Three years ago when TEA Fund was helping gather testimony for an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case against Texas's clinic shutdown law, HB2, one of our callers told us that they missed out on $500 in wages when seeking abortion access. As an hourly wage worker, taking two days off for the sonogram and then the abortion appointment, not to mention other missed time to travel to and from a different city for her appointment, accessing an abortion cost her more than the cost of the procedure itself. She missed out on wages. No one wants to get a pay cut, but for a person living paycheck-to-paycheck, missing wages can mean not being able to buy groceries, not being able to take care of family expenses, or falling behind on the car loan -- all because they needed time off to take care of their health.
Today, TEA Fund and partners from Working Texans for Paid Sick -- Texas Organizing Project, Workers Defense Project, Texas Freedom Network, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, Dallas AFL-CIO and more -- stood together in solidarity to announce the filing of the intent to collect signatures to put paid sick time on the ballot in Dallas in November. We are so proud and humbled to be included in this coalition working for economic justice for all Dallas workers. As we stood there with our partners, we thought of the client who missed out on $500 in wages to seek abortion -- and we thought about all the other ways that lack of paid sick protections for workers impact the ability of our callers to experience reproductive justice.
Abortion is healthcare, and we believe that missing out on wages shouldn't be an obstacle for our callers. But it even goes beyond that. Our callers deserve to live in communities where they have the ability to take care of themselves and their families -- where they don't have to choose between taking care of themselves or a sick child and having enough money to cover groceries or even keeping their job. Paid sick is a step toward creating a community where people can parent in economic security. That's what reproductive justice is all about.