So, HB2 passed in the Texas Senate last Friday. I did not watch the live stream or go to the Capitol. I didn’t see the point to be honest. At that point, it was over. I spent that evening feeling depressed and wondering what the realities of this bill mean for Texas women.
I think that House Bill 2 is purely a profit driven bill. It has nothing to do with life. It’s all about money, greed, and ugly power over women in desperate situations.
So, let’s take a look at this and really see what will be the outcome.
Abortions are going to become more expensive. That’s it.
I could be totally wrong, but I think it’s almost guaranteed that they will. And here’s why. The new guidelines are going to cost the clinics more. Not only are the clinics required to upgrade to become ambulatory surgical centers, which will cost millions, but they also must give any woman having an abortion at the clinic access to a physician 24 hours a day. That means more on-call staffing at every clinic.
If the clinics don’t upgrade to become ambulatory surgical centers, what happens then? There are 422 current ambulatory surgical centers in Texas. Will they begin performing abortions? My guess is that at least some of them will. And they will cost a pretty penny.
Take a look at it. And something will suddenly jump out at you. They are for profit centers. I didn’t examine all 422 centers, but it jumps right out at you as you scan the file. Those two ugly words up against Planned Parenthood and any other free/low cost health clinics that are non-profits.
This isn’t about life. This is about money. And it’s a disgusting way to get it, by closing access to health care for poor women and putting a price on an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. It’s quite despicable.
Honestly, it’s even worse than fighting over ideology. At least that, I can stomach. I can understand that many people abhor the taking of a life. But in this case, Texas legislators aren’t interested in saving lives, they just want to be paid for the ones they help get rid of.
My thoughts on abortion/reproductive health and rights are pretty liberal. I’m all in favor of legalized abortion and have zero moral qualms with the act, but I was not always this way.
Growing up in the Church of Christ, in west Texas, with a preacher grandfather, I was influenced heavily by the conservative side and until I was an adult and began to contemplate having my own opinions and was able to examine facts, rather than Biblical beliefs, I was essentially told what to believe by the church.
Until I was confronted with my own sexual nature and began giving it some genuine thought, I was completely in the mind that abortion was a sin and murdering babies was wrong. Then I began weighing the aspects of abortion with potential slip ups, combined with not 100 percent effective birth control methods and human nature’s chemical desire to practice procreating without any intention of giving birth.
For all my caterwauling on Facebook and Twitter, I still wonder privately about the few friends I have who consider themselves pro-life a term I use hesitatingly, but for this occasion, I will. I use the term because I do believe that there are some people out there who genuinely believe that life begins at conception and that they are mortified and ill at the thought of abortion. I believe that these people are few and far between. I do not believe the politicians or the celebrity-status religious mouth vomiters. I think these people are playing on the naive and devoutly religious. For all the ways I disagree with these people, I still understand that this is what they truly believe. And they are the only ones on the opposing side that I have any sympathy for in this debate.
So, even though I have my doubts as to the existence or truth about the man Jesus in the bible, who I think was likely a myth or perhaps a really great guy who was blown out of proportion, I wonder, what would Jesus say about this debate?
From what I know of Jesus, which is plenty, although admittedly rusty memories from my childhood, he was a pretty loving sort of guy. He hung out with prostitutes. He preached love and acceptance. He healed the sick. He hated the greedy. And he he was beloved by all who met him. Hell, he even had followers. Oh, and wasn’t he the guy who said we shouldn’t judge people?
So, here’s what I think Jesus would say about the current debate over abortion.
I think he would likely not be a big fan of abortion. In fact, he might even say it was wrong. I’m not sure about that. But here’s what I am sure of. I am 100 percent positive that he would not be at all happy about people using his name and image to revile women who abort their unborn children.
