People's Veto

Young activist protests against cancer cuts at guv mansion


Activists call attention to cancer screening cuts at the Governor's Mansion. (photo by Mary Tuma)

Braving Texas' summer heat, 20-year-old Sadie Hernandez plans to stand outside the Governor's Mansion nearly every day in protest of the state budget plan to exclude Planned Parenthood from a lifesaving breast- and cervical cancer screening program. The budget is slated to arrive on Gov. Greg Abbott's desk for signature this month. Under the new plan – explicitly meant to hurt the abortion care network – only providers eligible for the Texas Women's Health Program can be part of Breast and Cervical Cancer Services (BCCS), an assurance that Planned Parenthood is not involved, as GOP officials booted the provider out three years ago for the same ideologically driven reasons.

Originally from Brownsville, Hernandez said the cuts "hit close to home."

"As a Mexican-American woman, I know that cervical cancer affects women of color, Hispanic, Latino, and low-income women the most – it's among the number one killers," she said. "So the people that will be hit hardest are the people that need it the most." Indeed, African-American and Latina women have higher rates of cervical cancer than other groups, and women residing along the Texas-Mexico border are 31% more likely to die from cervical cancer than women living in non-border communities.

Hernandez and reproductive rights activists who filter in and out to join her protest – including the program's cancer survivors who have driven hundreds of miles – are calling on Abbott to veto the budget measure. They plan to present the governor with a 15,000-signature petition requesting the same. However, that outcome is a long shot for the vehemently anti-choice governor. At the least, advocates hope to bring heightened awareness to the issue so that, in the end, lawmakers' actions don't go unpunished.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Sadie Hernandez
How Digital Media Professionals Manage Stress in a Chaotic Online Environment
How Digital Media Professionals Manage Stress in a Chaotic Online Environment
Don't let doomscrolling become a way of life

Sydney Greene, Oct. 2, 2020

More Governor's Mansion
Sticker Shock Over Governor's Mansion Repairs
Sticker Shock Over Governor's Mansion Repairs
The historical building may be endangered but so is the state's pocketbook

Lee Nichols, Feb. 20, 2009

DPS Turns to Secret Service for Security Advice
DPS Turns to Secret Service for Security Advice
Mansion fire not the 'finest moment' for DPS

Lee Nichols, June 27, 2008

More by Mary Tuma
Texas Senate Speeds This Year's Abortion Bills Through Lege
Texas Senate Speeds This Year's Abortion Bills Through Lege
GOP lawmakers push half-dozen anti-choice bills restricting abortion care, access

April 2, 2021

Lege Ticker: Someone Has to Pay the Post-Storm Electric Bill
Lege Ticker: Someone Has to Pay the Post-Storm Electric Bill
The price is right?

March 19, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Sadie Hernandez, Governor's Mansion, Texas Women's Health Program, Breast and Cervical Cancer Services (BCCS), People's Veto, 84th Texas Legislature, Greg Abbott, Planned Parenthood, Breast and Cervical Cancer Services, Abortion

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle