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Repro Wrap: Southern Texas No Longer Has Legal Abortion and Other News

Repro Wrap: Southern Texas No Longer Has Legal Abortion and Other News

When HB 2 finally passed the Texas legislature two special sessions in, abortion rights advocates pointed out that the rules for clinics were so onerous it could effectively end legal abortion for vast parts of the state.

They were right.

Just this week, three more clinics have closed in Texas, bringing the number of open clinics down to 20, from 44 in 2011. This week’s closures are especially devastating not just because they were the last clinics in some of the most remote and rural areas of the state, but because by shutting their doors, that also means that these doctors, who had been providing follow up care for those who had attempted to induce their own miscarriages and failed, will not be able to provide that service, either.

These areas, with some of the highest rates of poverty in the state, are literally back in a pre-Roe landscape, where they must find the resources to travel hours, and stay over night, to get an abortion somewhere legal, try to accomplish it on their own illegally, knowing that they will have to turn to a hospital if there is a complication and that they could be punished, or carry a pregnancy to term, often without the prenatal care, financial support or educational support needed to raise that child.

And “pro-life” advocates are calling it a win.

The twice a year 40 Days for Life began again on Ash Wednesday. But Fat Tuesday was a day of sadness for advocates in Kalispell, Mont., who learned that morning that their clinic had been trashed overnight.

Arizona’s House has approved a bill to allow no reason, surprise clinic inspections, a plan that could violate the right to privacy of patients having abortions when the authorities just pop in to see what’s happening. The law will probably get sued when it passes, and they can defend it right after they finish defending this backdoor medication abortion ban.

South Dakota is still trying to find the right combo of new legislation it can pass to somehow make its law that you need to visit a crisis pregnancy center prior to having an abortion magically constitutional. The newest version? Saying that a crisis pregnancy center can’t refer for abortions OR adoption, to claim there is no financial interest in convincing a patient not to abort. CPCs say they can get around this restriction by setting up a separate entity within their business to just counsel so it isn’t associated with the adoption centers they part with. Of course, when Planned Parenthood separates themselves like that, we are told all money is fungible and it doesn’t count.

Missouri is still pursing a 72 hour wait for an abortion, and one of the bill supporters makes it clear that the intent is to punish pregnant people as much as they can if they really decide to go though with the procedure. “Well I think it’s very demeaning to the child. And it’s very inconvenient for the child to be terminated. So if it’s a little inconvenient for the mother, I think that’s in the great balance of things, I think I side with give the child every shot at achieving birth and life.”

Would abortion opponents change their tune and still believe every baby should be given birth to if their white daughters had been impregnated by men of color? That’s a question asked by one Democrat during Alabama’s heated debate over four new abortion restrictions, all of which ended up passing the house this week. Racism also became a big question behind the proposed “gender based abortion” ban in South Dakota, which some lawmakers believed was about racist beliefs about Asian cultures. That bill ended up passing committee anyway, as well.

A new CNN poll shows the majority of Americans oppose abortion in all case or except in certain circumstances. The results aren’t at all surprising. Usually, the “certain circumstances” in which a person doesn’t oppose abortion is “whatever situation I, or someone I care about, is in that makes her need one.”

In the latest news on buffer zones versus free speech rights, a New Jersey clinic that has recently become a hotspot of anti-choice harassment may be getting a buffer zone. The only clinic in North Dakota says they’d love a zone but probably will never be able to get one. A Wisconsin judge upholds the buffer zone that passed in Madison.

In some good news, a “viable fetus test“ bill appears to have stalled in Florida, and Texas teens are fighting back against graphic abortion signs by bringing their own posters — of puppies.

Finally, if you have some spare time, you should probably pray for me, since everyone else is.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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159 comments

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11:49AM PDT on Mar 24, 2014

Dale, I think I can explain it this way.
I believe that he believes that aborting a fetus is a wrong that creates a karmic ribbon that has to be paid back in a future life between the soul of the mother and the soul of the aborted fetus.

In this belief system a soul is assigned the opportunity to reincarnate and assigned a specific developing fetus (I suppose even the embryo, or the clump of cells, that occur as a result of impregnation/inception) as the vehicle for their participation in become an ensouled human being on the physical plane.

The abortion of this embryo/fetus is considered, by Vasu, to be an act that abrogates the choice of the soul he believes was assigned to it. Thereby creating this abrogation of choice: and this resultant need to pay back a karmic debt. And yet, by many definitions across the globe, ensoulment doesn’t occur until birth (including the original texts of the bible of the Abrahamic traditions). But like the pro-life anti-abortion crowd they are moving the goalposts.

Meat eaters are creating karmic debts by eating meat and abrogating the choice of animals to live.

I could be wrong.

