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.
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 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.
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: