Forget that a heroic filibuster headed up by Sen. Wendy Davis (D), who took the floor of the Texas senate for nearly 13 hours. Nevermind the protests galore, in which tampons were confiscated. Texas Republicans and Gov. Rick Perry still managed to ram House Bill 2, or HB2, containing some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, through and sign it into law yesterday.
Now, 37 out of 42 clinics in the state and all clinics in West Texas will have to close their doors as a result of the law. This is not about a handful of women seeking abortions. This law will have a profound effect on Texan women -- and could have serious repercussions for women all over the country. Here, seven rights women in Texas had last week that they don't have anymore ...
- Teen moms no longer have the right to get birth control or abortion information without parental consent.
- Women who have the federal right -- thanks to Roe v. Wade -- to a safe, legal abortion will now be driven to turn to dangerous abortions performed in Mexico or abortion-inducing pills -- like an unspecified dose of Cytotec, an ulcer medicine -- sold underground or at flea markets, experts note.
- The right to a late-term abortion is entirely gone. The law bans abortion completely after 20 weeks, which is exactly when comprehensive fetal testing, such as anatomical sonograms and ultrasounds of the heart, are typically performed. Such scans are critical for uncovering major birth defects, such as anencephaly (severe brain malformations), major heart defects, missing organs and limbs, and other severe birth defects. Families faced with severe fetal disorders—severe brain defects, entirely abnormal gut structures, devastating chromosomal problems—who would otherwise choose not to carry to term will have no choice now.
- Victims of rape and incest will no longer be the exceptions to #3. There are no exceptions under the law formerly known as HB2.
- Women who have the federal right to a safe, legal abortion will likely start showing up in emergency rooms looking for help with incomplete, self-induced abortion.
- The right, or freedom, to go to a clinic near your home -- and not, in say, a bluer state -- has been disappeared as a result of abortion doctors having to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and all abortions being required to take place in surgical centers.
- The right to the abortion pill, mifepristone, formerly known as RU-486.
All of that said, pro-choice activists and Planned Parenthood are gearing up for a fight. Thank goodness, because the women of Texas -- and across the nation -- deserve better.
What are your thoughts on this restrictive new law?
Image via Max Croes/Flickr