The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas (ACLU TX) has partnered with reproductive rights and justice organizations and pro-abortion Texans to launch the Texas Abortion Advocacy Network (TAAN). The network will lead the ongoing pursuit of reproductive freedom despite the near-total ban on abortions in Texas.
The Texas Abortion Advocacy Network includes ACLU TX, AFIYA Center, Frontera Fund, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, Jane’s Due Process, Avow, the Texas Equal Access Fund, Lilith Fund, Fund Texas Choice, and abortion advocates from across the state. This network will mobilize supporters to respond to local threats to reproductive health and actively work to restore and expand abortion access in Texas.
Abortion supporters interested in learning how to become reproductive rights advocates and join the network should attend the TAAN Academy, which is hosting a 10-week series of classes that have already kicked off but can be joined at any time. The free, 10-week academy is an online course led by experts from each network organization.
“Since we can’t rely on the courts to protect our reproductive rights, we the people must organize and claim our freedom to make personal decisions about our bodies and our futures,” said Blair Wallace, policy and advocacy strategist at the ACLU of Texas.
Beyond the abortion ban, Texans face continued attacks on their reproductive freedoms despite the fact that the majority of Texans support abortions. Pregnant Texans are enduring more medical complications due to being forced to continue dangerous pregnancies. Pregnant Black and Brown Texans and their babies are more likely to die during and following childbirth.
Tonjanic Hill is one of those Black women who experienced this horror firsthand.
In 2017, five weeks after confirming her pregnancy, Hill was unable to stop urinating and was in tremendous pain due to her amniotic fluid leaking, a reality of which she was unaware.
“I ended up going to the emergency room,” Hill told the Texas Tribune. “That’s where I had the most traumatic, horrible experience ever.”
Though her ultrasound showed Hill had lost 90% of her amniotic fluid, and her nurse pushed back against the doctor’s insistence that Hill be discharged and go see her own OB-GYN the next day, the attending physician still, in Hill’s words, “brushed off” her concerns.
What happened next happens far too often in Texas to women of color.
The next morning, Hill’s OB-GYN’s office rushed her back to the hospital, where she lost her baby, Tabitha Winnie Denkins.
TANN members believe the abortion ban reality will produce more such tragedies. However, instead of addressing these issues, Texas lawmakers have voted to send millions of dollars toward funding anti-abortion centers and now are passing unconstitutional travel restrictions on pregnant people trying to leave Texas to get an abortion in states where it’s legal.
“Now, more than ever, the Texas Abortion Advocacy Network is a vital resource, fostering a community of informed and passionate champions for reproductive justice in the Lone Star State. Through our network, we build power and community throughout the state to create a future where people will decide their own destinies, including when and if they have children. This network serves as a beacon of hope and resilience,” said Wallace.
Learn more about the TAAN Academy here: https://action.aclu.org/webform/tx-taanacademy.