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Texas Senate Bill 5: Abortion Not Popular In Texas

Posted by cann0nba11 on June 26, 2013

I’m seeing lots of angst on the left over the failed filibuster of Texas Senator Wendy Davis (District 10). She did her best to prevent Texas Senate Bill 5 from passing, but came up a couple of hours short. That’s how the process works, both parties are fond of the filibuster when they are in the minority. Imagine that, pro-life laws are popular in Texas.

I’m struggling to see what the problem is with this bill. My motto is “emotion is the enemy of critical thought,” and often you can find emotions clouding reason when hot button topics like abortion, or voter ID, or immigration reform are discussed. As evidence, consider the childish act of Houston Democrat Senfronia Thompson hanging a wire coat hanger on the microphone while voicing her opposition to the bill earlier today. When you can’t win on facts, act like a fool to get attention.

I read the SB5 bill this evening, give it a shot yourself, it’s not very long. If you want the Reader’s Digest version, allow me.

The main point of the bill is to ban abortion after 20 weeks when there is medical evidence that the unborn can feel pain. The bill does not make abortion illegal, it makes abortion illegal after 20 weeks. In my opinion, you should know within five months whether or not you want to have an abortion. At five months a fetus can make facial expressions, it can hear the mother’s heartbeat and voice. The fetus has regular sleep/wake periods, and at five months parents can go to their doctor to get an ultrasound and determine what color to paint the nursery. But for folks like Sandra Fluke, abortion is just a more complex form of birth control than tax-payer funded contraception or condoms. To their ilk, a baby is an inconvenience. I wish every woman that thought this way could speak with one of the many women out there unable to get pregnant.

A recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll shows that 46% of Texans think abortion should either be illegal or only legal in the cases of rape, incest or when there is danger to the life of the mother. Thirteen percent approve if need is clearly established (but the study does not define “need”). Furthermore, banning abortion after 20 weeks — one of the provisions of SB5 — has the support of over 62 percent of Texas residents. Remember, this is a Texas law.

Here is my own summary of the sections of this bill. I’m not a lawyer, nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn Express. I defer to my lawyer friends for corrections.

  • Section 1: Provides for safety by requiring that physicians performing abortions have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles; provides the patient with contact information for the physician and staff for post procedure follow up needs; and provides contact information for a hospital near the patients home just in case problems arise and she requires immediate medical attention. My take: this is all about making sure that the physician is legit, it helps to ensure that patients are safe, not victims (see Kermit Gosnell).
  • Section 2: Modifies an existing Health and Safety Code by defining Abortion inducing drugs, how they can be administered, requires that doctors administer them, and requires that physicians follow up with their patients within 14 days. My take: This is about drug safety, patient awareness and patient safety.
  • Section 3: Amends the section of the Texas Health and Safety Code about minimum medical standards to require that abortion facilities meet the same medical and safety standards of other medical facilities. Abortions are serious and still legal, therefore they should be performed under safe conditions that meet proper medical standards. My take: This is about patient protection.
  • Section 4: Repeals a Health and Safety code section 245.010 that Section 3 defines.
  • Sections 5 and 6: Legal mumbo jumbo about how other laws can/cannot affect this particular bill.
  • Section 7: Makes current facilities not in compliance with health standards of other medical facilities have to be compliant by 1/1/14.
  • Section 8: Makes the law effective immediately if a 2/3 vote is achieved, or in 90 days if not.

That’s it. It should be noted that there are 42 abortion clinics in Texas, and only five meet current standards for ambulatory surgery centers. That means 37 clinics may be sub-par or lack safety and cleanliness features that one should expect from a place where surgery is performed. In Texas today women travel an average of 43 miles to get an abortion. People up north may consider that a long drive, but in Texas we call that a daily commute. The press is already reporting that “37 of 42 clinics will be forced to shut down.” Really? You’re telling me that they can’t update their facilities to meet proper medical safety standards? They can’t relocate if needed to be closer to hospitals? Do they care so little about their patients that they would rather close up shop than do the work needed to remain in business? Could it be that they are more interested in making money and that all of this angst is, dare I say, faux? Could they actually be capitalists at heart chasing after profit? Oh, that is some rich irony right there folks.

So why all the angst? This bill is meant to protect women and their unborn children. It does not make abortions illegal, and if it takes you five months to figure out that you want an abortion, you have some serious issues.

It is sad that the left only seems to care about life when it involves cute fuzzy animals or obscure insects on land where liberals want to prevent construction. Killing your child is ok, but don’t you dare eat that chicken sandwich! Do you have any idea how much those chickens suffer? If liberals cared about life, perhaps they would express outrage that while blacks make up about 12% of our population they account for 35% of all abortions (according to the CDC). You could say that the least safe place for a black baby is in the womb. Harsh, but true.

Consider these words from a minister fond of racial justice;

In other words, the net effect of putting abortion clinics in the urban centers is that the abortion of Hispanic and Black babies is more than double their percentage of the population. Every day 1,300 black babies are killed in America. Seven hundred Hispanic babies die every day from abortion. Call this what you will—when the slaughter has an ethnic face and the percentages are double that of the white community and the killers are almost all white, something is going on here that ought to make the lovers of racial equality and racial harmony wake up.

Tell me again how SB 5 is a threat to women? Look at the numbers. Also consider the irony that the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was a racist who worked with Nazis and others who wanted to purify the human race and wanted to sterilize those she deemed unfit for our society. Today Planned Parenthood is defended by scores of emotional folks claiming to represent women’s rights while ignoring the thousands of babies killed every year. They are unwilling to look at the facts or even admit that Planned Parenthood is primarily in the business of abortions.

