Texas Republicans voted to approve a sweeping abortion measure that will shut down 37 of the state’s 42 abortion clinics.
Hundreds of protesters gathered at the Texas State Capitol yesterday to voice their opposition to Senate Bill 5. The bill aims to ban abortion after 20 weeks, force clinic doctors to hold admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and restrict abortions to surgical centers. The measures would make the procedure illegal and would deny thousands of women vital medical care.
President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Cecile Richards, said in a statement, “If this passes, abortion would be virtually banned in the state of Texas, and many women could be forced to resort to dangerous and unsafe measures.”
One of the amendments would call for an exemption to the ban in cases of rape and incest. State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg [R-Parker], didn’t feel the exemption was needed and said, “In the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out. 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.”
Cleaned out? It appears Laubenberg has no clue what she is talking about. A rape kit is “A set of items used by medical personnel for gathering and preserving physical evidence following an allegation of sexual assault which can be used in rape investigation.”
Laubenberg, who is also the bill’s sponsor and a member of the state’s public health committee, rejected the proposed changes to the measure. House Republicans then forced a vote. The measure passed 97-33.
We are currently seeing the dramatic and disastrous impact of what happens when people vote along ideological lines instead of in their own best interests. That this is happening in Texas, one of the reddest states in the union, is no surprise. However, it has been happening in states across the country where people voted on messages of job creation and then got an assault on women’s and workers’ rights. Historically, midterm elections see less turnout than presidential elections. People didn’t vote in 2010. They felt there was no point. They were upset that after eight long years of an administration that derailed our economy, Obama couldn’t magically fix it in two years. The result is Tea Party insanity and the successful plot to erode and remove a woman’s right to choose.
Voter apathy is why thousands and thousands of women all across America will no longer have the option to safe, legal abortions. It is also the reason why affordable health clinics that perform cancer screenings will be shut down.
2014. We have another chance to vote. Don’t waste it.
|Kimberley A. Johnson (BIO) – A.K.A. The Anti Coulter is the author of The Virgin Diaries and an activist for women’s rights. Like her on Facebook, Twitter or friend her on FB HERE.|