Texas has finally managed to pass one of the most restrictive abortion bills in the nation. It will ban abortion entirely after 20 weeks. There are no exceptions for rape and incest. Abortion doctors will have to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and require them to take place in surgical centers, which most abortion clinics, especially those serving rural areas, will be financially unable to do, forcing them to close. It will restrict access to the abortion pill. Teen mothers will also need parental consent to get birth control or abortion information.
Sen. Wendy Davis managed to filibuster the bill away last month, but not this time.
The bill is expected to have the most impact on low income women, who are most likely not to have health insurance. Experts fear those women will turn to dangerous abortions performed in Mexico or abortion-inducing pills sold at flea markets.
Before the bill had passed, the legislature confiscated tampons and pads from women entering the chamber, thinking they might be used as projectile objects. Gotta love Texas. Guns are fine but not tampons!
Meanwhile, Republicans are pushing for major cuts in food stamps. So all of these children who will be born thanks to the lack of abortions clinics won't be able to eat either. Human rights begin at conception and end at birth, indeed.
After the bill was passed, Governor Rick Perry said: "This legislation builds on the strong and unwavering commitment we have made to defend life and protect women's health."
But of course we know this has nothing to do with women's health. You don't close down free clinics that offer mammograms and STD screening if you care about women's health, and you don't severely restrict access to legal and already safe abortions if you care about women's health. And, for the record, you don't cut off food stamp programs if you care about children.
Democrats have vowed to fight the bill but they have a long and difficult road ahead of them. Meanwhile, I sincerely hope that Texas women stop letting men use their bodies for their pleasure since men want so badly to control all aspects of them. I also expect to see Republican politicians stepping up to adopt all of the unwanted babies that will be had in the state. I expect to see free daycare. I expect to see more health insurance options for pregnant women. I expect to see more family planning options to prevent pregnancy.
I won't see any of it.
Where do you stand on the bill?
Image via rcboden/Flickr