June 24, 2022/Media, Press

Texas Democratic Party Leaders Call On Local Governments and Law Enforcement Agencies to Protect Texas Women and Healthcare Providers by Refusing to Enforce Extremist Anti-Abortion Cases

Texas Democratic Sheriffs
Texas Democratic District Attorneys
Texas Democratic County Judges & Commissioners
Texas Democratic Constables
Texas Mayors

I am writing to you, leaders and chiefs of your respective local governments and law enforcement agencies, to urge you to use your legal authority and discretion to refuse to enforce the provisions of Senate Bill 8, Senate Bill 4, and House Bill 1280: all new laws passed by our extremist, Republican controlled legislature in 2021.

District Attorneys and local law enforcement agencies have significant discretion to decide what cases to prioritize and pursue. Five Texas DAs have already promised not to prosecute abortion-related crimes.

Today, with the overturning of Roe V. Wade by the Supreme Court, Texans in every corner of the state are fearful for their safety, health, and futures. When the Texas Legislature passed SB 8 (87R), their intention was to subject women and the LGBT community to a second-class status where they would no longer be in control of their own bodies, and thus, their own destiny. As Texas Democrats, we denounce today’s decision and those who enabled these extremists to take away a deeply personal and private right afforded to every woman in America. 

The Texas Democratic Party Platform is crystal clear – Texas Democrats fully support the legal right to a safe abortion because this is an important medical procedure. SB 8 and similar legislation are a clear assault not only on Texans, but our values as Democrats. 

No matter what the United States Supreme Court says: abortion is a valid, safe, and important healthcare procedure that should never be restricted by any power or authority. No group of Americans understand that more than Texans as their right to an abortion has been under assault here for decades. 

The health, safety, and rights of Texans are not up for negotiation. Bodily autonomy is a core tenant of our democracy. By passing these laws, they are putting your departments’ and communities’ reputation at risk. They are making your job, and the job of your rank-and-file law enforcement officers, more difficult. They are compromising your relationship with the communities you serve. 

When you assumed office, you took an oath to uphold constitutional rights, and to keep your communities safe. You signed up to make hard decisions that would save the lives of your constituents. Now is the time to take action – the health and safety of Texans, and our constitutional rights, are at stake. Please do what is right and refuse to enforce every provision of Texas’ abortion prohibition. 

Sincerely, 

 

Gilberto Hinojosa
Texas Democratic Party Chair, Cameron County

Shay Wyrick Cathey
Texas Democratic Party Vice Chair, Dallas County