Today our anti-women majority in the Texas legislature are going for a final vote tomorrow on making mandatory a vaginal ultrasound 24 hours before an abortion procedure. Women must listen to an overview of embryo development, but can opt out of hearing the heart beat. The Democrats are fighting this bill in both House and Senate, but we are not in the majority.
In all likelihood, the bill will pass and Perry will certainly sign it into law. Blocking access to abortion is apparently an emergency in Texas, while efforts to stave off huge budget cuts for education, care for the mentally ill, the aged and sick...well, those apparently are not emergency situations.
Republicans in this legislature want to override the law of the land by making it so difficult, time consuming and heart breaking for women that they give up and give birth to unwanted babies for whom they cannot provide. And I doubt that Republicans will give these babies much help after the mother has given birth. They'll certainly not spending funds to educate Texans or care for the impoverished among us.
Take a look at State Senator Dan Patrick from Houston who is carrying the bill in the Texas Senate. Who wants this man making decisions for women? I don't. I tangled with this man when I was president of the Greater East End District and he is deliberately provocative and antagonistic. You just hope that men like this - and there are so many - will be wrapped and entangled in their own misogynist karma and be carried far away.
I've never believed that this abortion fight was really about killing living babies growing in wombs. It's really about taking choices away from women. Have sex and if you get pregnant, pay the consequences. I already hear sputterings about contraception. That is next on the horizon. We are living in a backlash of epic patriarchal proportions. We thought we fought and won the battle and we did. But, boy were some folks mad about women's ability to make choices legally.
Read this from the Texas Tribune:
- A physician or trained assistant must perform a sonogram at least 24 hours before a woman can have an abortion. Women in rural counties, or who live more than 100 miles from a licensed abortion provider, are exempted from the 24-hour waiting period, and are only required to wait two hours before they can have an abortion.
- At the initial sonogram visit, a physician or trained assistant must give a simple description of the physical development of the embryo or fetus, including the presence of fingers, toes or internal organs. They must also show the woman images from the sonogram and play her audio of the heartbeat.
- Women can refuse to listen to the heartbeat or view the images by signing a waiver saying, “I understand that I have the option” to see the images and hear the heartbeat. But unless the woman is a victim of sexual assault, a minor, or the fetus has a physical abnormality, she cannot refuse to listen to the description of the fetus’s development.
- Medical emergencies are the only exception to the law.