Last May, Lubbock became the biggest city in Texas to ban abortion within city limits. Now, with abortion outlawed throughout the Lone Star State, the fight over reproductive rights is taking a new turn.

A West Texas coffee shop owner is giving away Plan B for free as fight over contraception access takes hold

WOLFFORTH — When the Supreme Court ended the constitutional right to abortions in June, Destiny Adams felt the country was taking a step backward. So she decided to push her small West Texas town a step forward.

To do her part, Adams began leaving free emergency contraception kits neatly packed in white plastic bags in the bathroom of her coffeehouse, Tumbleweed + Sage.

The kits — which retail for up to $60 — go quick, Adams said. The first 50 were gone within a week.

“We don’t charge people or ask questions, we don’t take names, we don’t even know who grabs them,” Adams said.

With the steady flow of caffeine and Plan B available at Tumbleweed + Sage, Adams has drawn the ire of protesters from the area’s anti-abortion movement to her shop. Some in this Lubbock suburb of about 5,100 have even reported her shop to the Wolfforth Police Department for giving away the emergency contraceptive pills.

The clash between the coffee shop owner and abortion opponents is the latest salvo in a long debate in the region.

Last May, Lubbock became the biggest city in Texas — and the only one with an abortion provider — to ban the practice within city limits. Months later, Texas lawmakers passed a law banning abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.

The Lubbock area was — and is — a harbinger in the debate over reproductive rights. And the new epicenter might just be Tumbleweed + Sage. With abortion outlawed in the Lone Star State, the fight in large part is turning to contraception. The fault lines are familiar: Abortion-rights activists are pushing multiple forms of contraception, including Plan B. Abortion opponents are lobbying for additional bans on the medicine.

Lubbock led the way in curtailing abortions  

Getting access to abortion has been rarely been easy in Lubbock, and the nationwide debate has played out here in remarkable ways.

Planned Parenthood reopened its clinic in late 2020, after closing in 2013 due to another Texas law blocking abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The facility, which is still open and offering other services, is tucked away near a residential area at the end of the city’s medical district. At its peak, it saw patients from rural areas all over West Texas, the Texas Panhandle and New Mexico.

“We saw people from all over, which really stresses how important the service was here and how needed it is,” said Angela Martinez, manager of the Lubbock clinic. “Then the sanctuary city vote happened and we had to go back to offering referrals and sending people out.”

The heated debate for Lubbock to become a “sanctuary city for the unborn” started as Planned Parenthood prepared to reopen its clinic.

In September 2020, state lawmakers representing Lubbock pushed city officials to create the measure.

Two months later, the City Council heard nearly six hours of public comments before unanimously voting to reject the sanctuary city ordinance. Most members of the council said that while they opposed abortion, they had concerns about the enforcement and constitutionality of the ordinance.

Then, more than 4,500 Lubbock voters signed a petition to force a special election on the issue. Churches in the area were vocal supporters of the ordinance and encouraged their congregations to vote in support of it. “Vote for Life” signs dotted the city on the eve of the special election.

Ultimately, the ordinance passed on May 1, 2021, by 62%, with just a quarter of registered voters — 34,260 — participating.

The Sunday after the vote, local pastors declared it a victory.

The ordinance empowered private residents to bring lawsuits against anyone who was “aiding and abetting” someone getting an abortion. The ordinance went into effect two weeks before state lawmakers passed a similar statewide law, known as Senate Bill 8, which effectively banned abortions statewide after six weeks of pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood provided abortion services to the Lubbock region for just two months before it had to stop.

“I think people were stunned because they had no idea the hurdles they had to go through next,” Martinez said.

Planned Parenthood challenged the ordinance in a lawsuit but dropped the case eight months later, saying “it is clear we cannot depend on the courts to protect our constitutional rights.”

Terisa Clark is part of the leadership team at Project Destiny, the organization that spearheaded the Lubbock ordinance. According to the group, a section in the ordinance makes an exception if a pregnant person’s life is at risk, but Clark said that other than that, the group wants abortion to be unthinkable. While there have been a lot of victories, it is still working to push for more abortion bans.

“We will continue to do everything we can to make sure that abortion is illegal, as much as we can influence that and the people in each community and each day can influence that,” Clark said.

