Texas, you are rivaling South Dakota in anti-abortion suckitude: the state’s House of Representatives approved anti-abortion legislation that many would call downright cruel. A woman who is a victim of rape or incest, or one whose much-desired fetus has dangerous fetal abnormalities, would be required to get an ultrasound and listen to a description of the fetus and then wait 24 hours before an abortion. But don’t worry, ladies. These kind politicians agreed that you can look away or put on headphones during this rigamarole so you don’t have to hear a fetal heartbeat. A doctor who doesn’t perform a sonogram before giving a woman an abortion could lose his or her license.
Disgusting.The TX House’s version of the anti-abortion legislation is even more extreme than the version that passed in the TX Senate. The Senate bill would have made an exception on the ultrasound for victims of rape or incest, or if the fetus had abnormalities, and it would have cut down the waiting period between the ultrasound and the abortion to only two hours. A doctor also wouldn’t lose his or her license for not administering a sonogram.
Texas Governor Rick Perry is a staunch opponent of legal abortion and he supports his state’s new legislation because he thinks it will help women make “fully informed” decisions. Why is it that anti-abortion extremists always think that abortion is some la-di-da choice that women undergo with little consideration? Anti-abortion supporters say waiting periods are necessary so women supposedly think about ending a pregnancy. But abortion rights advocates recognize that claim is B.S.: waiting periods intentionally try to make obtaining an abortion harder for women. Instead of taking one day off of work/school (or finding a babysitter, etc.) for a procedure, the woman instead has to take more days. And because 88 percent of counties in America do not have a clinic that provides abortions, according to ProChoice.org, terminating a pregnancy often means a woman has to travel. Since some impoverished women might be getting an abortion because they can’t afford to care for a child, the need for travel and lodging presents an unfair and unnecessary burden.
The bill that passed the TX House is so different from the bill that passed the TX Senate, that it will have to go back through the committee process to hammer out the final version that Gov. Perry will sign. We can hope the bill will end up slightly more compassionate — as opposed to not compassionate at all — but considering these are hardcore anti-abortion foes we’re dealing with, it may be useless.