I believe that he would say we should love them and he would ask what is it about our society that makes these women feel the need to abort children? He might ask what we could do to help women not feel the need to have abortions. I think he would ask why on earth the republicans think it’s a good idea to close down clinics that provide reproductive healthcare to women. He might even ask why we weren’t educating young people, men and women, about sex and birth control choices. I’m not sure what his stance would be on the pill or condoms. I think that’s a pretty gray area even amongst the varying Christian denominations.
But I do know for sure that Jesus would be loving and wholeheartedly accepting of the women who choose abortions. I imagine that if he visited an abortion clinic he would tell the picketers to put down their signs and look at the women with eyes of love instead of screaming “murderer” at them. I think he would ask how we could offer better choices.
Well, I’m no son of God, but I do think that I get a pretty good feeling as to how he would feel about this issue and I’m pretty sure he would dislike Rick Perry intensely, although, he would also say we should pray for him as well, since he is clearly on the path to hell.
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.
Last night as I sat anticipating the downfall of women’s reproductive rights in a nail biting tension filled filibuster with Senator Wendy Davis (D-Tx) the tables were turned when at approximately 11:45 p.m. Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-Tx), who was stalling, and about to be hand-to-the-faced, said, “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?” At that point, the clapping started and didn’t stop until after midnight. The noise grew, shouts were heard. The voice of the people stopped the vote! At one point a woman screamed out a few times, (paraphrasing), “LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE!”
The men (and a few women) on the other side of the political table had the power, but they were stopped by the screaming and chanting of what I’m sure was overwhelmingly majority of women’s voices. Clapping and cheering, called an “unruly mob” by the media, the people won!
The crowd stopped the vote! I didn’t know it for sure until I awoke this morning and went directly to my Facebook feed and a friend had posted it in my comments from a post last night. The day was not as dark as I thought it would be when I first awoke! In fact, it only got brighter!
As I sat in my darkened living room last night watching and listening to the crowd chant and clap, hope filled my chest and I began clapping, softly, with the crowd. Just my own small feeling of joining in with the crowd, not able to be there as a single mom with a small child.
You see, I am just one of the people who needs this bill to die for good. While there are many, in many different walks of life, I represent the characteristics of the women in our state and country who need to be supported. A woman of (barely) childbearing years. A mother. A single mother. A mother to a child. A mother to a girl child. Someone who has no real voice in government. Because as it stands, our current state government overwhelming favors men and people who support an outdated and ridiculous religious construct that favors judgment and power over human life. People who are “pro family” but be damned if your family doesn’t have a boy and girl at the head of the table serenely holding hands and forcing all their children into bowed-head submission.
For all their grandstanding and values, they are anti-life. They do not represent the majority of Americans.
Yep I said it. Those fuckers don’t believe in life. I will no longer call them pro-lifers. Only call them anti-choice and anti-life. They are anti-life because they don’t support human life. They support power and control. They support judgment. They believe in squelching the innocent who make mistakes. They believe in dangling lies in order to achieve a chauvinistic agenda.
And it’s time they are stopped.
Because the truth is, this is a crime against ALL women. I grew up in small town Texas. And when I was in my very early child bearing years, there was very little in the way of reproductive support. There was no where in my hometown to get an abortion. You had to drive four hours to the nearest clinic. These are the kinds of things sexually active females know about when they are young. We all knew where to get pills and how to get an abortion if needed. But the only way we knew was through each other. It was whispered in secretive girl meetings and never in front of parents or mentors. There was also a sense of shame and fear surrounding the act in a conservative town. Women were shamed for having sex. There was a lot of slut shaming amongst peer groups, even by the women who were sexually active. The joke on my campus when I was a student at Abilene Christian University was that there was a stream of Christian girls headed to Fort Worth every weekend. Yup, you guessed it, the closest abortion clinic in my hometown with a church on every corner and home to three Christian universities.
Abortions are not restricted to one-size fits all kind of women. Abortion and reproductive rights are important in every walk of life.
