On Friday, a bunch of abortion advocates filed suit in Texas for portions of the now infamous House Bill 2, the extensive pro-life bill that Governor Rick Perry signed into law last July. Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the American Civil Liberties Union have joined forces on behalf of more than a dozen abortion providers to fight provisions that make abortions safer for women.
I know -- it doesn’t make any sense to me either. It makes me wonder what the true motivation of these organizations is when they’re stirring public outrage by saying that HB2 will restrict women’s access to health care, or mess with their reproductive rights or whatever.
This new law does not restrict abortion for abortion’s sake. It’s funny, because they’re not even challenging the only part of the bill that actually does restrict abortion -- those done after 20 weeks. So they’re not fighting the part that says you can’t have an abortion (at a certain point in your pregnancy), but they are fighting the parts that protect women from getting ‘back alley’ abortions.
Well ok then.
Don’t believe me? Have no fear, I’ve read the bill for you, and broken down exactly how the “restrictions” that these pro-abortion groups are fighting actually help women.
- It requires that an actual physician be present at the time of the abortion or the administration of abortion drugs. One that provides obstetrical or gynecological services. In other words, mean old Rick Perry would like to make sure that women in his state that chose to have abortions get them from trained and licensed doctors.
- Said physician must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic in which the abortion was performed. This is in case something goes wrong, and the woman needs emergency care. Minutes can make the difference between life and death; how many do we want to waste with transportation, or the abortionist having to debrief a new doctor not familiar with the patient?
- The woman obtaining the abortion must be provided with a telephone number that she can call for 24-hour assistance if complications arise.
- She must also be provided with the telephone number of the closest hospital where her doctor has admitting privileges. Phone numbers are apparently really threatening to women’s rights.
- If the physician determines that an abortion is necessary to save the life or “major bodily function” of the mother, all of these restrictions are waived.
- In fact, any woman that needs an abortion at any point during her pregnancy can still legally obtain one in Texas. Directly from the law itself: “This act does not apply to abortions that are necessary to avert the death or substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman or abortions that are performed on unborn children with severe fetal abnormalities.”
Which means that it’s still perfectly legal in Texas to abort your 5-month-old fetus with Down syndrome. Just make sure mom has a phone number to call in case she starts hemorrhaging or something.
Do you think this new law protects or exploits women?
Image via Jack/Flickr