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Rep.Zwiener, Erin

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Rep. Erin Zwiener Takes Stand Against Anti-Health Care Bill  print page

by: Rep. Zwiener, Erin

Austin, TX — State Representative Erin Zwiener (Driftwood) spoke out against Senate Bill 22, which would stifle local governments’ ability to address reproductive health challenges in their communities. Although the bill was pitched as protecting taxpayers from funding abortion, current law already prohibits that. Instead, the bill prohibits cooperative work with organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, who provide Zika testing, cancer screenings, contraception, and routine care to tens of thousands of Texans every year.

After hours-long debate and nearly two dozen proposed amendments, the bill passed the House on a largely party-line vote. Rep. Zwiener was one of many Democrats who voiced their strong opposition to the bill.

“I may be an idealist, but the Texas Legislature should always be striving to do what works,” said Rep. Zwiener. “SB 22 doesn’t work. This bill will eliminate access to critical healthcare services for thousands of Texans who need them and in turn, drive up healthcare costs for all of us. It’s disgraceful that we’re stripping funds from organizations that provide essential health care to Texans in the name of political grandstanding.”

Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the nation, the sixth-highest rate of teen pregnancy, and the highest rate of repeat teen pregnancy. Rep. Zwiener proposed an amendment that would have protected access to cancer screenings, STD treatment, and contraception among other healthcare services.

“I personally received screenings and treatment through a Planned Parenthood affiliate years ago, and their services are in part what allow me to enjoy my beautiful daughter today,” Rep. Zwiener said on the House floor. “This bill only hurts people like the young woman I was a decade ago who rely on these services to protect their health and fertility. That’s why I am voting no to protect Texans’ access to care and to put what works over politics.”

Contact: Graham Senor

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Kyle, Texas 78640