Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Friday | May 23, 2003

Restrictive abortion law on tap in Texas

Texas may soon have an abortion law (with the hysterically funny name "Women's Right to Know" bill) that requires a 24-hour waiting period, and:

[A]lso requires doctors to tell women that an abortion may lead to breast cancer. The claim is refuted by prominent medical groups such as the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute [...]

The legislation would also require women receiving abortions after 16 weeks of pregnancy to have the procedure done at an ambulatory surgical center, instead of at regular abortion centers.

Opponents said there are only a handful of facilities in Texas that meet this requirement and women who seek an abortion after 16 weeks -- accounting for about 2 percent of all abortions -- seek the procedure because of some dire health concern to themselves or the fetus.

In theory, I don't have a problem with a 24-hour waiting period. An abortion procedure is serious business, and some reflection wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. But in the real world, it's a much more complicated issue:
Only 15 of the 254 counties in Texas have abortion providers and the new law would lead women who travel in the expansive state to receive the procedure to spend an extra day to have an abortion [...]

During the 24-hour waiting period, women would be provided with information about adoption centers, the father's obligation to pay for child care, and "the risks of infection, hemorrhage and breast cancer," the legislation said.

So, this law would make abortions more difficult and expensive (which of course wouldn't be a problem, for, say, the Bush twins), while forcing women to run a gauntlet of propaganda and outright lies.

And to top it all off? Courtesy of the Republican Party:

The Texas legislature voted down an amendment that would have exempted women who became pregnant through rape or incest from going through the waiting period. [emphasis mine]
And in one of those moments of typical "compassionate conservatism", we get this GOPer gem, explaining why there should be no exception:
During debate in the Texas Senate, Bob Deuell, a Republican from Greenville, said the exemption would "undermine the reflection period," adding that some women who gave birth after being raped or through incest have considered their children a blessing.
Nice one.

Posted May 23, 2003 07:23 AM | Comments (88)


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