Neither side is backing down

Lubbock’s Planned Parenthood is still open and provides women’s health services, but not abortions. Among those services is “empowerment kits,” which include emergency contraception, pregnancy tests and condoms. Also included: a voter registration card and information on Senate Bill 8.

Women who go to Planned Parenthood are still occasionally confronted by protesters, serving as a reminder that the clinic is not welcome by some in conservative Lubbock.

“If Planned Parenthood can figure it out and be supportive of women’s health and caring for women without abortion services, then that’s better,” Clark said. “My suspicion is if they exist in a city, they’re probably only there to refer to the other states where they can perform abortions.”

Adams, the suburban coffee shop owner, faced those anti-abortion protesters when she visited the clinic for a pregnancy test last year.

“They were just there to hoot and holler, to make me feel ashamed in some way,” Adams recalled. “They still made me feel sick to my stomach. I just thought, “Why are these people like this in Lubbock of all places?”

Despite the string of victories stretching from the voter-approved ban, the Lubbock anti-abortion movement is not finished. In fact, the changes in the state and by the U.S. Supreme Court over the last year have only invigorated people, Clark said.

“The fight for life is not over, and probably never will be over, to be honest,” she said.

Martinez said Planned Parenthood still has a lot of people reaching out to it every day for various resources, so the clinic will stay in Lubbock to offer support to the people in the region who need it.

“There are needs that need to be met in Lubbock,” Martinez said. “So us being here is really important to the community, and I know we’re needed. I don’t see us going anywhere anytime soon.”

A new fight after Supreme Court decision  

Among the new fronts in the battle over reproduction rights is contraception, including Plan B — an emergency contraceptive that can prevent pregnancy but does not cause abortions. And abortion-rights activists have stepped up their effort to increase access to such pills that can prevent pregnancy.

Adams joined the fight after a friend asked her to work with Jane’s Due Process, a Texas-based nonprofit that helps teens access abortions and reproductive health care.

When Adams posted on TikTok for the first time that she would be distributing emergency contraception kits, the video garnered attention overnight.

By morning, protesters gathered outside the shop holding graphic photos of aborted fetuses.

At one point, she extended a symbolic olive branch, taking cold water to them in the 100-degree weather. But she said they were rude and she regretted it afterwards.

“It’s ironic because my baby gets to see them now, out of the womb, yelling at us as we walk into our coffee shop,” Adams said.

The kits made by Jane’s Due Process and distributed at Adams’ coffee shop include two pills, since the amount taken depends on the weight of the person taking it, two packs of condoms, a pregnancy test and a booklet of information containing resources.

There are more than $100 worth of products in the kits, and they are possible through $17.7 million in funding for Texas from the federal Title X Family Planning Program.

What Adams is doing is legal. Emergency contraception is sold over the counter in stores such as Walgreens and CVS, and it does not require a doctor’s prescription or parental consent to people over 17 years old. Despite this, the Wolfforth Police Department has been called several times about the kits.

“We have received many calls and emails questioning the legality of this practice,” the department said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the legality of the practice is not a simple question to answer. We have been researching the matter and have reached out to many state and local officials for help in determining the lawfulness of the issue.”

Adams expected the response and has even told her supporters to not send negative comments to the police because “they’re just doing their job.” The intimidation hasn’t scared her.

And for all the attacks, there has been community support.

“We saw grandmas talking to their granddaughters about the kits, we saw college-aged women, women my age and young mothers,” Adams said. “The people that have come and asked for them seemed like they truly needed them.”

Disclosure: Planned Parenthood has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

The full program is now LIVE for the 2022 The Texas Tribune Festival, happening Sept. 22-24 in Austin. Explore the schedule of 100+ mind-expanding conversations coming to TribFest, including the inside track on the 2022 elections and the 2023 legislative session, the state of public and higher ed at this stage in the pandemic, why Texas suburbs are booming, why broadband access matters, the legacy of slavery, what really happened in Uvalde and so much more. See the program.

NEWS RELATED

KTLA turmoil over anchors’ departure highlights concerns about Latino representation

KTLA-TV Channel 5 is defending its handling of the departure of two popular anchors amid calls by viewers to boycott the station and criticism that station executives have been insensitive to concerns about a shortage of Latinos on air. For nearly two weeks, KTLA has endured a backlash from ...

