Women make up slightly more than half of the population in the United States and here in Texas, but whether it’s in Washington D.C. or in Austin, women are consistently left out of critical policy decisions.

Texas has the dubious distinction of ranking at or near the top in several undesirable categories: Seventh in maternal mortality rate, first in the rate of repeat teen pregnancy and first in the number of women (and children) who lack health insurance.

Despite these and other troubling trends, State Senator Don Huffines (R-Dallas) has shown a consistent pattern of voting against women’s access to health care. Huffines hasn’t worked to fix these problems but has instead repeatedly voted against Texas women. Here’s how:

  • HB 2813: Huffines voted against requiring insurance coverage for screenings for ovarian cancer, one of the deadliest cancers a woman can develop.
  • HB 1036: two years later, Huffines again sided with insurance companies when he voted against requiring coverage for a new procedure for detecting breast cancer.
  • SB17: Huffines voted to continue “studying” maternal mortality, rather than take action, when Texas mothers are dying.

When trends in health care and the economy cut against women, and with a new urgency to stop public or private predation against women, Huffines’ votes reveal his values.

Don Huffines can’t claim to work tirelessly on behalf of everyone if he ignores the needs and priorities of half of Texas. We need public officials to see, hear and serve everyone in our state, and we need to Reform Austin.