Every Anti-Abortion Bill in the Texas Legislature This Session Has Failed

Vagina demagogues.jpg
Man. We remember a time, long ago last legislative session, when all your state lawmakers wanted to do was talk about abortion and how much they hated it. They were super-duper against it, as they could not seem to stop talking about, so much so that they cheerily decimated the Texas Women's Health Program, which didn't provide abortions, pushing out the program's largest provider, Planned Parenthood, and forcing a bunch of poor ladies to either find a new doctor or just do without health care. Meanwhile, Texas lawmakers also passed that forced sonogram bill, to make sure that every woman having an abortion would get to feel just as violated as possible.

It was a magical time for Texas Republicans. But it seems to have slipped away. This legislative session, not a single anti-abortion bill has actually made it to the House or Senate floor.

With time quickly running out in the session -- the deadline for getting bills passed was yesterday -- not a single new anti-abortion law is going to make it to the governor's desk.

What the hell happened, Republicans?

See also:
- After Family Planning Cuts, More Than 17,000 Dallas County Women Lost Access to Care
- Feds Bypass State, Give $13 Million for Family Planning Directly to Women's Health Coalition

The session was gearing up to be just as unpleasant as the last one. Representative Jodie Laubenberg filed that fetal pain bill, which relied on some really creative science to ban abortions after 20 weeks. A Senate Committee approved a bill to make every clinic that provides abortions meet the standards of an "ambulatory surgical center," a not-so-quiet backdoor way to shut down all but about six clinics in the state.

Another bill would've required all doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic, something that's basically impossible in many rural communities. There was also that bill to ban abortion based on gender, something that's never actually been an issue in Texas or anywhere else in the United States.

Then, after lots of sound and fury and shouting from Rick Perry's Hair about the sanctity of life, nothing happened. Not a single bill made it far enough to even be debated, as this breakdown from The Dallas Morning News shows. Every bill was either left pending in committee, or voted out of the committee and then just sort of quietly left dangling.

In the meantime, the Legislature quietly decided to restore all that money they'd cut from family planning. And the feds took away that enormous family planning grant from the state and gave it directly to a women's health coalition that would actually use it.

Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst is vocally unhappy, sending out an email blast on Tuesday urging people to call their legislators and get the anti-abortion bills moving. When that and some of his other pet projects still failed to pass, he had to resort to sending out sulky, hashtag-heavy tweets:

Texas Democrats, meanwhile, are savoring this rare taste of victory. And Texas women, maybe, can breathe a smallish sigh of relief. For now.



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11 comments
holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Education Department’s misnamed Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Responding to what it considers the University of Montana’s defective handling of complaints about sexual assaults, OCR, in conjunction with the Justice Department, sent the university a letter intended as a “blueprint” for institutions nationwide when handling sexual harassment, too. The letter, sent on May 9, encourages (see below) adoption of speech codes — actually, censorship regimes. 

Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, says a single hypersensitive person could declare herself sexually harassed because she considers “unwelcome” a classroom lecture on the novel “Lolita” or a campus performance of “The Vagina Monologues.” Do not even attempt a sex education class.

Wendy Kaminer, a civil liberties lawyer who writes for the Atlantic, traces the pedigree of the OCR-DOJ thinking to the attempt by some feminists in the 1980s to define pornography as a form of sexual assault and hence a civil rights violation. Volokh, too, believes that the government is blurring the distinction between physical assaults and “sexually themed” speech in order to justify censoring and punishing the latter.

The OCR-DOJ “blueprint” requires, Kaminer says, colleges and universities to hear harassment complaints under quasi-judicial procedures “that favor complainants.” Under 2011 rules that establish a low standard of proof, Kaminer says, “students accused of harassment are to be convicted in the absence of clear and convincing evidence of guilt, if guilt merely seems more likely than not.” And schools are enjoined to “take immediate steps to protect the complainant from further harassment,” including “taking disciplinary action against the harasser” prior to adjudication. So the OCR-DOJ “blueprint” and related rules not only violate the First Amendment guarantee of free speech but are, to be polite, casual about due process. - George Will.

snip!

Might want to rethink your tag line.

Your pieces and your “The Vagina Monologues” may be deemed offensive by the DOJ, inviting wiretaps and raids on your employer.

It's called intimidation.

sophee
sophee

They vote to restrict abortions and the next day they vote to stop aid to those same babies they insist be born.

dlstxmale
dlstxmale

yea!  keep snipping those spines and twisting those heads off...!  over 1,000,000 abortions per year in the US is just not enough...!

rbtxcat75
rbtxcat75

Big win for you Anna.  You are such a good protector of women that you are excited to defeat a bill that would require abortion facilities to provide the same equipment and guidelines (level of service) that any other outpatient facility in TX would require.  Shouldn't it really worry you that 38 of 44 clinics operating in the state don't even meet basic requirements?  It's like protecting somebody by throwing them in a river and saying "good luck."

jblanken11
jblanken11

What could be more "war on women" than exercising the death penalty on unborn ones for the crime of being inconvenient? Plaeeeeeese with the stilted outdated and now minority opinion rhetoric.

Andrew Davis
Andrew Davis

What exactly are you trying to say ? That I am not educated . I voiced my opinion , what do you see by what I said makes me uneducated ? Or is it just you disagree but lack the intelligence to engage me with something of substance so you resort to insults?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

5/5 Vaginas and so ends this legislative session of the Vagina Monologues, although Im sure there are many other Vagina stories to write about.  David Dumass amuses me with his hash tag usage 

Andrew Davis
Andrew Davis

I'm glad to see our government here in Texas has taken care of our health care problem , pollution , the border, marriage equality ,and the budgets that they have the time to pass stupid laws like how to greet some 1 in winter, and this . Trying to take away another freedom .. Job well done Texas. Actually no Texas has 1 of the worst group of politicians every day saying the dumbest things like they have no education or just lack the mental capacity to realize they are wrong !

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin  

And so continues Sexual Anarchy Agenda -- Week Three -- The Imbroglio Continues


oh and thank goodness we let them meet for only 140 days in odd numbered years ...

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