Abortion is a common experience: At current rates, about one in three American women will have had an abortion by the time she reaches age 45. Moreover, a broad cross section of U.S. women have abortions. 58% of women having abortions are in their 20s; 61% have one or more children; 85% are unmarried; 69% are economically disadvantaged; and 73% report a religious affiliation. No racial or ethnic group makes up a majority: 36% of women obtaining abortions are white non-Hispanic, 30% are black non-Hispanic, 25% are Hispanic and 9% are of other racial backgrounds.
Since the oppressive regime of GW Bush our country has been in a tailspin. It’s out of control. Too much conservative and religious meddling in our country’s laws.
But I see a light. I see many people around me caring enough to stop the power. For the first time in decades, Texas is moving back toward blue and we need to keep it going.
Let’s all get involved. This is just one of many fights to come. Last night we won a small victory in a huge war. It isn’t over. Not by a long shot. They will regroup and come back stronger. We need to come back stronger too.
Years ago, when Bush took power and began ravaging the rest of the world, I knew with all my heart that this day would come. Our government had gone too far. It has gone too far. The power hungry mongrels are ready to be put down. And it’s only going to happen with the people’s support and letting our voices be heard, just like they did last night. Let’s keep screaming and chanting y’all.
Just because someone says something stupid doesn’t mean we need to give it any attention.
I have a bit of an obsession with all the controversy over abortion and birth control lately. From recent statements made by Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin I fear that the controversy is becoming twisted.
So why are we letting these men run the conversation? They are twisting it and turning it away from the conversation about choice. Who gets to choose? Are women going to let men tell us what to think about? What to talk about? Whether or not to have a baby? And when/if we can have an abortion?
Rape and abortion are two different conversations. Rape doesn’t always end in pregnancy. Abortion doesn’t always stem from unwanted and/or violent sexual activity. Why are we twisting up our reproductive rights with abuse?
If we aren’t careful, the choice will be turned into a question about scenarios in which women should be allowed to have an abortion. Instead of the real question of choice.
Reproductive rights and choice in the matter of reproductive rights are getting bogged down in a male chauvinism.
For the record, I’m as liberal as they come and I will vote for Obama in this upcoming election. But I am very concerned that a few comments made by Republicans are being taken and twisted by their opposition in order to get the left riled up against the other party. It’s about to backfire on us and we need to step very carefully.
Rape is rape. And yes, women who get raped sometimes need to get abortions. But let’s not get the two conversations confused.
Rape is a violent atrocity that typically happens to women and children. Many women suffer long-term consequences such as pregnancy, STDs and emotional trauma due to the rapes.
Abortion, birth control, and a woman’s right to choose, however, is under attack in this country. Too many laws are being passed right under our noses taking away our reproductive rights when it comes to abortion and birth control.
When a woman is raped, she needs to be able to have that choice. Her choice was taken away when sex was forced upon her. She must have a choice somewhere in the process.
That should be a given.
That should not even be a question.
It shouldn’t be part of the debate. Time is marching backwards. How can this even be? We fought so hard to instill and enforce laws that gave women choice in the matter of childbirth.
It’s being taken away from us. The choice and option of having birth control was also a hard-fought battle.
Please, let’s not get the two confused. All woman should have choice in being pregnant. Sometimes that choice comes after the fact. Even if a woman is not raped, she gets to choose. That’s what the current law states. We need to start working toward keeping it that way. If we aren’t careful, that’s going to go away. It’s happening already in many states. South Dakota, North Dakota and Mississippi are down to one clinic. They are making it even harder by requiring waiting periods. Many states are now requiring that women be told of all possible “risks” of abortion, of which many are not backed by most scientific communities.
And the biggest fear here, is, if Mitt Romney is elected, we stand a good chance that Roe v. Wade will be overturned, which would allow states to ban abortion. I’m pretty certain that Texas would be one of the first ones running toward that legislation.
Let’s not get bogged down in the what ifs of rape or terminal illness, choosing over the fetus or the mother.
The argument is moving in the wrong direction. The conversation is becoming all glommed up by the technicalities.
