Texas Latina Protests Budget Proposal That Could Cut Cancer Screening Funding

Texas Latina Protests Budget Proposal That Could Cut Cancer Screening Funding
Planned Parenthood

Sadie Hernandez has seen the sun rise and set from the steps of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s mansion, where she stands each day protesting a budget proposal that would cut funding for Planned Parenthood’s cancer screenings.

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The 20-year-old Latina has been baking in the Austin heat for more than a week. With her is a crowd that grows wider each day. When Hernandez first arrived to 1010 Colorado Street, she was joined by just 4 other people. Today, that number has blossomed to 45, including one familiar face: Texas politician and staunch reproductive rights supporter Wendy Davis.

If the budget is approved, Texas’ Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening program would prevent Planned Parenthood patients from accessing lifesaving cancer screenings. As mentioned in a statement from the women’s health organization, there are some communities, including Waco, where Planned Parenthood is the only place people can go for that type of care, leaving them with no place else to visit for affordable screenings.  

Those most disproportionately affected by the budget, should it pass, are working-class immigrant women, especially Latinas, who have some of the highest rates of cervical cancer and breast cancer in the country.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for Latinas. Even when diagnosed at similar ages and stages, Latinas are more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. Furthermore, Latinas have the highest rate of cervical cancer than women of any other racial or ethnic group. And Texas has one of the highest incidence of cervical cancer in the country.

Hernandez, a Planned Parenthood volunteer, has been inviting the GOP governor to speak with her since she made it to the governor's mansion 8 days ago. He hasn’t.

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