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Membership Bylaws

The Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition (TWHC) is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of women, babies, and families by ensuring access to preventive care – including contraception – for all Texas women.

Our membership includes healthcare, provider, advocacy, and faith
organizations from across the state. We are eager to
increase representation from local and regional organizations.

I. Principles of the TWHC
1. Improving access to women’s preventive healthcare to improve
maternal and child health
2. A belief that education, counseling, and provision of the full range of
FDA- approved contraceptive methods are essential components of
women's preventive healthcare
3. Encouraging the adoption of program policies for ample women's
preventive program funding
4. To empower women to take personal responsibility for their health and
their future
5. Preventive care includes health history; contraceptive care; appropriate
screenings, access to long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC);
and preconception care
6. Advocating for the elimination of barriers, including systemic or
historic inequities in care, to preventive healthcare services – including
prescription contraceptive drugs and devices

II. TWHC Membership Types
Any individual, group or organization can be a supporter of the Texas
Women’s Healthcare Coalition (TWHC), regardless of affiliation or IRS tax
status. Supporters are not required to endorse TWHC Principles but can
indicate their support of TWHC. Supporters do not have voting privileges
within the coalition and may not speak on behalf of the Coalition.

Supporters can:
● Subscribe to the general TWHC listserv;
● Participate in open coalition meetings; and
● Donate to TWHC.

Members of TWHC are groups or organizations that endorse TWHC
Principles. By endorsing the Principles, members agree to be publicly
associated with the Coalition.
Members can:
● Participate in open coalition meetings;
● Participate in decision-making and voting;
● Subscribe to the general TWHC listserv; and
● Participate in member-only discussion forums.

Additionally, Coalition members may be asked to participate in the following
activities, according to their organizational capacity:
● Attend Coalition meetings and events;
● Participate in Coalition media events and public statements;
● Speak on behalf of the Coalition at media and other public events
● Provide legislative testimony;
● Engage, educate, and involve their own constituents and members in
the work of the Coalition (for example, through email alerts or other
● Disseminate the messages and materials of TWHC;
● Host a presentation about TWHC and/or women’s healthcare issues;
● Participate in legislative lobby visits;
● Conduct strategic outreach and membership recruitment on behalf of
the Coalition; and
● Support the Coalition with funding and in-kind resources.

While only nominated organizations may become members, individuals or
non-nominated organizations can participate as Supporters of TWHC.

New Membership
TWHC membership operates on a nomination-only model, where all TWHC
members may nominate organizations for membership. The Steering
Committee reserves the authority to approve all nominations. Organizations
may contact current TWHC members for nomination. Current members must
complete the TWHC nomination form and submit it to TWHC staff for
review. If the nominated organization does not align with TWHC’s mission,
there is a possibility of membership denial. If the Steering Committee
approves the nominee organization, TWHC staff will send the nominee
organization the TWHC application form. TWHC Staff will conduct an
internal review and notify the nominee organization of membership status
upon completion of application review.
Potential members, whose nominations have been approved by the Steering
Committee, will receive an enrollment packet including the Coalition
principles and bylaws.

III. Meetings of the Coalition
General Coalition Meetings
General Coalition Meetings take place on a quarterly basis and may be held
virtually or in person. Meetings are held more frequently during legislative
sessions. All members and supporters are encouraged to attend. Agendas for
Coalition meetings will be provided at least 7 days in advance by Coalition
Agenda Items
Any Coalition member may propose an agenda item for the general meetings
by submitting a request in writing to Coalition staff at least one month in
advance. Coalition staff and the steering committee will review and
approve/decline agenda topics.

IV. TWHC Governance
Steering Committee
The Steering Committee is composed of Coalition members and is tasked
with ensuring that TWHC moves forward with its objectives and agenda. In
addition to the responsibilities of all members, the Steering Committee:
● Provides thoughtful leadership for Coalition initiatives and will
propose specific legislative ideas based on the Coalition’s mission,
adopted principles, and past legislative agendas;
● With input from the general membership, makes high-level, strategic
Coalition decisions;
● Works with TWHC staff to make operational decisions necessary for
carrying the Coalition forward;
● May act as the face and the first point of contact to the Coalition for
media and the public;
● Commits to providing support to the Coalition, such as: staff or
individual time, meeting space, printing, e-communications,
teleconference hosting, and other supports;
● Commits to meeting virtually on a monthly basis, or as scheduled;
● Commits to review of membership applications as needed.
● Participates in biennial reviews of Coalition bylaws.

