For Immediate Release: Thursday, February 24, 2022
Contact: [email protected]
Nation’s leading reproductive freedom advocacy group endorses Rochelle Garza for Texas attorney general
Washington, DC — Today, NARAL Pro-Choice America announced its endorsement of Rochelle Garza in her bid to become Texas’ next attorney general ahead of the state’s March 1 primary.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju released the following statement:
“NARAL Pro-Choice America is proud to endorse reproductive freedom champion and civil rights lawyer Rochelle Garza in her bid to become Texas’ next attorney general. Garza has spent her career fighting for children, immigrants, and families. At a time when our fundamental rights have been decimated in Texas and are on the line across the country, attorneys general who will stand up for reproductive freedom will be imperative to protecting abortion access at the state level. Rochelle Garza is the chief lawyer and advocate Texans need, and we know she will fight for Texans’ reproductive freedom and fundamental rights.”
Rochelle Garza released the following statement:
“I am proud to fight alongside NARAL Pro-Choice America for reproductive freedom. The freedom to decide if, when, and how to become a parent is fundamental to a more just society for everyone.
With Roe v. Wade at risk this summer, it’s critical that we have a Texas Attorney General that will champion reproductive freedom and access to abortion care, especially in the era of vigilante enforcement of the Texas 6-week abortion ban. As the next Texas Attorney General, I am committed to being that champion in Texas and wherever reproductive rights are threatened.”
As a civil rights lawyer in the Garza v. Hargan case, Garza successfully argued that a young woman in immigration detention who was seeking abortion care had met all of Texas’ requirements for a young person seeking abortion care and that her client be allowed to access care. The decision in this case has had a lasting impact, and teens in immigration custody are now given the “Garza Notice,” informing them of their rights to access abortion care without interference and ensuring information is kept private. Garza also testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh—who had heard Garza v. Hargan as a judge—regarding his opposing opinion’s impact on a 17-year old’s freedom to seek abortion care while in immigration detention.
This endorsement comes as reproductive freedom and the future of legal abortion face unprecedented threats. Almost six months ago, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed Texas’ blatantly unconstitutional law banning abortion at approximately six weeks, which is before many people even know they are pregnant, to go into effect. This cruel law, SB 8, grants almost any person the power to sue someone for “aiding and abetting” a pregnant person seeking abortion care and offers a $10,000 or more reward for this vigilantism. This draconian ban has rendered Roe meaningless in Texas, effectively shutting off access to abortion care in the state. Because of this vigilante-enforced abortion ban, Roe is now effectively meaningless for 1 in 10 U.S. women of reproductive age, forcing Texans who can afford it to travel hundreds of miles and cross state lines to access abortion care. This ban falls hardest on those who already face the greatest barriers to accessing care.
In the coming months, the anti-choice supermajority on the Supreme Court will rule in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a case concerning Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that directly challenges Roe. As our fundamental rights face unprecedented threats in states across the country, it has never been more important to elect leaders, including attorneys general, who will fight for reproductive freedom. As the top legal and law enforcement officer in the state, attorneys general play a critical role in representing the state in lawsuits and issuing legal advice to state agencies, including guidance that pertains to reproductive freedom and abortion access. If Roe is overturned this summer, attorneys general will play a major role in shaping what abortion access looks like at the state level.
If Roe fell tomorrow, 28 states would likely take action to prohibit abortion outright. Of those, 12 states—including Texas—already have “trigger bans” in place which would ban abortion automatically. The people hurt most by attacks on reproductive freedom are those who already face barriers to accessing abortion care—Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other people of color; LGBTQ+ people; immigrants; and people with low incomes.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.