Oh, Texas. You made Headlines this week on the Good News front when Not Gay Ricky Perry said he wouldn’t seek another term as governor but would, instead, be joining an all male revue headed for Vegas, or something, but now, your legislators are making headlines for sticking their heads in the vaginas of half the people of the state.
It was big news just last week when the measure—after failing to win enough support during the regular session—died in the first special session due to a 13-hour filibuster by state Senator, and rational thinker, Wendy Davis, a Democrat, of course, but, last night, the Texas House provisionally approved tough new abortion restrictions, making good on their third stab to pass the measure this year. The formal vote is set for today, and then the measure heads to the Senate where the GOP—who never met a vagina they didn’t want to control—is expected to approve the bill.
Jody Laubenberg, a Republican Representative and a woman, says the bill will require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, only allow abortions in surgical centers, dictate when abortion pills are taken and ban abortions after 20 weeks; exceptions to the ban would only be allowed when the women’s life was in imminent danger. When Democratic Representative Senfronia Thompson called for an exception to the 20-week ban in cases of rape and incest, Laubenberg rejected the proposal. So, women of Texas, if you are raped, or the victim of incest, prepare to have that baby, because you have no choice after 20 weeks.
Sidenote: In 1973, with the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, it was established that a woman has the right to get an abortion until her fetus could viably survive outside of the womb, which is generally at 22 to 24 weeks of the pregnancy. Not so in Texas, soon enough.
And since GOP leaders, like the aforementioned Not Gay Ricky Perry, are so hell-bent on controlling women’s rights, they will pass it quickly through the Republican-controlled Legislature in a second special session; Democrats can do little but slow it down, and hope to attract as much attention as possible to Texas and the idea that woman have no rights over their own bodies down there; and, you know, down there.
Federal courts have ruled that states can regulate abortions but not to the extent to make them impossible to obtain; which is what Texas is trying to do. Opponents of the Texas bill say this new legislation would effectively ban abortion in much of the state, by causing the closure of 37 of its 42 abortion clinics.
Houston Representative Sarah Davis, the only Republican opposed to the law, warned that the bill as written is unconstitutional and offered an amendment to make it less stringent, saying, “I believe the bill as drafted will be a de facto ban on abortion. No one wants to see abortions, it’s a terrible way to end a pregnancy, but it is a constitutionally protected right.”
Constitutionally protected right. Except, sadly, in Texas, where they are avid proponents of the death penalty, but also say they are pro-life.