View more: KTLA turmoil over anchors’ departure highlights concerns about Latino representation

Jan. 6 still has the power to shock. But will it drive voters’ decisions?

In a competitive Los Angeles-area congressional district, the campaign playbooks are well-defined. Republican Rep. Mike Garcia is relying on voter discontent about the economy. His Democratic challenger, Christy Smith, wants abortion rights to be top of mind. One issue, though, is far less prominent than many anticipated: Garcia’s vote to ...

View more: Jan. 6 still has the power to shock. But will it drive voters’ decisions?

Make Me Prime Minister: release date, trailer, contestants - who are Alastair Campbell and Sayeeda Warsi?

Make Me Prime Minister, essentially the political equivalent of The Apprentice, is starting on on Tuesday 26 September. The series, which is hosted and judged by Conservative peer Sayeeda Warsi and FBPE podcaster Alastair Campbell, will see members of the public compete in different challenges to see who’s best suited ...

View more: Make Me Prime Minister: release date, trailer, contestants - who are Alastair Campbell and Sayeeda Warsi?

California enjoying ‘good COVID weather’ now. But winter may bring unpleasant surprises

California is entering the fall with coronavirus in retreat. Cases have fallen significantly from the height of the Omicron wave this spring and summer, and that has allowed government officials to ease both mask rules and recommendations. But health experts are warning these conditions could change as the weather ...

View more: California enjoying ‘good COVID weather’ now. But winter may bring unpleasant surprises

British Open snooker 2022: tournament schedule, start date, TV channel, order of play - is Judd Trump in draw?

The is out of the British Snooker Open after a first round catastrophe saw him lose 4-1 to the world number 63 Alexander Ursenbacher. The fell 2-0 behind his younger opponent and despite being able to pull back with one frame, O’Sullivan missed several simple pots which the Swiss 26-year-old ...

View more: British Open snooker 2022: tournament schedule, start date, TV channel, order of play - is Judd Trump in draw?

Harry Maguire, Jude Bellingham, Nick Pope – 10 winners and losers from England’s international camp

As the curtain comes down on England’s final international camp before the 2022 FIFA World Cup, we take a look at who stepped up and who stepped aside.

View more: Harry Maguire, Jude Bellingham, Nick Pope – 10 winners and losers from England’s international camp

Is Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF (RSP) a Strong ETF Right Now?

Launched on 04/24/2003, the Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF (RSP) is a smart beta exchange traded fund offering broad exposure to the Style Box – Large Cap Blend category of the market. What Are Smart Beta ETFs? The ETF industry has long been dominated by products based on market ...

View more: Is Invesco S&P 500 Equal Weight ETF (RSP) a Strong ETF Right Now?

Real Madrid considering keeping Brahim Diaz as a replacement for Asensio -report

Real Madrid considering keeping Brahim Diaz as a replacement for Asensio -report Real Madrid are considering Brahim Diaz as an option to replace Marco Asensio when the Spanish attacker leaves the club as a free agent next summer, according to a report from El Español. Brahim is currently playing ...

View more: Real Madrid considering keeping Brahim Diaz as a replacement for Asensio -report

Cuba feels Hurricane Ian’s wrath as storm heads to Florida

What we know about this NFL season after three weeks

Shakira to face trial for tax fraud in Spain

Man Found Dead After Fire Breaks Out in South Shore Apartment

Biden Administration to Propose Nutrition Labels on Front of Food Packaging

Windows 11 22H2 blocked due to blue screens on some Intel systems

Pedestrian hospitalized after being struck by driver in downtown Montreal: police

2022 Skoda Fabia review: Do big car charms make this the best supermini on sale?

The Watcher: true story of New Jersey house 657 Boulevard, Ryan Murphy Netflix show release date - and trailer

Majority of Canadians hold Donald Trump responsible for Jan. 6 riots: poll

Stacey Solomon’s size inclusive clothing range sells out leaving fans disappointed

Qatar 'conscripting civilians and summoning diplomats from abroad' to do World Cup security

OTHER NEWS

Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network