The Texas anti-abortion bills are a good reason why progressives need to get out the vote in 2014
Well, Texas is at it again. After Governor Prick Perry, I mean Rick Perry signed the omnibus anti-abortion bill that Wendy Davis fought so hard to kill, it appears that they are pressing for much more. The new abortion measures have dealt a blow to clinics, and have made abortions after 20 weeks illegal. Now Texas Lawmakers are filing a bill known as “The Fetal Heartbeat” bill which would ban abortions after 6 weeks. Some women don’t even know they’re pregnant at that point. The War on Women’s Rights intensifies. When will the madness end.
The anti-abortion law already passed and signed by Rick Perry has imposed new standards for abortion clinics that most current clinics cannot meet. Planned Parenthood is already shutting down clinics in Texas, and other clinics are following. An article from Think Progress gives a better sense of the impact this law will have on the ability to get legal abortions in Texas.
In celebration of their anti-choice victory, the right-wing in the Texas legislature are now bringing up a new bill that would force women to undergo invasive ultrasound procedures to show a fetal “heartbeat” which generally occurs after 6 weeks of pregnancy. Fittingly the bill (HB-59) has been dubbed “The Fetal Heartbeat Bill.”
The bill was brought up by Republican legislator Phil King and two of his colleagues. The bill is far more radical in nature than the bill that has already passed which changes standards by which abortion clinics can operate. This new bill is one that has even split the anti-choice crowd, due to the inherently invasive nature of its content.
A fetal “heartbeat” bill was also brought up and passed in North Dakota, though it is receiving extensive challenges in the courts for overstepping the bounds of Roe v. Wade. The bill introduced in Texas has yet to pass and be signed into law, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be.
One of the main reasons they claimed they passed bill SB-5 was because they wanted to protect woman from “back -alley abortions” like the case of Doctor Kermit Gosnell. What many conservatives seem to forget (or don’t care to admit) is the fact that stripping women of safe and legal access to abortions will only push them into the arms of men like Gosnell, not keep them away.
The next session coming up in the Texas legislature is expected to be flooded with anti-abortion bills, the fetal “heartbeat” bill being among them. This is a trend that has been spreading like a virus for the past three years, since the Republicans won massive victories in both federal, state and local elections in 2010.
It is crucial to understand that the the right-wing in America has no intention of negotiating or compromising with progressives on this (and other) issues. What Progressives need to realize about this right-wing onslaught is that playing patty-cake and pretending that we can be reasonable with those who are anti-choice is not an option. The time is now for progressives to stop being on the defense and start going on the offense.
2014 is an election year. Liberals have to wake up to the reality that the only way to stop the right-wing onslaught is to vote them all out of office. Texas is just a small example of the right-wing on the attack, and once they’re done trashing women’s rights there, they will move on to the next target.
Progressives have to mobilize and get out the vote next year in order to end bills such as the ones coming out of Texas from becoming law across the land. If we are serious about this, then next year we have to put our votes where our mouths are.