Even if you side completely with a woman’s right to choose abortion, Kathleen Parker writes today, isn’t it kind of terrible to make a sort of celebration about it, as pro-choicers are doing about state Sen. Wendy Davis’s filibuster? If it’s such a personal, private, heart-wrenching decision to be taken seriously, as pro-choicers tend to argue [note: satire], why are media and normal people having such fun with it? Doesn’t it trivialize the whole thing to make the protection of choice a fashion trend?
But first, a bit of business. Like the women of the thematically relevant TV show “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant,” PostScript was shocked to discover something today that she should have been the first to notice. There’s a link function on the comments! The time stamp is now linkable! That means that PostScript can now send you directly to the comment she is excerpting, so you can see it in all its glorious context and be assured that PostScript is not deceiving you with editorial selectivity. Not that you thought that, given PostScript’s reputation for transparency.
jheath53 says celebrating the filibuster isn’t unseemly because the bill was about much more than a 20-week time limit:
Parker avoids mentioning the more odious components of the Texas anti-abortion bill, which would require clinics to have doctors associated with a hospital. This would effectively close all but a half-dozen abortion clinics in the state. The party that claims to want less intrusive government is throwing up meaningless bureaucratic burdens on abortion providers in order to deny women access to safe abortions. That’s the real reason for opposition to the bill.
RespectingOthers agrees. This bill was about trying to circumvent a standing Supreme Court decision:
Selective memory. As a male, I get accused of this a lot. In this case, the question is whether a fetus can/should be aborted at 20 weeks. There were other provisions in the bill as well. For example, the bill required abortion clinics to make a contract with a local hospital in cases of emergency–a good thing. The next part of the bill says that local hospitals are not allowed to make these contracts. Or that most clinics would be closed except for 5 of them. If the rationale was simply to define life at 20 weeks or even prevent abortions at 20 weeks, then this article would be dead on. Instead, the intent and purpose is a complete end run around Roe v Wade. Selective memory–both sides use it as a club against each other. The only thing that it actually hurts is our integrity. So the question for the author is whether they have the integrity to be fully honest about the intent and scope of the law.
terpsy argues that closing all those clinics will in fact make later abortions happen much more often:
The new law would “require that the procedure be performed at ambulatory surgical centers, mandate that doctors who perform abortions obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles and that even nonsurgical abortions take place in a surgical center.”
It is designed to close clinics. Admitting privileges are not necessary. You don’t need to be at a surgical center to take RU486. Now a woman needs to find out she is pregnant, get 3 days off from work (counseling and waiting period), get an appointment, lodging, transportation, and travel hundreds of miles across the state. All before 20 weeks. Say what you want about abortion, but this law is clearly designed to eliminate it.
PostScript might also add that later-term abortions could also be made rarer if it were easier for women to get health care in the first place — birth control as well as understanding one’s plumbing, getting questions answered, etc. — and, say, they had comprehensive sex education in schools.
nick212 argues that the higher restrictions on abortion clinics are, in fact, medically relevant:
The reason for having doctors accredited by a hospital is to put them on the line for the quality of the services performed.
However, there should be absolutely no bar to any doctor being accredited to a hospital providing his surgical skills meet all current standards. And to ensure no red lining – all Texas hospitals should provide at least one accredited abortionist.
But Anon_ymous responds to nick212 that legislators could easily have added medically relevant things to the bill, but chose not to:
And yet there were no such controls put into the legislation…BECAUSE IT IS INTENDED TO CLOSE THE CLINICS!
And blbixler has an explanation for the cheers for Wendy Davis. Her filibuster was arduous, and it was a literal embodiment of the Texas GOP trying to take choices from women when they tried to stop her filibuster — and Davis defeated them in both senses:
While I rarely agree with Kathleen Parker, I generally admire her writing and think she makes some worthy comments. But in the case of Wendy Davis, she seems oblivious to the reason the senator has become a hero to progressives.
She was not filibustering for the right to terminate life; she was filibustering against the right wing patriarchy’s attempt to regain control over a woman’s right to make decisions concerning her body and her health.
The filibuster rules in Texas are so stringent that McConnell would not last an hour on the dais. Wendy Davis is tough. She is also articulate and well informed. She represented.
There was an unprecedented show of support in the gallery, mostly by Texas women. The right wing in Texas, and in the rest of the country, will ignore this at their own peril. Hard won rights are not surrendered readily when they come under attack. (See the black voter turnout in 2012).