1:57AM PDT on Mar 24, 2014

Vasu M said:

"People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been far more successful at promoting vegetarianism than religious movements by removing the ethic of not harming animals from all the ascetic and/or religious trappings surrounding it: sexual restraint, teetotalism, etc... And by making vegetarianism appear as fun as sex."

In another thread about wool, why in the world are you linking the right to choose to women to karma for meat eaters? Since I have seen vegans in the women's rights threads advocating for the right of a woman to choose, isn't this statement of yours a bit of a stretch? What does eating meat have to do with a woman's right to choose?

1:56AM PDT on Mar 24, 2014

"They are sending animals to the slaughterhouse, and now they'll create their own slaughterhouse... You'll kill your own child--abortion. This is nature's law.

"Who are these children being killed? They are these meat-eaters. They enjoyed themselves when so many animals were killed and now they're being killed by their own mothers... If you kill you must be killed. If you kill the cow, who is your mother, then in some future lifetime your mother will kill you. Yes. The mother becomes the child, and the child becomes the mother."

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/7-animal-friendly-alternatives-to-wool.html#ixzz2wrtguHFb

Woman have the right to choose, and not choose what men promoting whatever their beliefs may be when it comes to the right to choose.

10:58AM PDT on Mar 14, 2014

Michael T.,
I don't know what is going on. My long "rant" is cut off at "you choose to beco . . ."
I guess I need to be more concise in future postings.

10:18AM PDT on Mar 14, 2014

I don't know about what is happening with your server Tammy. It seems that your posts are all appearing intact.

What I see in my email box seems to show the same posts showing up on the thread.

9:28AM PDT on Mar 14, 2014

Looks like I wasted my time---my entire comment is not posted.

9:25AM PDT on Mar 14, 2014

Ron G, with the duck

oops! In my invitation to "come on down" for a visit, I failed to mention that my feminist BROTHERS would take issue with your initial comments as well. So perhaps you might consider apologizing to the Texas MEN who were also insulted.

I do also appreciate your attempts at retraction from blaming me under the condition that I support a women's choice. I think a disclaimer / caveat embedded in future comments would add credence to your stance. You seem like a reasonable guy who simply needs to cool his jets and think for a minute before posting. My jets used to be red hot until I began to realize how counterproductive tit for tat is. Let our exchange here become a teachable moment for all of us.

9:00AM PDT on Mar 14, 2014

Ron G. with the duck.

I took issue with your initial comment in which you attempted to place blame and shame on ALL Texas women. You insulted Texas women who think for themselves and have aspirations other than pleasing their men. "Ya'll outta come down" for a visit and see how well those comments sit with my feminist sisters. GEEESH! Re-read your post.

As I said earlier, sweeping generalizations are ineffective and reveal much about those who make them. What say I? I say that when you wag a finger at someone, three fingers are pointing back at you! Trust me on this one, I look at my own fingers a lot and am aware of my character flaws. Yet, from rhetorical perspective, one's position and argument loses credibility when you make such generalizations, and in the often volatile atmosphere of political discourse in our country, sweeping generalizations stoke the fire of ignorance and divisiveness. Consider the other posts here in this thread who jumped on the bandwagon of blaming ALL of Texas! Stereotyping abound!

Texas is not a person. Texas consists of a very diverse population. Just as with most states in our country, the general populace isn't very much, if at all, involved in the political system and rely on others to think for them. It's easier to allow someone else to think for you than to think for oneself. I've witnessed and personally experienced the pain that comes when the carpet of complacency is pulled out from under you once you choose to beco

5:03AM PDT on Mar 14, 2014

Thank you for posting it.

3:21AM PDT on Mar 14, 2014

What is it again? Starve a troll feed a fever? Eat the rich starve a cold? I get all these sayings mixed up. :P

Not dissing the good menfolk out there, so when I say this, please understand this is NOT directed at all men. (There are a lot of awesome men out there, real men, not pretend "I must control the wimminfolk" children in men's clothing.)

If you don't have a uterus, you're not qualified to be the deciding force in this one. Ever.
End. Of. Line.

GOOD men, I'm VERY glad/grateful if you have a voice on this issue and use it, even if your beliefs aren't my own. But in the end, it HAS to be a woman's choice. POOR EXCUSES FOR MEN trying to CONTROL all women's bodies when you will never, ever be faced with these kinds of decisions? Learn to keep your "voice" to yourself on this one or get out of the gene pool. Seriously. Your time is about done here, "Mr. Smith". Evolution called. You've been voted off the island. :P

Women who stand against choice? I'm too tired to get into that whole mess right now. Too much. Too sad. Can't do. Not now.

Again, go out and vote, folks. Get the crazy and bigotry out of the equation as much as possible as soon as you can.

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Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
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