A 3 hour tour: What’s the matter with Texas?

I sometimes worry, “maybe I write too much about abortion on this blog.”
I quickly overcome this concern:

I wouldn’t have to write so much about abortion/reproductive rights if these basic human rights weren’t under such blatant and constant attack.

Last night, I opened up my facebook feed, expecting to catch up with friends, and instead, I see this story and that lead me to read this legislation. (Yes, I *do* follow the links in blog posts.)

There is an excellent book called What’s the Matter With Kansas? by Thomas Frank. (A must read, and do support indie bookstores,  such as the one linked!)

The title is certainly catchy . . .  and it came to mind when I read over the new proposal some legislators in Texas are supporting. The bill in question would require a woman seeking an abortion to undergo a three hour “adoption education course” before having an abortion.

texas-flagTexas has been in the news over abortion this summer. This is also the state that brought us  Roe v. Wade (listen here to the oral arguments. And yes, please, do take some time to listen not just to this case, but others. In Roe, listen to  Wade’s attorney make a sexist joke about Roe’s attorney and listen to the awkward, appropriate silence from the all-male court.)

So what’s the matter with Texas? Why is a government purportedly pro-small government and individual liberties forcing government into the lives of women of reproductive age, which (hopefully obvious to you, dear reader) affects men and children too.

Texas already has multiple restrictions on abortion.

The following restrictions on abortion were in effect as of May 1, 2013 in the state:

  • A woman must receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage her from having an abortion and then wait 24 hours before the procedure is provided.
  • The parent of a minor must consent and be notified before an abortion is provided.
  • Public funding is available for abortion only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.
  • A woman must undergo an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion; the provider must show and describe the image to the woman. If the woman lives within 100 miles of an abortion provider she must obtain the ultrasound at least 24 hours before the abortion.

(Via)

We can add to these overly burdensome restrictions that a woman cannot seek an abortion after 20 weeks in Texas. This 20 week ban is unconstitutional, but didn’t stop the small-government, liberty and freedom loving state legislature or Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. (See Idaho and Arizona.)

Abortion is expensive. It is increasingly and unnecessarily time-consuming. For a simple procedure, many women (not just in Texas) must take days off from work to get this basic procedure. That’s money not paying their rent, feeding the children they already have, etc. That’s money they may not have.

That’s time off they may not have.

Time is money.  Texas, and many other states, are wasting our money.

So already, as I write this,the state of Texas is unnecessarily burdening women.

The proposal on the table about a three-hour “adoption course” is now that pro-small government folks in Texas think,

Hey, it’s great if you want to continue your pregnancy. Don’t look to us for support. Liberty! Freedom! Personal responsibility!

But we don’t fully trust you if you decide abortion is the best option for you. SO we’re going to make you sit through a three-hour adoption “course”, you know, because you little ladies maybe didn’t think about that.

Whatever happened to trusting women? If we expect a woman to raise a child, then why can’t we trust her to make her own damn life decisions and know what’s best for her?

Choosing to have an abortion is being “personally responsible”.

I have experience with abortion. I gave women neutral (no politics were discussed) counseling post-abortion–as a volunteer–for over 5 years.

I didn’t meet a single woman whose life scheme included “having an abortion.”
I didn’t meet a single woman who “wanted” an abortion, at least not in the way I “want” someone to help me buy a car, or the way my children “want” to play outside.
The word I would use to best describe the decision is that the woman “needed” an abortion.

And folks, your pro-life stickers, plates, signs–they’re not changing anyone’s mind.

If anything, you’re most likely hurting or angering a person who has had an abortion or knows someone who has had an abortion and is open about it. (Given that about 35% of American women have at least one abortion by age 45, you probably do know someone who has had one.)

From the bill, it seems that the adoption course material hasn’t been designed that.

I’ll be happy to help you out with that Texas.

It seems fitting to end this with a good sea ditty sitcom opening theme:

Getting your story straight: Mitt Romney edition

Mitt Romney is in the news again. Contain yourselves.

I encourage you to read the entirety of this fascinating article.

There are two things that stand out to me upon initial reading.

  1. First, this:
    “At that Christmas gathering, the family took a vote on whether Romney should run. . . Even some of Romney’s closest political advisers might have been surprised. When the family members took a vote, 10 of the 12 said no. Mitt Romney was one of the 10 who opposed another campaign. The only “yes” votes were from Ann Romney and Tagg Romney.”What was going on in Mr. Romney’s mind here? He opposed his own campaign before it started?This, to me, is not so much a criticism but a curiosity of our human nature.Perhaps I’m being too charitable. So be it.It’s truly a mind-boggling vote.
  2. “When Romney had mentioned his “lousy September,” it was an evident reference to what may have been the low point of his campaign: the “47 percent” video. He was in California and said at first he couldn’t get a look at the video. His advisers were pushing him to respond as quickly as he could. “As I understood it, and as they described it to me, not having heard it, it was saying, ‘Look, the Democrats have 47 percent, we’ve got 45 percent, my job is to get the people in the middle, and I’ve got to get the people in the middle,’ ” he said. “And I thought, ‘Well, that’s a reasonable thing.’ . . . It’s not a topic I talk about in public, but there’s nothing wrong with it. They’ve got a bloc of voters, we’ve got a bloc of voters, I’ve got to get the ones in the middle. And I thought that that would be how it would be perceived — as a candidate talking about the process of focusing on the people in the middle who can either vote Republican or Democrat.As it turned out, down the road, it became perceived as being something very different.”You mean that you were insensitive to a whole group of people? I asked. “Right,” he responded. “And I think the president said he’s writing off 47 percent of Americans and so forth. And that wasn’t at all what was intended. That wasn’t what was meant by it. That is the way it was perceived.” I interjected, “But when you said there are 47 percent who won’t take personal responsibility — ” Before I finished, he jumped in. “Actually, I didn’t say that. . . .That’s how it began to be perceived, and so I had to ultimately respond to the perception, because perception is reality.””
    Emphasis mine. I truly have no response. This is the most mind-boggling comment from Romney since, oh, the hilarious and inane “Binders Full of Women” gaffe.This insistence of his also seems to be an out-right lie.We’ve all seen the notorious 47% video.  It lives forever.

 There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right—there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. …And so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

And as charitable as I try to be, these opposing quotes by Romney indicate that he will not take “personal responsibility” for his own words or actions.

Excuse me, I need to get back to work so I can be “personally responsible” for not being able to afford health insurance STILL, but making sure my family is fed, housed, and maybe I’ll make phone calls to friends on my Obamaphone so I don’t bang my head on the desk thinking about how out of touch this man–and so many others in POWER–are.