Texas Should Not Bully or Overreach On Women’s Health

Monday, July 1st, 2013 @ 9:46PM

AUSTIN – Arguments against big government, government take-overs and government’s intrusion into the private lives of its citizens obviously do not apply when it comes to state leader’s desire to trample the rights of Texas women over to access  healthcare. Gov. Rick Perry has called the Legislature back to the capitol to force through legislation that has twice failed and that by no means can be called crucial to the day-to-day operation of Texas.

All experts say – and Republicans won’t deny – that the passage of HB2 would likely result in the closure of 37 of the 42 centers that provide healthcare to women. Abortion happens to be just one of the services that include in many instances, family-planning, mammograms and cervical cancer screenings.

There’s a reason that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has voiced its opposition to Texas’ anti-abortion efforts. It’s the same reason the Texas Medical Association and its 47,000 members said that SB5 and its successor, HB2 are bad for Texas women. Both say that lawmakers should not be in the businesses of passing bills “not based on sound science” that interfere with the care doctors provide to their patients.

HB2 will look much like SB5 from the legislature’s First Called Special Session. The bill failed due to providence, and missteps taken by supporters of legislation that would deny women’s healthcare to the majority of those who live outside Texas’ urban centers. HB2 will contain language found in bills that could not pass during the regular session when normal Senate rules that guard the balance of power were in place. Gov. Perry and the extreme right who normally stress fiscal conservatism don’t mind spending an extra million or so per special session of taxpayer dollars when it comes to putting politics over what’s best for women’s health.

Gov. Perry said that he and other pro-life allies won’t stop their battle to end all abortions, a constitutional right American women have had for 40 years. “Until the day Roe vs. Wade is nothing but a shameful footnote in our nation’s history books, we won’t give up the good fight,” said the governor over this past weekend at a North Texas event.

Republican attacks on women’s health didn’t just start in January 2013 and are not confined to Texas. You might remember several widely denounced statements made by candidates for Congress during the 2012 Presidential election cycle. You may also recall that in 2011, this same group of Texas political leaders led the effort to cut millions in funding to Planned Parenthood over the issue of affiliates who provide abortion-related services. It was also in 2011 that the Texas Legislature passed into law, legislation that requires Texas women to undergo unneeded and intrusive ultrasound examinations and to return to an abortion clinic the next day before a procedure can be performed. This is a state that also promotes abstinence-only sex education and leads the nation in its number of teen pregnancies.

If history provides evidence, HB2 won’t end abortions, it may cause more illegal ones.

For more information, please contact Kelvin Bass at (214) 467-0123.

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