Texas is heatin’ up, and it isn’t just the weather: for the past few weeks, pro-choice and anti-abortion activists have battled it out outside the statehouse in Austin over the bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The bill would require all abortions to be performed at ambulatory surgical centers, even for non-surgical abortions (i.e. those using the RU-486 abortion pill), and force all doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. If the bill is signed into law, only a few of the state’s 42 abortion clinics in Texas would remain open.
On June 25, State Senator Wendy Davis successfully blocked the bill with an 11-hour filibuster. But Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is anti-abortion, called a special session of the legislature and it is up for debate again. All week, both sides have been singing and chanting and arguing their point of views. You can watch a live feed of today’s debate here. Keep reading »
After attending the “Stand With Texas Women” rally in Austin on Monday, I think I have to reconsider my aversion to calling myself a Texas woman. The pro-choice rally, which brought together over 5,000 women, men and children to speak out against the SB5 anti-abortion bill which would shut most abortion clinics in the state, was the first I have ever attended. It will definitely not be the last. Keep reading »
This morning, North Carolina’s state senate advanced a bill to further restrict abortion rights in the state. The bill the Senate voted on was supposed to be about prohibiting Islamic sharia law in the state, but ended up having unrelated anti-abortion legislation tacked onto it on Tuesday. The bill would require that abortion providers be present for all abortions, regardless of whether the pregnancy termination is surgicial (a surgery) or medical (pill form). Additionally, the bill would require clinics that provide abortions to have the same engineering standards as ambulatory surgical centers, which would require additional, expensive updates. Anti-abortion activists have been pushing for such bills around the country because they know clinics will be out of commission while seeking to meet the new requirements.
The Senators approved House Bill 695 by 29 to 12, prompting abortion rights supporters to shout “shame, shame, shame!”; the bill now heads back to the state House of Representatives for the changes to be approved. It is not known whether NC Governor Pat McCrory will veto the bill. [WRAL]
Today, the Texas state legislature will vote on Senate Bill 5 in a special session called by Texas Governor Rick Perry, following last week’s successful filibuster of the bill, which would close the vast majority of abortion clinics in the state. Naturally, pro-choice activists came out droves, determined to show Perry and his cronies that they won’t take this assault on reproductive rights lying down. Check out what the scene was like in photos and videos posted to Twitter, Instagram and Vine. Keep reading »
Last night, Ohio’s Governor John Kasich signed a host of restrictions on abortion into law, which went into effect today. Like other Republicans before him, Governor Kasich placed these legal restrictions on women’s reproductive rights flanked by a bunch of old, white men. Keep reading »
What would Tami Taylor do? Stand with Texas women, of course. The “Friday Night Lights” and “Nashville” star has joined Planned Parenthood in promoting a limited edition T-shirt referencing her FNL character supporting the pro-choice women of Texas. In a Planned Parenthood’s press release about the shirts, Britton says:
“The character Tami on ‘Friday Night Lights’ is a Texas woman deeply committed to her community and to standing up for what is right for her neighbors and the people she loves. I have been inspired by how people around the country have united to stand with the women of Texas, and I can’t help but think that, in this moment, we all have the opportunity to join with and become strong, powerful Texas men and women.”
The limited edition T-shirts, which come in orange and white, are available online only through the month of July so you’d better snag yours here now. So, when a movie is made about Texas’ feminist army and their work fighting Senate Bill 5 — which would all but obliterate Texas’ women’s access to abortion — Britton is a shoe-in to play state Senator Wendy Davis right? [Cafe Press]
Everyone’s still buzzing over Texas State Senator Wendy Davis‘ epic filibuster in defense of a woman’s right to choose. For good reason, too. I hope it proves to be something that people remember—and talk about, and teach their kids about—for decades to come.
That enthusiasm has found a surprising outlet on the Amazon.com page for the bright red running shoes Davis wore while (literally) standing up for women’s rights for a grueling 11 hours. Actually, no, it’s not particularly surprising that people would leave reviews praising Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 16 Running Shoes for their ability to “outrun [the] patriarchy.” This is the Internet, after all. But it’s still fun. Read more on The Mary Sue…
“In fact, even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances. She was the daughter of as single woman, she was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas senate. It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.”
– That’s Texas Governor Rick Perry, speaking at the National Right to Life Convention about state Senator Wendy Davis, who successfully filibustered Senate Bill 5 earlier this week, which would have greatly limited Texas women’s access to abortion. I guess it’s not enough to respond to a fair and square defeat by calling a bullshit special session to vote on the bill on July 1. The crux of his ridiculous argument is that Senator Davis should be pro-life because A) she was not aborted by her single mother, and B) she didn’t have an abortion when she got pregnant at 19. Like, hey Wendy, your mom didn’t abort you — not that she could have because Roe V. Wade didn’t pass until a decade later — so therefore you should join us in making it next-to impossible for any other woman to have an abortion ever! I mean, you even went to Harvard! (Mind you that Ivy League education does not mean that you should be trusted to make decisions about your own body.) How many potential Harvard grads are being aborted every day? The tragedy. For fuck’s sake. Keep reading »