Women make up slightly more than half of the population in the United States and 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 of states in several undesirable categories: Seventh in maternal mortality rate, first in rate of repeat teen pregnancy and first in the number of women (and children) who lack health insurance.
Despite these and other troubling statistics, Gary Elkins (R-Jersey Village) has shown a consistent pattern of voting against women’s access to health care, pay equity and protection against sexual assault. Elkins hasn’t worked to fix these problems, but has instead voted against Texas women. His record includes:
- SB 1 – Elkins voted yes on the general appropriations bill, cutting funding to several women’s health programs, along with much needed cash for our struggling education funds among other taxpayer related needs.
- SB 17 – Elkins votes to continue “studying” maternal mortality, rather than take action, despite the life and death urgency of the problem.
- CSHB 1 – Elkins voted against pay equity for public employees at state agencies and contracted organizations.
- HB 2032 – Elkins was absent for the vote on the criminal penalty for sexual offenses committed on public transportation. Whilst House protocol would dictate Elkins explains his absence, he offered none.
- HB 950 – Elkins voted against equal pay for women.
When trends in healthcare and the economy cut against women, and with a new urgency to stop public or private predation against women, his votes reveal his values.
Gary Elkins 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.