Planned Parenthood in Texas sees record-breaking attendance at Roe v. Wade lunch

by | Feb 3, 2020 | Policy, Reproductive Health

HOUSTON — Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, serving southeast Texas and Louisiana, raised $1 million from its annual luncheon on Friday. A record 2,300 people attended the soirée in Houston amid aggressive assaults by conservative Republicans on women and their reproductive health.

In 2013, Texas banned Planned Parenthood from the state’s family planning program. Last month, the Trump administration approved the state’s backdoor request to defund the organization.

“We live in a state that has severely politicized health care in general and in doing so has cut off countless people from services of Planned Parenthood in particular,” said one of the lunch’s speakers, Beth Robertson, before a jam-packed room at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Houston. 

As a Catholic, Robertson acknowledged the discomfort the discussion around abortion engenders. 

“I actually had to think really hard about standing up here today [on stage],” she added. “But I realized that I cared more about women having access to good reproductive health care than my comfort.”

Despite the continued attacks from conservatives on women’s reproductive health, polls show a majority of Texans agree with the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal 47 years ago. A scientific poll by Quinnipiac last year found 57 percent of Texas voters agree with the court’s ruling, 36 percent of voters disagreed.  

Planned Parenthood provides health care services– including cancer screenings, primary care, abortion, wellness visits, HIV testing– to underserved populations. Nationally, the health care provider saw 2.4 million patients in FY 2018.

“It’s sometimes easy to let the political noise around reproductive health care…get in the way of the facts,” said another of the lunch speakers, Cullen Geiselman. “The fact is Houston is a healthier place and people are living better lives because of Planned Parenthood.”

Geiselman, Beth Robertson and Lillie Robertson received Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s Second Century Award for their leadership and philanthropy on reproductive health care. 

Planned Parenthood’s health care services are particularly important in a city and state that have record numbers of uninsured. Texas remains the uninsured capital of the country because Texas Republicans have refused to expand Medicaid– and tackle health care reform legislatively. 

Photo: Kevin Nix/The Texas Signal

Are you tired of Texas Republicans pushing big lies and trying to steal your vote? So are we, that’s why we’re fighting back against the right-wing lie machine. Our commitment to ethical, fact-based journalism is vital to our democracy, and we can’t do it without you. Consider donating today to help us stay in this fight.

Continue Reading

Five takeaways from Texas GOP’s congressional maps

Five takeaways from Texas GOP’s congressional maps

Texas lawmakers on Monday released their first proposed draft of the state’s new congressional maps. Here’s a quick look at all the major changes around the state. Austin and Houston get new congressional districts  The state’s capital and its largest city will...

Why Trump wants a bill to audit Texas elections

Why Trump wants a bill to audit Texas elections

Donald Trump recently penned a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott calling on him to audit the results of the 2020 election. The governor quickly obeyed and is now auditing the results in four major counties.  But the former president (or whoever was plainly ghostwriting...