Abortion bill could benefit Perry’s sister? Huh?

One of my Facebook friends commented on my last blog post with a link to some “follow the money” research done by the Houston Chronicle about the abortion bill.

It seems that Rick Perry’s sister sits on the board of the Texas Ambulatory Surgical Center Society, and she is a lobbyist for a company in Addison that owns about 60 ambulatory surgical centers around the state.

The bill would effectively close down 37 abortion clinics around the state that could not afford to upgrade to become ambulatory surgical centers.

It says nothing about current ambulatory surgical centers profiting from performing abortions. It certainly does not prevent them from making that change.

So the bill is two-faced. There’s what it says it’s about, playing to the right-wing anti-choice crowd, and what it could really do, put performing abortions into new hands who will charge more money and be regulated less.

It’s estimated that 1 in 3 women will need an abortion in her lifetime. Demand won’t go away if the bill passes. Women will just go to other states or pay more at whichever ambulatory surgical centers offer it, and if they can’t afford those options, have illegal abortions or unwanted children. They won’t be safer.

The article also stated:

 It should be noted that the legislation now under consideration by the Texas Legislature is patterned after proposals that have been adopted in other states, so it did not originate with Gov. Perry’s office [cough *ALEC* cough]. Rich Parsons, a Perry spokesman said he could not say whether Perry has discussed the legislation with his sister, but said, “he strongly supports protecting women’s health by raising the standard of care they receive at abortion clinics.”

Which we now know is higher than what they’d receive at ambulatory surgical centers.

Another reason the bill stinks. Republicans: don’t vote for it!

Okay, so who REALLY wrote Texas SB5/HB2? Not a Texan.

Here’s why I say that:

  1. Screen Shot 2013-07-07 at 10.34.47 PMThe legislator reputed to be the bill’s author, Rep. Jodie “Rape Kits Clean Women Out” Laubenberg, R-Collin County, struggled when reading the bill aloud, stumbling over the words referring to parts of female anatomy (surprise surprise, she probably got her sex education in Republican-controlled Texas), according to a witness. When you write something, you have to read the words as you put them together. You don’t stumble on words you wrote.  Jodie, you have learned what “cleaning women out” after a rape is actually called, haven’t you?
  2.  A letter from my own state rep Paul Workman bore a red flag. It’s part of the spiel that those who support this bill have cited as justification, that holding abortion clinics to the standards of ambulatory surgical centers protects women’s health. The fact is that abortion clinics are safer. This bill has now been introduced three times, in the regular session and in two special sessions. Only last week was any testimony actually given by someone who works for the Texas Department of State Health Services. The DSHS Health Facility Licensing Manager said that Texas abortion clinics are inspected every year, while ambulatory surgical centers are inspected every three years. Abortion clinics are safer.
  3. Laubenberg is the Texas chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the right-wing policy group based in Washington, DC. ALEC produces right-wing legislation for states.

Texas Republicans, it’s a bad bill, and it’s not even Texan. Don’t pass it.

Dear Texas Republican Senators and Representatives,

Are you playing doctor again? You know, practicing medicine without a license is against the law. Anyone could make a citizen’s arrest if you pass legislation shutting down 37 abortion clinics and otherwise restricting women’s rights to abortion.

Why, my vagina doesn’t even know you (stolen from a fabulous sign I saw at yesterday’s protest), and yet you want to get in my business! Shame.

The majority of Texas voters oppose this legislation. 

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists opposes this legislation. 

You don’t realize that your actions are revitalizing the Texas Democratic party and helping Texas turn blue even sooner than it would have.

Because you are idiots. You are afraid to not vote in a block, that’s how scared you are. You have made a very personal, private decision into a partisan political issue.

Guess what? TEXAS WOMEN VOTE. And we’re pissed. And if we don’t stop this legislation from being passed, we’ll see you at the Supreme Court.

Sincerely,

A Texas Women Who Just Got Deputized to Register Voters Because of You

P.S. Oh yeah, and one more thing (taken from this web page) shows how well thought out and reasoned this bill “to protect women’s health and safety” really is:

According to a resource witness from the Department of State Health Services in charge of licensing compliance for both abortion clinics and ambulatory surgical centers, abortion clinics are inspected far more often than are ASCs, meaning if HB 2 passes, abortion facilities, going forward, would face less oversight.

Indeed, DSHS Health Facility Licensing Manager Ellen Cooper said she is aware of no current issues with licensing requirements, serious complications, or deaths related to abortion clinics and providers that would have prompted the push to pass HB 2, the sweeping omnibus abortion regulations bill that would severely limit access to legal abortion in Texas.

Cooper’s testimony marks the first time that a state expert witness has been asked to testify before any committee in connection with the abortion regs measure that is now in its third iteration since the beginning of the year.

 

Taiwanese video tells story of Wendy Davis filibuster.

Video

I am smitten by this video by Taiwanese animators, sharing their take on what happened in the Texas Capitol regarding SB5. Wendy is a superhero, the ghost of Ann Richards makes an appearance, and ordinary Republicans suddenly turn into doctors. Even Godzilla shows up.

I especially admire the insight that Texas is turning from a red state to a blue state, and that Republicans are dealing with this by “scaring the crap out of Texas women.”