The City of Austin and Planned Parenthood's E. 7th Street Health Center have partnered since 1973.
The Austin City Council approved Planned Parenthood’s current lease agreement by a vote of 10-1 in 2018 and the previous lease agreement by a vote of 7-0 in 2010. These votes reflect the Austin community’s support for essential healthcare provided at the E. 7th Street Health Center.
State Politicians Target E. 7th Street Health Center
As part of on-going efforts by anti-choice lobbyists, Texas’ statewide politicians prioritized passage of a new bill (SB 22) during the 2019 Texas Legislative Session to target Planned Parenthood and other healthcare providers. The controversial new law took effect on September 1, 2019 and bans “taxpayer resource transactions” between Planned Parenthood and local government agencies. The new law dismantled a wide range of public health programs from Austin to El Paso including: free condom distribution, HIV prevention education in juvenile incarceration facilities, “pop up” health centers on community college campuses, and other health outreach and education programs. Planned Parenthood’s E. 7th Street Health Center lease is not impacted by the new law because the lease precedes the state’s mandate.
State politicians have targeted the E. 7th Street Health Center before. In 2011, the Texas Legislature eliminated 2/3 of statewide funding for women’s health programs, eliminating a grant for healthcare services provided at the E. 7th Street health center that had provided healthcare to thousands of patients annually for decades. Thanks to community support, donations and grants from the Austin community replaced the patient healthcare grant eliminated by state politicians.