Texas House’s proposed abortion restriction bill is cruel to women
Texas lawmakers are once again attempting to ban abortion in the state. Proposed House Bill 87 would ban abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy in cases of severe and irreversible fetal abnormalities. This bill is big government — plain and simple — and only enables politicians to insert their opinions into health care decisions that should be made by individuals and those they trust.
This is a cruel bill that targets someone who is facing an already difficult situation and makes a decision even more painful. When something goes wrong in a pregnancy — like a severe fetal abnormality — what pregnant women and their families need is support, information and resources, not inflexible laws that don’t account for individual circumstances. Lawmakers should not make these highly personal decisions for women in these trying situations.
Texas already bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in most cases, but currently severe fetal abnormalities are one of the exceptions where abortions are permitted. In addition to this 20-week ban, Texas has already passed several bills that make it difficult for women in Texas to access an abortion. In fact, there are another 25 anti-abortion bills pending in the Legislature right now.
Since Texas has been on this yearslong campaign to make abortion as inaccessible and as expensive as possible, the reality is that there will be women who simply can’t access an abortion any earlier than 20 weeks. In addition, many fetal abnormalities cannot be detected earlier in a pregnancy.
Between the logistical gymnastics required to get an abortion in Texas and the limitations of fetal testing in pregnancy, there are Texas women who find themselves in the exact situation HB 87 would ban.
For those women who do end up with the diagnosis of a severe fetal abnormality after 20 weeks of pregnancy, this proposed legislation would add unnecessary heartache to an already difficult circumstance.
Anti-abortion proponents have attempted to frame this law as protecting individuals with disabilities. This is a false straw-man argument because this law does nothing to improve the lives of Texans with disabilities.
If anti-abortion Texas politicians really wanted to protect the rights of Texans with disabilities, they wouldn’t have implemented statewide Medicaid cuts for therapy for children with disabilities last year. Honest steps toward protecting the health and liberties of Texans with disabilities could start by reversing these cuts.
Texas government is already too involved in the abortion process. HB 87 is a further attempt for state politicians to stand in the way of Texas women’s health care because they do not trust Texans to make their own decisions. This is why I am traveling to the Capitol this week with fellow young Texans lobbying in defense of Texans’ most basic human right to health care. We are a group representing the individuals too often overlooked in the abortion debate — the people most adversely impacted by bills such as HB 87. We are women of color, young, transgender, queer, working-class and undocumented.
As a nursing student, one of the core components stressed by my instructors is the absolute necessity of seeing and knowing every patient as an individual in the context of their own life circumstances. Blanket bans such as HB 87 fly in the face of this tenet of medical practice.
It is impossible for the state or any individual to judge and legislate every situational possibility. Life is complicated, after all. Thus decisions surrounding abortion should be left to the person who does know the situation best — the person carrying the pregnancy and anyone they choose to include in their decision.
Re: Feb. 10 article, “Religious leaders enter both sides of fight over transgender bathrooms.”
It is unfortunate that in today’s political climate, in order to receive “equal protection” one must be white, cisgendered, straight, Christian and male. Deviating from those categories allows lawmakers and politicians to cite various religious reasons why some deserve less equality than others.
The passage of Senate Bill 6 will perpetuate discrimination and fear-mongering of a community attempting to live without the interference of lawmakers who are far removed from understanding struggles with personal identity and persecution related to it. Passing SB 6 is not “bowing to liberalism,” but instead, government-sanctioned discrimination. When
Re: Feb. 15 article, “Some Austin teachers warned not to give students information on ICE.”
I’m disappointed that the Austin Independent School District’s legal counsel discouraged school officials from disseminating “know your rights” information to students. Board President Kendall Pace was exactly right in her statement: Education is guaranteed for all children, and students must be protected from undue stress. And, as the article points out, schools are often hubs of information for the whole family.
Giving students and families who might be affected by immigration raids information about their constitutional rights is empowering and works against the fear that currently saturates Austin. Students spend most of their time at school, and they trust school staff to have their best interests at heart.
No student should feel unsupported by school staff who have been silenced by timid attorneys and principals. Educate Austin is doing the right thing for Austin ISD students and their families by equipping conscientious professionals with the tools they need to promote safety for vulnerable members of their communities.
I know that the people have the privilege to protest, which is OK if they do not do any violent acts, but when they start waving the Mexican flag they need to go back to Mexico to do that. That raises the hair on my neck when I see that happening in America. They need to be waving the American flag.
We see that 20,000 students stayed out of school to protest. That costs the taxpayers. It also costs taxpayers to educate all of those students. And then they take all of the legal jobs.
Dan Robinson joins other protesters outside Hyde Park Baptist Church while clergy meet with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick about transgender restroom legislation.