Texas Republicans fight dirty to restrict access to abortion

June 24, 2013
By Seth Maloney | 0 comments

When Governor Perry originally called for a special session of the state legislature, it wasn't about abortion. Instead, it was about redistricting. A special session does play by different rules though, and GOP lawmakers went on the attack. 

From: ThinkProgressTimeline, and just what happened:

  • Perry calls for a special session after the Texas redistricting proposal is shot down by Washington for racial discrimination.
  • With two weeks remaining in the session, anti-abortion legislation is proposed.
  • Democrats are locked out of the amendment process
    • This even makes it difficult to add an exception for rape and incest. No, really, Texas lawmakers are actually clueless about the issue.
  • Facing defeat, House Democrats in Texas sought to use parliamentary moves to delay the bill, pointing out flaws in paperwork and even showing up late to debates.
  • The House passes the bill, and now Senate Democrats are moving to filibuster.

What's in the bill:

  • New rules on how abortion providers can run clinics, which would ultimately close down 37 out of 42 clinics across the state, leaving much of the state without coverage.
    • Chiefly that abortion providers must have privileges at a local hospital - something many hospitals restrict for religious reasons or to avoid protests and controversy
      • No, it's not an accident that this tactic is exploited
  • A ban after 20 weeks, which is a move seen in 8 other states (notably, North Dakota put in a ban after 12 weeks - a move currently facing the courts)

Just how uninformed are Texas lawmakers?

To find out, just check out this quote:
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jody Laubenberg, R-Parker, faced pointed questioning from Democrats opposing the bill. She opposed amendments to makes exceptions for victims of rape or incest and to rely on the latest, peer-reviewed medical studies for making legal decisions. 
"The woman had five months to make that decision, at this point we are looking at a baby that is very far along in its development," Laubenberg said in rejecting new exceptions to the measure. "What I would like to do is raise the standard. You have clinics that are out there already at that standard of care and all I'm asking is that we raise the others to that level." (Source)

No, really, the bill's sponsor believes that rape kits are a form of abortion. 

The GOP's War on Women only seems to be getting started. The moves in Texas come right off the heels of the explosive Senate debate in Wisconsin, and the extreme bill just passed by the House of Representatives


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