The Steering Committee will have a maximum of 15 members. Only TWHC
members are eligible to serve as Steering Committee members. A TWHC
member may self-nominate or be nominated by a member of the TWHC to
become a Steering Committee member. To qualify as a Steering Committee
member, the member must have attended at least 50 percent of Coalition
meetings in the preceding 12 months. The Steering Committee will decide by
a 4/5 vote whether to accept the nomination. If Steering Committees are
unable to fulfill the meeting requirement as well as participate in TWHC
virtual and/or in person activities, they may be removed from the Steering

Decisions of the Steering Committee are ideally made by consensus. If a vote
is needed, the Steering Committee will decide by a 4/5 vote. Each
organizational member of the Steering Committee has one vote, although
member organizations are welcome to send more than one individual to
participate in Steering Committee meetings. Votes may be submitted ahead of
time and/or via email by any member of the Steering Committee if they are
unable to attend a meeting or send a proxy.
In the case that a member organization objects to a new organization’s
inclusion in the Coalition, the Steering Committee will review the objection
and use a simple majority to vote the organization in question in or out.
Steering Committee Chair
The Steering Committee Chair is nominated and elected by the Steering
Committee and must commit to serving as Chair for at least one legislative
session. The Steering Committee Chair must have been an active Steering
Committee member by attending at least 50 percent of Steering Committee
and/or General Coalition meetings in the year prior to nomination.

Chair responsibilities include:
● Calling meetings of the general membership and Steering Committee;
● Presiding over meetings of the general membership and Steering
Committee; and
● Working with the Steering Committee, Coalition membership, and
Coalition staff to ensure successful implementation of decisions.

Coalition Decision-Making Process
Recognizing the importance of developing an inclusive and representative
collective body, TWHC will make its best effort to solicit input from
supporters and members to make strategic decisions about legislative and
organizing initiatives.
To the extent that it is possible, large-scale decisions will be discussed by
participants at open quarterly meetings of the Coalition. Members and
supporters will be given an opportunity to discuss and provide input into such
decisions. In the case of a decision being voted on, all Coalition members
(i.e. those organizations who have endorsed the Coalition’s principles) will be
allowed one vote to affect the outcome of the decision although member
organizations are welcome to send more than one individual to participate in
Coalition meetings. The passage or failure of a proposal will be determined
by a two-thirds majority of those who choose to vote (e.g. If 18 out of 20
members vote, at least 12 must vote the same way).

Because we strive to be a statewide Coalition, we will work to accommodate
those who cannot physically be in the room by providing teleconference or
webinar capabilities and an ability to submit votes by email. Specific
instructions on how to vote via these avenues will be provided with each
decision item.
Inevitably, there will be decisions and items that will need to be addressed by
the Coalition Steering Committee, such those that are time sensitive or which
concern the everyday workings of the Coalition. However, the goal will
always be to solicit and include the will of the Coalition in all
decision-making processes, where appropriate.

Coalition Staff
Currently, TWHC receives staff support from Healthy Futures of Texas. The
staff member(s) is/are responsible for convening the Coalition and the
Steering Committee, providing logistical and administrative support for the
Coalition at large, helping coordinate the Coalition’s policy and advocacy
efforts, and communicating with national partner organizations that work on
access issues concerning preventive healthcare, preconception care, and

V. Public Comment
Sign – On to Public Coalition Documents
The Coalition often provides comments on rules and policies impacting
women's preventive healthcare. TWHC staff will strive to provide comments
for members’ review at least 24 hours in advance of their submission, and to
provide as much additional time for review as circumstances allow. If
Coalition staff does not receive any objection to the document, staff will
assume members agree to have their organization included in the list of

VI. Bylaws
Amending Coalition Bylaws
The Steering Committee will convene to review and amend the bylaws as
necessary in September of every even numbered year.
A general Coalition or Steering Committee member may propose to amend
the Coalition bylaws outside of the typical biennial review by submitting a
written request to the Steering Committee with at least advance 30-days’
notice. Amending the bylaws will be determined by a 4/5 vote of the Steering

Bylaws Updated 12/2022. For questions please contact

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