Texans deserve access to affordable, lifesaving and preventive reproductive health care from the providers they know and trust — and politics should not stop people from accessing the care they need and deserve.

The Free Choice of Provider Act (HB 3825 and SB 1722) is a critical step towards restoring patient access and repairing the reproductive health care safety net across the state following a decade of political attacks.

Thank you to Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos and Sen. Sarah Eckhardt for filing this important bill. We also want to thank Reps. Donna Howard, Erin Zwiener and Shawn Thierry for joint-authoring the House version of the bill.

On April 1, we will hold a virtual People’s Hearing focused on the Free Choice of Provider Act to uplift the voices of sexual and reproductive health Legislative Champions, providers, patients, advocates and supporters. 

April 1 marks the 10-year anniversary of funding restrictions on family planning and reproductive health care in Texas. 

The Free Choice of Provider Act will allow trusted community health care providers like Planned Parenthood to participate in funding and programs to ensure affordable, essential reproductive health care is more accessible for tens of thousands of Texans, including people with low incomes, women and people of color.

With your support, we can make sure members of the Texas Legislature hear one thing loud and clear: Everyone deserves the #FreeChoice to seek care from the community health provider they know and trust.

SHARE YOUR STORY

We know the Free Choice of Provider Act won’t get a hearing in the Texas Legislature, so we’re holding a People’s Hearing to share our stories about why access to reproductive health and the provider you know and trust matters so much.

Please share your story about why access to reproductive health care is important to you.

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We want our elected officials to know that the majority of Texans support access to reproductive health care at the provider they know and trust.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FREE CHOICE OF PROVIDER ACT

What would this bill do?

The Free Choice of Provider Act will allow trusted community health care providers like Planned Parenthood to participate in funding and programs to ensure affordable, essential reproductive health care is more accessible for tens of thousands of Texans, including people with low incomes, women and people of color.

What does the bill include?

  • Repealing limitations on federal, state and local family planning funding for reproductive health care providers.
  • Allowing for health centers that provide comprehensive reproductive health care to participate in the joint federal-state Healthy Texas Women Program.
  • Repealing the law that prohibits local governments from partnering with trusted community health care providers, such as Planned Parenthood. 

What communities are most impacted by funding restrictions to reproductive health care and family planning? 

We already know what happens when politicians dismantle sexual and reproductive health services: people suffer, especially the Black and Latinx communities who already struggle to access the health care they need because of racist legacies throughout our public health system and health care practices.

10-YEAR TIMELINE OF FUNDING ATTACKS

2011:

In 2011, Texas enacted the most radical legislation to date, cutting funding for family planning services by two-thirds — from $111 million to $37.9 million for the two-year period.

2013

Texas dismantles its Medicaid family planning waiver program and replaces it with a state-funded program in order to exclude Planned Parenthood.

From January 2013-January 2020, Texas has operated this family planning program as an entirely state-funded, state-run effort — no longer part of Medicaid — that excludes many of the very safety-net providers most able to provide high-quality contraceptive care to large numbers of women.

2015
2016

Texas moves to cut Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid.

Instead of ensuring patients could access qualified, affordable reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood, Gov. Abbott awarded nearly $7 million to an unqualified anti-abortion activist.

2019

 

SB 22 is passed into law. The law is a direct attack on local control and restricts local governments from fulfilling the health care and health education needs of their communities. 

  • This controversial law prohibits local governments from partnering with trusted community health care providers like Planned Parenthood for critical health care, outreach, and education services. 

 

 

2020

The Fifth Circuit rules that Gov. Abbott can kick Planned Parenthood out of the state's Medicaid program.

2021

A Texas judge allows the state to officially remove Planned Parenthood from its Medicaid program.

    • “The 8,000 Planned Parenthood patients who rely on Medicaid should be able to access care at the provider they know and trust. Without access to the comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care Planned Parenthood provides, thousands of lives are now at even greater risk," Dyana Limon-Mercado, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, said in the Texas Tribune.

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Planned Parenthood Texas Votes