If you’re like me, you might be doing a double take. Take your time. Pause. Read the headline again. Your brain has not jumbled the words. It does say restore, not restrict.
If you’ve been following the gradual dismantling of access to family planning and women’s health services across the United States, you’re probably shocked and excited by this news. Texas is still trying to restrict access to abortion with new clinic regulations and a so-called “fetal pain” bill, but in terms of family planning and basic access to women’s healthcare, legislators are biting their tongues and working quickly and quietly to restore the funding that they dismantled in flamboyant fashion in 2011.
According to The New York Times, State Representative Sarah Davis (R) said, “The major difference is we’re not fighting about it. We’re just doing what’s right for women and the state.” Davis, who is against legal abortion, is the only Republican member of the House Women’s Health Caucus. She helped the two sides come together in a compromise. She attributes this compromise to the reaction of voters who were more than peeved that non-abortion providing clinics closed in their districts. Keep reading »
Yeah, that’s an actual thing an elected official said. Like, for real. Republican Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas tweeted the remark today, which is cringeworthy on multiple levels — not the least of which shooting people with guns doesn’t sound very “pro-life” to me. Perhaps in his own well-documented twisted mind Stockman thinks that owning guns means you’re just protecting yourself, ergo fetuses (“babies”) need protection from big, bad Planned Parenthood; but this reads to me as an allusion to clinic violence against doctors who perform abortions. Dr. George Tiller was, after all, murdered by an anti-abortion extremist with a gun.
Ugh. There’s believing in a right to bear arms and there’s being a gun nut who suggests children should have guns. [Raw Story]
Texas State Representatives Jodie Laubenberg (
D R) and Jeff Leach (R) have introduced a so-called “fetal pain” bill called The Preborn Pain Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks, claiming that a fetus, which is called an “unborn child” in the bill, can feel pain. The bill, if passed, would shorten the window of time that a woman can terminate an unwanted pregnancy by seven weeks.
The Texas Right To Life has claimed that fetuses feel “torturous pain” in abortion. But that claim holds no ground in, well, science. The Journal of The American Medical Association‘s 2005 review doesn’t show evidence of fetuses feeling any pain before the third trimester at the earliest. Additionally, the bill doesn’t require a woman to be absolutely positively 20 weeks pregnant. If the woman is unsure of how many weeks along she is, but it’s probable it could be 20 weeks, she will still be unable to terminate her pregnancy.
And that’s not even the worst part of the bill. Keep reading »
Mostly when we discuss the “right to choose,” we focus on the right to safe and legal access to abortion. We mostly focus abortion as the “choice” because a woman’s right to make her own family planning decisions is constantly under attack from conservative politicians and the anti-abortion movement, both of which are pickled with the Religious Right.
But a woman’s right to make her own family planning decisions also includes the choice make a family — even, in a recent case out of Texas, if the woman in question is a pregnant 16-year-old girl whose parents were trying to force her to have an abortion. Keep reading »
In the week following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 27 people were murdered, everyone everywhere has been yakking about their opinion on guns. Some people think more people should carry guns, so they can protect everyone else from the “bad guys.” Other people — and I myself fall into this camp — say the less access to guns, the better.
The most hot-button area of focus has been on guns in schools and whether more guns in the hands of security guards, teachers or administrators will make students more safe. Heh, remember being a kid and seeing after school specials about how we should keep guns out of school?!
So I thought it would be interesting to check in with one small town in Texas that allows its teachers to carry concealed weapons. Keep reading »
One of the more challenging aspects to being a parent is keeping a handle on all the various things to which your child is exposed. For instance, the many studies pointing to a connection between early exposure to violent media and aggression certainly causes me to think twice about the television shows my almost-six-year old watches. And while I possibly think too much about the potential for him to turn into a pizza-eating, nunchuk-wielding vigilante as an adult due to too much “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” it’s for good reason. Children are highly impressionable sponges, soaking up as much of the world around them, and most parents want to ensure that their children are only soaking up the good stuff.
It makes sense. We’re raising the next generation and all, and we’d like them to be decent, conscientious people who aren’t car-thieving murderers who played too much “Grand Theft Auto” when they were younger. However, for as much as we’d like to have some semblance of control over what they’re exposed to, we’re not with our children every single second of the day. We can’t dictate what they’ll pick up from friends, extra-curricular activities, or school. At some point, we need to trust that we’ve instilled in them the ability to make good and reasonable choices for themselves, despite their seemingly undying love for Ninja Turtles (No, seriously. My son is obsessed. I do sort of fear he may take to the sewers one day). Keep reading »
A mother in Texas is livid: not that her 15-year-old daughter was paddled at school for cheating on a test — both mom and daughter actually approved the punishment — but that she was spanked by a male vice principal.
Taylor Santos, 15, a sophomore at Springtown High School Texas, allegedly let another student copy her work and was given a two-days of in-school suspension. After one day of missing classes, Santos asked if she could get a paddling instead of missing a second day; she called her mother and got approval for the change.
But her mother, Anna Jorgensen, is now super-pissed. A male vice principal spanked Taylor Santos instead of a female administrator — although there was a female in the room the whole time. “I knew school policy was females swatted females, and males swatted males,” Jorgensen said. “If Taylor wanted that, I said I would be fine.” She’s now upset that her daughter’s bottom has “welts and bruises.” Keep reading »