses should control whether women get birth control.Greg Abbott used taxpayer money to file a Supreme Court amicus brief and spoke out in support of Hobby Lobby, a for-profit arts and crafts chain that wants to be able to deny its employees access to insurance coverage for birth control. These bosses argue that they have a religious objection to birth control and should therefore be able to deny their employees this coverage. True religious freedom gives everyone the right to make personal decisions, including whether and when to use prescription birth control based on our own beliefs and what is best for our health and the well-being of our families. 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. If Gregg Abbott had his way, women like Jean Marie D., who wrote to Planned Parenthood from Plano, Texas, could have their access to birth control taken away.
“I still have substantial student loan debts, and not having to pay for birth control is a relief. I was raised Catholic. I believe that in a perfect world there would be no unwanted pregnancies. Access to birth control for all women is a decisive step in that direction.”It’s not surprising that the public overwhelmingly supports the birth control benefit by a nearly two-to-one margin.
4) 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.
According to the story, “While Mr. Abbott has promoted himself as a crime-fighter, he more often ruled against the victims.”In 2007, Abbott was criticized for inaction in a sexual abuse case at the Texas Youth Commission. 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. In the case, a salesman for the Kirby vacuum cleaner company entered a woman’s house to perform an in-house vacuum cleaner demonstration. Instead, he raped the woman while her children slept nearby. The salesman was on probation for a charge of indecency with a child. The victim sued Kirby, stating that the company was obligated to do background checks on employees in order to determine if they posed a threat to customers. Abbott wrote the dissenting opinion, claiming that Kirby was not responsible.
5) Greg Abbott opposes equal pay for equal work.Greg 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.Meanwhile, Abbott has increased his own taxpayer-funded salary, by 63 percent in a five-year period. Already earning over $92,000 in 2005, he took a hefty raise bringing him to $125,000. Just two years later, Abbott grabbed more money for himself, taking his yearly pay up to $150,000. Since taking office in 2003, Greg Abbott has asked the legislature to increase his budget nearly every year. Currently, Abbott spends more than a half billion annually in taxpayer funds just to run his office. 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.