LULAC Says Texas Law Against Access To Abortions Impacts Communities Of Color
Nation’s Largest and Oldest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says New Law Intersects Faith, Civil Rights, and Women’s Privacy
Washington, DC - Reaction is mixed following Senate Bill 8 becoming law in Texas and makes abortions illegal once a fetal heartbeat is detectable and often before a woman knows she is pregnant. The law also provides for private citizens to sue facilities that perform abortions as well as anyone who helps even if it is a person driving the woman to have an abortion or someone who provides financial assistance for it to be done. Another provision of the new law allows private individuals to file lawsuits related to abortions, with or without a direct connection to the matter.
Elsie Valdes - National Board Member and Vice-President for Women
“I have my own personal view on abortion and respect the rights of other women to have theirs. This is a private decision between each woman and her beliefs be they medical, religious, political, or all of them combined. I can assure you that this is not a matter a woman takes lightly, nor should men. What is troubling is the way sexual, and reproductive issues are discussed these days because they make light of some of our most important values. Also disturbing is that perpetrators of sexual crimes against women are not punished more severely. Those who commit rape and incest should face life sentences without the possibility of parole. As life-givers, women deserve to be respected in every way.”
Ralina Cardona - National Board Member and Vice-President for the Northeast
“Decisions about life are sacred to me and so is being respected as a woman as I do other women. No one has the right to invade the relationship I have between myself and my Creator. I will neither willingly relinquish that privilege nor allow it to be ripped from me; something I will fight until my last breath on this earth. Women are angry over how this very private matter is being bantered as a political headline or one agenda winning over another. Even more so when it is males speaking for us as if we women have lost our voice which I can assure you we have not. Women must not be denied access to health care under any circumstance if their own lives are at risk and only physicians are trained and have taken the solemn oath to decide when that is the case. No one else can or should.”
Sindy Benavides - LULAC National Chief Executive Officer
“This is one of the most decisive moments for women in our country, in this generation, and those to come. I pray that the motives and manner we discuss the sanctity of life, the privacy of a woman’s body, and the right of our government or the courts to determine such matters promote understanding, not undermine our democracy. Also, that the truest demonstration of respect for life be extended into our criminal justice system and the way our nation treats those oppressed because of their color, race, gender, religion, or sexual identity. We cannot claim the high ground of morality in defending the unborn but ignore our duty to act morally towards those already among us who are least able to defend themselves. Nor can we ignore any longer the outcry of those who historically have been denied the fundamental human rights endowed to them by the same Creator in whose name supporters of this new law claim to act.”
Linda Chavez - LULAC National Board Member and Vice-President for the Southwest
“This decision emanates from my home state and on my watch so I am especially aware that history will write for years to come about this moment when Texas led the way. The question is towards what? Will it have been towards freedom to say we were the first to again protect the unborn? What if the pregnant woman in crisis is a wife, daughter, or sister? Then what? Will we then bend our rules and quietly have them travel outside of Texas or seek another method to end an unwanted pregnancy for ‘reasons’ we don’t want to talk about at church? Or will Texas simply be leading the way in denying access to medical care for those who are too poor to go to another state or have the money with which to seek safe alternatives? Texans who espouse freedom in one breath cannot then turn around and say it only applies when it fits their ideas.”
Rodolfo Rosales Jr. - Texas LULAC State Director
“Men have a responsibility to support women in making this their decision and we do not have the right to dictate or intrude upon them with our misogynist attitudes as if they are our chattel. It is painfully clear that some are using this issue to make a political and racial statement. In the first instance, that they have the power to force others into living under their interpretation of what is moral and what is not. Secondly, that even if economic disparities unfairly subject some women of color to fewer legal choices, so be it. This is only the first fight in what will surely be a national battle and before it is over the dream come true of some is a handmaiden society where others decide which women can bear children or not and for whom.”
Yvonne Garcia Venegas – Texas LULAC State Deputy Director for Women
“The anti-abortion law is extremely disturbing and oppressive towards all women. Our rights have been violated before and this law repeats that history. It engenders fear and denies our ability to make our own decisions. Also, many women may not even be aware they are pregnant before six weeks! A further injustice is that there is no provision for terminating a pregnancy that results from incest or rape. Where is the morality in that? As women, we must stand in solidarity and speak up, not only ourselves, but for those who don’t have a voice. Many women do not have the money nor the way to seek out services from another state so the result will be taking unsafe and unhealthy measures. Laws that punish women must not be tolerated and a woman’s decision should be respected."
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services, and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting the critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/