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, they are consistently left out of critical policy decisions.
Texas has the dubious distinction of ranking at or near the top of states in several undesirable categories: Seventh in maternal mortality rate, first in rate of repeat teen pregnancy and first in the number of residents (many women and children) who lack health insurance.
Despite these and other troubling statistics, Dennis Paul (R-Houston) has shown a consistent pattern of voting against women’s access to health care, pay equity and protection against sexual assault. Paul hasn’t worked to fix these problems, but has instead voted against Texas women. His record includes:
- HB 2032 – Paul voted against increasing the criminal penalty for sexual offenses committed on public transportation.
- SB 17 – Paul votes to continue “studying” maternal mortality, rather than take action, despite the life and death urgency of the problem.
- SB 790 – Paul voted against extending the Women’s Health Advisory Committee two more years – which would have overseen the process to consolidate women’s health programs under the committee and ensured their intended function.
- CSHB 1: voted against pay equity for public employees at state agencies and contracted organizations.
When trends in healthcare and the economy cut against women, and with a new urgency to stop public or private predation against women, Paul’s votes reveal his values.
Dennis Paul 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.