Let’s start by saying all women deserve choice. Sometimes that choice starts after a pregnancy begins. And sometimes, it must end. We choose. Women must have choice.
Well, what he said is a big deal, but only because it is such a clear symptom of the female bashing that’s been going on recently in the U.S.
Rush Limbaugh is really just the sideshow freak to take the eyes off of the real problem, which is not just about who’s going to pay for the contraception needed when women have sex with men.
The battles in the war against women have been popping up all over the place.
First of all, we have the Catholic church, which says that they shouldn’t be required to pay for insurance that covers contraception. It’s discriminatory, not to mention socially irresponsible.
Nobody’s forcing Catholic women to use birth control if their religious beliefs are in opposition. But as a business who profits from non-Catholics, hires them, educates them, etc., the business has a social responsibility to provide the contraception option.
No matter what lobbyists say, businesses are not people. They cannot have moral or religious beliefs. However, businesses should have social responsibility. They are not legally allowed to discriminate in hiring practices. Clearly their schools allow non-Catholics to become educated in their institutions. It only makes sense that they should provide options for the non-Catholics.
As a whole, it is in society’s best interest to have options available to prevent unwanted pregnancy so that our nation isn’t burdened with unwanted children, which at best lead to added stress for parents and at worst lead to more abortions, and/or child abuse and neglect.
By trying to force their religious beliefs onto their insurance policy, it forces their religious and moral code onto those using it. And that is not freedom of religion. It is religious oppression, which is why this country has freedom of religion written into the Constitution.
Secondly, we have Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a slut because she dared to
protest Georgetown University’s decision not to cover birth control under its university insurance policy. Really, I’m tired of hearing about him. He’s got a fat trap, but he’s not really the worst of our problems. And why isn’t the media focusing on what Sandra Fluke wants to say instead of one stupid thing that Rush Limbaugh said?
I’m sure that he says stupid things all the time. What Sandra Fluke has to say is wayyy more important.
But really, that’s nothing compared to the horrific chauvinistic bills that are literally affecting women’s actual reproductive rights, and their pocketbooks, as we speak.
Bills being introduced and passed across the country limit access to abortion through psychological, and some even say physical, rape.
These bills force women who wish to have an abortion to undergo ultrasounds, some with transvaginal probes, which many call “state sponsored rape.” They requires women to sign affidavits noting they are aware of their other options.
Because, you know, we clearly don’t know how to research these issues on our own.
These bills also typically include waiting periods and other objectionable items.
They are repulsive and demeaning to women, as if women haven’t already given this procedure plenty of thought before getting to the doctor’s office.
I don’t think it’s a big coincidence that the majority of these bills are sponsored by males.
Last year Kansas enacted a law that removed abortion from health coverage, so women in Kansas must now purchase special abortion insurance if they want it to be covered. Rep. Lance Kinzer (R) is the sponsor of the bill.
Her bill requires that men who wish to obtain a prescription for viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs would undergo similar waiting periods, a stress test, and psychological evaluation.
State Senator Nina Turner, a Cleveland Democrat, has introduced a bill to require that physicians take specific actions before prescribing such drugs (viagra), including giving a cardiac stress test and making a referral to a sex therapist for confirmation that “the patient’s symptoms are not solely attributable to one or more psychological conditions.”
“We want to make sure that men, vulnerable, fragile men, who are not capable of making decisions for themselves, understand all of the side effects and the implications of these types of drugs,” Turner said in a telephone interview.
Yes, I have already started calling her Madame President, in my mind. As I read about this bill, a fantasy formed. When she reaches the White House, I will be invited to visit. We will discuss politics and race-related issues, intermingling with laughter at our children’s poop and fart jokes while we teach them about organic gardening.
Then in the evening after the children are in bed, we will retire to the West Wing where we will drink imported beer and have Rush Limbaugh dance for us in a dress. After all, he’s just an entertainer. He should be willing to do it for some viagra.
Oh and don’t worry, we’ll post it online for everyone to see.