“So these bars right here are the gates to the governor’s mansion or the capital and how these men are restricting access to women’s rights” said Sadie Hernandez while pointing to a mural in a graffiti are of Brownsville. The mural depicts a woman giving birth while holding the gates of the Texas Capitol in Austin.
Sadie Hernandez is a women’s reproductive justice activist and a Planned Parenthood Texas Votes devotee. Hernandez, said women’s reproductive services will be in more jeopardy with Senate Bill 4 signed into law. In Cameron County, 40% of residents are uninsured, equaling 90,000+ residents according to 2015 U.S. Census data.
Hernandez said the “sanctuary city” ban will directly impact low income communities like the Rio Grande Valley.
“Having this impact our community means people or less likely to go out and live their life in peace meeting that they are less likely to go out and actively seek Healthcare and if they do seek Healthcare it will be up until the last moment.” Said Hernandez.
Days before the SB4 was signed into law, Governor Abbott spoke at a National Day of Prayer event in Brownsville, Texas. The city is historically a low income, democratic voting area. Hernandez said the republican touted law impacts an overwhelming majority of the community. She and dozens of others protested Abbott’s attendance at the prayer event. With the fear of deportation and/or incarceration on the minds of those she’s committed to protecting, encouraging others to protest is a challenge.
“Do you think people are afraid to come out and protest?” asked Derick Garcia, “Yes. Definitely. When we talk about laws like SB4, we’re not asking for people who are at risk of deportation to come out with us…these laws impact don’t impact Dallas and Austin the same way that they do”
While laws may impact communities differently… Hernandez said those impacted in the Rio Grande Valley need to make their voices heard.
“Senate Bill 4 passed but we still have a lot of anti-Healthcare anti-abortion anti LGBTQ legislation we need to fight back against.”