Uh oh…she hardly ever blogs anymore and when she does it’s always while standing on a soapbox. She’s not a blogger; she’s an angry elf.
If you’re not abreast (pun intended, as we are talking about women’s issues) of the debate going on in Texas, let me first ask “WHAT the WHAHHH???”
And then let me summarize…
Basically, during a special legislative session called by Texas Governor Rick Perry (I’m a huge fan </sarcasmfont>), redistricting and abortion were added to the agenda (other topics, too, but I won’t bore you with all of them). During this special session, while multiple bills were filed, it is Senate Bill 5 (SB5), by state Senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy, TX), that is making the headlines. SB5, in a nutshell, would make abortion illegal after 20 weeks, while also establishing new requirements and regulations for those facilities that perform abortions. More specifically, it would force the closure of 37 of 42 clinics, which currently offer abortion services in Texas. That leaves five (FIVE) clinics in the entire state of Texas.
A friend of mine had her 11-year-old daughter call me one day because they were driving through the East Coast, and she was complaining about all the time they were spending in the car.
“How long have you been in the car?” I asked.
“7 hours,” she replied.
“How many states have you driven through?”
She listed three.
“For reference, if I got in my car right now and headed north for seven hours, I might not even make it across the Texas state line.”
She responded, “Well, that’s unfortunate.”
Basically, it’s a big state. So, FIVE clinics that would provide this service would be like only one food truck vendor at San Antonio’s NIOSA.
Look, I could now write a research paper on all the statistics I found on abortion, (like these) but I don’t want to lose focus on why I’m angry.
But I do want to address some statistics that this bill addresses:
- Fewer than 0.5% of women obtaining abortions experience a complication, and the risk of death associated with abortion is about one-tenth that associated with childbirth. (For more information, click here.)
- 98.5% of abortions occur in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. (For more information, click here. Or here.)
These are actual facts. I know facts can be difficult to understand. Hell, we have elected officials who claim that rape kits – you know, the things that collect DNA for authorities – can actually “clean you out,” meaning there is no need to worry about getting an abortion ‘cause you can’t get pregnant. No…seriously…that happened.
We are creating legislation to make it nearly impossible to get an abortion due to the less than 2% of abortions that happen in the time frame that is most troubling to Republicans and the less than 1% of complications arising from the procedure.
This is when I start having heart palpitations.
Remember the gun debate? You know, every time a mass shooting takes place, one side of the aisle screams, “WHEN ARE WE GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT GUN CONTROL?” While the other side screams, “YOU CAN PRY MY GUN OUT OF MY COLD, DEAD HAND.”
Then, the conversation becomes one that discusses the statistics.
“Tobacco use kills more people per year than firearm homicides.” Or “according to the FBI, the #1 weapon used in violent crimes is a baseball bat.”
So, Republicans refuse to entertain a debate on exercising more control on the nearly 27,000 gun homicides that happened between 2009 and 2011, but want to restrict legislation due to the estimated 18,000 of 20 or more week abortions that happened between 2009-2011.
Now, I’m not silly enough to think that I’m comparing apples to apples on this. (And, quite frankly, I suck at math, so all those numbers could be wrong.) What I’m trying to show is that the 20-week abortion clause is a shiny object designed to make you think that Republicans are concerned about fetuses. Moreover, the more stringent restrictions on clinics clause is a shiny object designed to make you think that Republicans are concerned about the well-being of women during the procedure. But they are simply shiny objects.
Because this bill is solely designed to make abortions next to impossible to get in the state of Texas.
Do not be fooled by propaganda.
Do not be conned into thinking that this is about human life.
This is a religious and partisan argument that ultimately makes women’s lives harder.
So, hell yeah, I’m angry.
You want to restrict abortions? Say so. Stand in front of the people you represent and say, “I think abortion is wrong, and I don’t want anyone to get one.”
Allow your constituents to make their decisions based on clear information.
Don’t purport to care about women’s well-being.
If you did, you’d start talking to young women AND young men about contraception rather than just abstinence only.
If you did, you’d start talking about preventative healthcare and family planning.
If you did, you’d refrain from adding additional restrictions to social programs.
Let’s call this what this really is – an opportunity for Texas to summarily end abortions in its state.
So, you do not fool me. You just make me angry.