Keynote Speaker this year is Texas House Representative Carol Alvarado (HD-145), an outspoken supporter for women’s rights and health issues, with invited guest, Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa.
During the 2011 session of the Texas Legislature Rep. Alvarado spoke against the Texas "Transvaginal Sonogram" bill that the Republican dominated Texas Legislature passed and sent to Gov. Perry to sign into law.
Alvarado stood at the front of the Texas House chamber brandishing a 10-inch trans-vaginal sonogram wand while describing its invasive purpose in graphic detail. "There are two different kinds of sonograms," she said. "The abdominal, which I think most of our colleagues may think ‘jelly on the belly’ that would be done there, but that’s not the case. A woman that is eight to 10 weeks pregnant would have to get a transvaginal sonogram."
Alvarado also strongly opposes Gov. Perry's and the Republican dominated Texas Legislature's efforts to defund Planned Parenthood in Texas. Researchers at George Washington University have found that if Texas manages to exclude Planned Parenthood from participating in the Texas Women's Health Program (WHP), "tens of thousands of low-income Texas women could lose access to affordable family planning services and to other women’s health services. From the GWU study, which looked at five Texas markets, including rural Lubbock, Hidalgo and Midland counties as well as urban Bexar County, which contains San Antonio, and Dallas County:
"If Planned Parenthood affiliates were excluded from WHP, the remaining non-PPFA clinics would have to absorb a massive increase in WHP patients in order to maintain the overall 2011 caseload level. Non-PPFA clinics in Bexar and Dallas Counties would have to double their capacity. Lubbock County providers would need to expand by 250% if the Planned Parenthood affiliate was excluded. In Hidalgo and Midland Counties, the average non-PPFA clinics would have to serve more than five times their current caseloads. In these five markets, the WHP caseloads would need to expand by two to five times their current capacity in order to absorb the patients already served by Planned Parenthood."This is a situation entirely of Republican lawmakers' drastic family planning budget cuts in 2011 and this year's attempt at excluding Planned Parenthood from the WHP, though pending litigation has delayed the ultimate ruling on Planned Parenthood's fate.
|Tx House Rep. Carol Alvarado|
She is a native of Houston, and graduated from the University of Houston with a BA in Political Science and an MA in Business Administration. Her Committee assignments include Vice Chair of Urban Affairs, Public Health, and Redistricting.
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