Monday, June 24, 2013

97 to 33?

OK, so the vote on the House floor this morning was to approve SB 5, a bill that will end, for all intents and purposes, a woman’s ability to receive abortion services in Texas was just that, 97 to 33.
This was a bill about all sorts of things that go into women’s health. As it currently stands, if agreed to in the State Senate later on today (or more likely, later on tomorrow morning), 37 clinics that provide such services as cancer screenings and contraception but also provide abortion services,  will be forced to close
In addition, a woman may not receive an abortion after 20 weeks gestation period, with no exceptions in the case of incest or rape.
The bill’s sponsor, Jodi Laubenberg, defended this latter provision because, among other things, emergency rooms have “rape kits” that” clean a woman out,” a patently ridiculous notion that revealed the woman’s catastrophic ignorance in these matters. Rape kits cannot be and are not used as substitutes for a D and C.
But here’s the thing. The bill’s purpose was never really demonstrated in the hearings, nor in the floor debate. This is because its purpose is obvious to all, as State Rep Jessica Farrar most astutely pointed out.

"The truth is that these bills aren't about women's health, and they aren't about the will of the people. They are about winning Republican primaries."

And that’s the sad truth.  At 97 to 33, taken proportionately, this means that Texans favor these measures by a 70% to 30% split. This is far from the truth. According to a poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rossner Research, Texans do not favor these measures, and oppose enacting any more restrictions on abortion services by  63%, and 71% believe that a special legislative sessions should be for the purposes of improving the economy and the jobs situation.
This vote is not about women’s health. It’s about the political health of the 97.
These 97 must live in eternal fear that they will be primaried by the TEA Party.
And that is what drives politics in Texas today. We will not be able to have our government back until the scourge of the TEA Party is forever erased from state and national politics.

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