Texas passes draconian law limiting women's health care options

Earlier this week on Facebook, Senate Democratic caucus chairman Kirk Watson posted this photo.

The NYT's John Schwartz, who is himself from Texas, live-tweeted the dramatic proceedings yesterday in the Texas Senate surrounding one of the strictest anti-abortion measures in the country. The law was pushed forward by governor Rick “The louder they scream, the more we know that we are getting something done” Perry.

No surprise: it passed. Read John's coverage today, and weep.

The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and hold abortion clinics to the same standards as hospital-style surgical centers, among other requirements. Its supporters say that the strengthened regulations for the structures and doctors will protect women’s health; opponents argue that the restrictions are actually intended to put financial pressure on the clinics that perform abortions and will force most of them to shut their doors.
Perry thanked lawmakers for passing the bill: “Today the Texas Legislature took its final step in our historic effort to protect life.” A funny thing to say about a law that puts the lives and health of women in unprecedented danger, along with the lives and health of their children. And stranger still, by the governor of the state with the highest death penalty stats in the U.S.

In case you missed it, the final hours in the Texas Senate chambers last night were full of craziness.

Again, from John Schwartz's piece:

The Senate took up the bill Friday afternoon, and people had begun lining up for seats in the third-floor Senate gallery early in the morning. Department of Public Safety officers, their numbers swelled in anticipation of crowds and tumult, searched every bag and confiscated anything that could be thrown — including, for part of the day and until the practice became an object of derision online, tampons. Department officials said the searches had turned up jars “suspected to contain” urine, feces and paint, along with glitter and confetti, but offered no proof.

For shame, America. For shame.

Previously on Boing Boing: "Texas Republicans fail to pass restrictive abortion bill, after long night of filibuster, debates over parliamentary procedure, and 'unruly mobs'"

Notable Replies

  1. Perry thanked lawmakers for passing the bill: “Today the Texas Legislature took its final step in our historic effort to protect life.” A funny thing to say about a law that puts the lives and health of women in unprecedented danger, along with their children.

    And a funny thing to hear from the governor of a state that executes prisoners faster than shit through a goose.

  2. TAC says:

    In a state where they have more laws dictating reproductive rights than making sure your plant won't blow up and kill people, one has to wonder how the hell they manage to justify this in their own minds.
    It would be awesome if they put as much effort into fixing actual problems in society.

  3. Don't you know? Small government. Except when it comes to women and our bodies. Then it's big government in our vaginas, all the way.

  4. Citation please. This article argues otherwise: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/06/science-house-abortion-ban-fetal-pain

    The majority (some sources say ~98%) of abortions already happen before week 20 (and ~90% in the first 12 weeks). For those ~2%, don't you think this law is going to make things much more difficult for them? Also, from what I have read (one link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/21/opinion/my-abortion-at-23-weeks.html?pagewanted=all&partner=rss&emc=rss), fetal genetic defects are not necessarily visible before 20 weeks.

    Citation please. Also, how is being inspected once a year less safe than being inspected once every three years? http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/07/12/2290811/texas-abortion-clinic-safety/?mobile=nc

    Less than 0.5% of abortions result in major complications. http://www.acog.org/About_ACOG/News_Room/News_Releases/2013/Ob-Gyns_Denounce_Texas_Abortion_Legislation Also, are you really saying that a woman needs a doctor with her in order for the ER to admit her during an emergency?

    You also seem to be implying that abortion doctors are refused admitting privileges because they are not good doctors. Do you really think that the refusal has nothing to do with the fact that they are performing abortions? Also, don't admitting privileges come with requirements like living close to the hospital, admitting a certain number of patients per year (hard to do if your patients rarely have complications), or attending meetings? [Note: In general, the requirements for admitting privileges vary from hospital to hospital and also have different "levels" at a given hospital.]

    The fact that other states have gotten away with this does not make it less of a problem.

    You also seem to be really focused on "for profit businesses". If these businesses are making so much money, why is it expected that most of them are going to be shut down because of the cost of upgrading their facilities?

    The reality is that with the passing of these laws women are probably just going to go to black markets to get their abortions. How is that better? http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-07-10/flea-market-abortions-thrive-as-texas-bill-might-close-clinics

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

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