Over the past few weeks and months, the so-called “Christian” fundamentalists who rule the Republican Party have relentlessly pursued their obsession with banning abortion entirely, or making it well-nigh impossible to attain.
This in spite of the fact that, as Adam Lee points out in Alternet, there is actually nothing about abortion in the Bible.
That hasn’t stopped lawmakers in Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina and many other places from passing numerous pieces of anti-choice legislation — because after all, even though there’s no mention of abortion in the Bible, the Old Testament in particular reveals a sexist attitude toward women, who apparently should know their place: inferior to men.
At the federal level, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted for a bill banning all abortion after 20 weeks.
And now there’s Texas. In spite of State Senator Wendy Davis’s epic 13-hour filibuster on the night of June 25, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a controversial abortion bill, HB 2, into law on July 18 after weeks of ongoing protest against the measure. He was able to do this by calling a second special session, deliberately giving lawmakers time to push through abortion restrictions.
‘It is a very happy, celebratory day,’ Perry said before signing the abortion restrictions. The governor added his signature to the bill while flanked by other conservative members of the legislature, including Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R), who championed the anti-abortion measure. Laubenberg praised the governor’s legacy of ‘eternal life.’
Many in the audience disagreed with him. Silent protesters lined the capitol rotunda, wearing black clothing and holding signs proclaiming “SHAME,” while shouts of “shame” could be heard from outside the room.
HB 2 Is Really Really Bad News. Here’s Why:
1. It criminalizes abortion at 20 weeks, when women are often still getting crucial information about their health and pregnancy.
2. It will require doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals — the same medically unnecessary regulation that threatens to shut down Mississippi’s last clinic.
3. It will restrict the abortion pill, a nonsurgical means of ending a pregnancy in its earliest stages, in such a way that it may be banned entirely.
4. It will require abortion clinics to meet the standards of surgical centers, even though that won’t actually do anything to make abortion care safer. This will almost certainly result in the closure of 90 percent of the state’s clinics because of the huge cost — leaving Texas with just five facilities.
And If That Isn’t Already Horrifying Enough:
5. On the same day that Perry signed HB 2 into law, three Texas Republicans filed a measure that would criminalize abortion services after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, generally around six weeks of pregnancy, before many women even know they’re pregnant. Even worse, the bill could also mandate invasive ultrasound procedures for women seeking an abortion.
Republicans have never made their goal more transparent: criminalizing all abortions is what they are after, and they seem to be getting closer to that goal.
In their ceaseless efforts to ban abortion even in cases of rape or when the woman’s life is in danger, these legislators are stating clearly that the rights, health and well-being of women are irrelevant to them.
Nor do they care about what happens to those babies once they are born; apparently the fact that 1 in 4 children lives in poverty is also not of interest to them.
Take Action Now
If you believe the situation for women in Texas is outrageous, please sign our petition letting Texas lawmakers know that the fight to defend women’s health and rights isn’t over, and that we’re in it for the long run.
And thank you.
Photo Credit: online video by KVUE News