EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – City Council will vote next week on establishing a women’s commission or board focusing on equality and protecting women’s rights.

The item is set to be voted on during the Regular City Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 10. It was put on the agenda by City Representative Henry Rivera, directing the City Manager to work with council to create the commission or board.

This is after a draft majority opinion from the U.S. Supreme court was leaked about the intent to overturn Roe V. Wade.

Women’s freedom to choose over their own body is a fundamental right and should be protected. No person or government entity should control or threaten women’s rights. Men need to unite and support women because actions taken against women’s rights affect everyone.  

Henry Rivera, District 7 City Representative

The item was co-sponsored by City Representatives Peter Svarzbein, Alexsandra Annello, and Cassandra Hernandez.

Annello speaking with KTSM about the agenda item, saying the creation of a women’s commission something that’s long overdue in El Paso.

“We’ve seen through state legislators in Texas and other states not just abortion being attacked but funding for reproductive rights, funding for women’s health care you know there’s so much more that goes into that, than just abortion,” said Representative Hernandez says the city board will allow for open and honest discussions.

Annello added that while the agenda item is in part in response to the possible overturning of Roe V. Wade, even if it’s not overturned women’s rights still needs to be a conversation.

“It’s a real reality that even if the Supreme Court does not end up taking action on this opinion that was leaked, it’s a conversation that’s not going away and we really need to be prepared to protect our communities,” said Annello.

“We continue to see an affront to women’s rights, not just with the recent Supreme Court draft but even more so in Texas, as shown in the demeaning legislation that has rolled back women’s reproductive rights within the past decade,” said City Representative Cassandra Hernandez, District 3.

Svarzbein also commented on the vote to create the commission or board.

 “We as a community should continue to fight against sexism, discrimination, and racism that set boundaries and prevent us from making beneficial progress as a community, state, and country,” said City Representative Peter Svarzbein, District 1. “Now is one of those times to speak in solidarity as a troubling time for many in our country.” 

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