Sitting up late again last night, watching live stream testimony on Texas House Bill 2, which will effectively reduce the number of abortion clinics to five from 42, reduce access to abortions, birth control and all forms of reproductive health for many women.
Initially, I was pretty sick over this whole thing, although, I can’t say I didn’t see it coming. This is the same legislation that’s been passed in a number of states across the country already.
I’ve been glued to this obsessively since last week. I took Annika to the protest on Monday where thousands of people showed up in protest. It probably won’t matter. It’s unlikely that anyone can stop it at this point.
What kills me is the rhetoric.
The lawmakers are so full of shit. They say that HB2 is pro woman. They say they are trying to make sure that abortion clinics are safer. But ironically, their own people sold them out when it came to testimony. Blue shirt after blue shirt filed in talking about murdering babies. They know the score.
The anti-choicers don’t give a shit about women. All they care about it forcing their own religious beliefs down our collective uterus. I wish I could say that I thought the lawmakers were doing what they thought was right. But I can’t even believe that. Cynic that I am, all I can see is their selfishness. Their desire to win votes. Some potential monetary gain and a power grab.
Aside from all that, imho, this is a slippery slope for health care laws. Can we now make laws about what others can do based on religious beliefs? Is this what we’ve come to? Their time will come. Shit always goes both ways folks.
I know there is a big push right now to get the Christian right wingers to have lots of babies in the hope they will overpopulate the conservative side. I can only hope that this tactic backfires. It’s very possible that it will.
Although my parents are Democrats and always have been, I was raised with that way of thinking. Abortion was murder. Sex before marriage was a sin. My parents have since become more open minded and less rigid in their way of thinking, realizing the grey areas.
But aside from my parents, my upbringing involved a lot of religious zealots, narrow minded and uneducated mentors, preachers, youth group leaders, teachers, parents of friends, who all thought this way. This is what scares me. What I grew up with. What I know to be the truth about the way these people think and behave toward youngsters. Even as a teenager, having this bull hockey shoved down my throat, I knew that shit was wrong. It pissed me off to no end the amount of work involved to bring sex education down in the state of Texas. This stuff has been decades in the making. It will take years to undo the damage and by then, many, many lives will have been ruined.
Even if these bills pass, and they almost certainly will, barring a miracle, what we are talking about is happening right now. So what can we do to focus on the future?
Fundraising will need to happen so that we can help abortion clinics get the funds needed to upgrade facilities to stay within the law.
New legislation will need to be written and introduced to force hospitals to give admitting privileges to abortion doctors.
Women in big cities will need to find ways to support women in rural areas who don’t have the support to get to a big city and get an abortion.
There will be a 48 hour period that a woman will have to stay nearby so she can take both doses of RU486 (mifepristone) at the doctor’s office. Some women will not be able to afford the trip, plus a two/three day stay at a hotel.
Not only is abortion under attack, but the even more baffling thing, that nobody’s really talking about is sex education. Not only do they want women to stop having abortions, but they aren’t willing to educate young women and men about how to have safe sex. These religious zealots will stop at nothing to ensure that Texas is filled with young, unsupported, uneducated, pregnant girls.
These are just the things I can think of. I’m sure there will be more. But we can’t just keep fighting this in the legislature. This will affect Texas so much more if we have an explosion of unwanted pregnancies all over the state because women can’t afford to get an abortion or don’t have the support they need to get birth control or perhaps support for their unwanted pregnancy.
I urge everyone in Texas who against this legislation to get involved in whatever way they can to support women and help fight this battle on a local level. Contact your local Planned Parenthood or chapter of Naral. Ask what can be done. Post things to your Facebook feed and Twitter accounts. Let women know that we’re supportive. Teach your kids about sex education. Find some way to help or donate what you can. I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing, but I am not going to just let this shit slide when I know how it feels to be one of those young unsupported and scared girls with people filling my head with shame and misery. It just doesn’t have to be that way. They might win the legislation. But that doesn’t mean they have to win the war.
There were thousands of us at the Capitol on Monday. Let’s make sure our voices continue to be heard.