In the latest attacks against reproductive justice, the Texas Legislature passed a budget that excludes Planned Parenthood patients from accessing cancer screenings through the Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program (BCCS) — despite the fact that in some Texas communities, Planned Parenthood is the only provider of BCCS services.
Sadie Hernandez (@sadieeehdz) is a 20-year-old Brownsville native who is leading an ongoing protest, which began on June 4, and is calling on Governor Greg Abbott to veto the BCCS rider that targets lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings for Planned Parenthood patients. Sadie is calling on Texans from across the state to join her (#StandWithSadie) in her vigil outside the Governor’s Mansion as part of her #PeoplesVeto.
Two cancer survivors from North Texas who received lifesaving cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood drove with Sadie to Austin to join the protest and deliver 15,000 petition signatures to the office of Governor Abbott. Sadie’s friends and family from Brownsville have also driven up to support her protest.
Latinas like Sadie who live in the Rio Grande Valley are more likely than other Texas women to face cervical cancer. Both the incidence rate and death rate of cervical cancer are higher in Texas than the national average—and women living in counties bordering the Texas-Mexico border are 31% more likely to die of cervical cancer compared to women living in non-border counties. The stories we documented in Nuestra Voz, Nuestra Salud, Nuestro Texas: The Fight for Reproductive Health in the Rio Grande Valley show the human rights consequences on woman and families of failing to invest in preventive cancer screenings.
Our proactive agenda released earlier this year – Nuestro Texas: A Reproductive Justice Agenda for Latinas – called on the Texas legislature to boost provider capacity in underserved areas like the Valley. Instead, it is trying to cut them further.
Women’s health services in the Valley have faced enough disruption. We cannot afford to lose another provider who can help save women’s lives.
Join us as we #StandWithSadie in her #PeoplesVeto!