SB 5 passed one step, and barring unforeseen surprises should be signed into law this month. There will be screaming and cries of a war on women, but they will ring hollow to anyone willing to think clearly about the subject. Besides, this is a Texas law. If you don’t like it you are free to move somewhere else where the laws suit your fancy.

Note: While researching this post I found this informative and better written write up on the bill than my own little blurb here. The author does an excellent job of pointing out liberal tactics and media bias.

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9 Responses to “Texas Senate Bill 5: Abortion Not Popular In Texas”

  1. Head Mop said

    What a thorough and well-thought-out piece. Excellent post!

  2. Tori said

    You do realize that this bill makes it impossible to get a abortionif you do not live in Austin, Houston , Dallas, or San Antonio. So are the women in rural Texas or the border towns less important? If the bill was only about banning abortions after 20 weeks I’d be all for it but this is a war on the poor. If you can’t afford to drive across the state to get a abortion after you we’re raped then oh well grab a coat hanger!

    • admin said

      It’s not a war on the poor, it is a war to defend patients from suffering at crappy clinics. It is a war to prevent the concept of birth control via abortion. People are freaking out saying that 37 of the 42 clinics will shut down. That is patently false, it is an emotional response to rile up support. COULD they shut down? Yes. Do they HAVE to? No. They can update their facilities to standards more appropriate with such a medical procedure. Those not close enough to a hospital can relocate. These are profitable businesses that have options and obviously lots of supporters. They don’t have to shut down. And from a big picture perspective, perhaps driving a few of hours to get to a clinic would give women some time to think about what they are considering.

      • Caitlin said

        If this about defending patients from crappy clinics, why have so many doctors groups (American Congress of OBGYNs, Texas Medical Association, Texas Hospital Association, etc.) come out in opposition against the bill. This bill is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

        And upgrading these clinics to ambulatory surgical centers (as the bill requires) is costly and WILL cause clinics shut down eventually.

        And the fact that you say “would give women some time to think about what they’re considering,” as if they don’t already think long and hard before making that choice, is insulting.

      • admin said

        I understand where you are coming from Caitlin, I would like to see the context around the doctor groups that support it. Obama had plenty of doctors groups supporting Obamacare, and look what a clusterfark that has become and how many doctors are bailing out of the profession due to the mess that it is.

        What I find insulting is just how many women treat sex so casually that they consider abortion just another form of birth control. There are thousands of women all over America that would love the chance to get pregnant, but can’t. What is insulting is women that have no respect for their actions or the lives they create. I also find it insulting that you think the murder of thousands of babies is a “problem that doesn’t exist.” Yes, there are some situations where it may be necessary, and the bill allows for this. But you know that the truth of the matter is thousands of young women screwing around getting pregnant while having no respect for life. Planned Parenthood is an abortion factory no matter what they try to claim. Look at the numbers of procedures, look at how their money is spent, this is the truth. We live in a free country where we value life.

        I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. Thanks for engaging in this dialog.

  3. Kathy said

    You assert a fact that is not in evidence – that of fetal pain. Your “fact” is rejected by the medical profession.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-0528.1999.tb08424.x/full

    • admin said

      Thank you for the link Kathy. While more research is recommended, the conclusion in this article seems to support a middle of the road opinion with no clear support of the stance you passionately defend. .

      “The assessment of whether or when the fetus is likely to feel pain has to be based on an evaluation of the available anatomical and physiological evidence. The physical system for nociception is present and functional by 26 weeks and it seems likely that the fetus is capable of feeling pain from this stage. The first neurones to link the cortex with the rest of the brain are monoamine pathways, and reach the cortex from about 16 weeks of gestation. Their activation could be associated with unpleasant conscious experience, even if not pain. Thalamic fibres first penetrate the subplate zone at about 17 weeks of gestation, and the cortex at 20 weeks. These anatomical and physiological considerations are important, not only because of immediate suffering, but also because of possible long term adverse effects of this early experience.”

      The article asserts confidence in pain at 26 weeks (something Kermit Gosnell is certainly familiar with), yet hints at the potential for pain from weeks 16-20. I prefer to err on the side of caution. But again, the main point of my post is what the bill is actually about. It caps abortions at 20 weeks, requires that doctors administer abortive medication, and that facilities meet the medical standards that so many other ambulatory medical centers have to meet. Facilities that do not meet these requirements certainly have the option to upgrade to meet acceptable standards, the do not have to all go out of business. Democrats regularly promote and even pass legislation that is costly for companies and factories to comply with. But there is never any argument then, it is expected that they fall in line to the demands of the party in charge. How is this any different?

  4. AW said

    You say, “at five months parents can go to their doctor to get an ultrasound and determine what color to paint the nursery.”

    At five months, parents can also get an ultrasound that tells them not to bother painting the nursery because the fetus has no internal organs, or no brain, or a heart with only one chamber.

    Most abortions after 20 weeks are due to gross fetal abnormality incompatible with life. Many of those abnormalities are not detectable until 18-20 weeks. This bill means that a family faced with a horrible loss may have no more than a day or two to make the decision; arrange childcare, time off from work, transportation, and lodging in a strange city; find a doctor who will perform the procedure; and run out the waiting period, in a rush to beat the 20-week limit.

    That’s not even taking into consideration the expense and even the danger of making a trip of up to 700 miles each way. (Take a gander at a map of Texas. The western-most clinic that meets the requirements of this bill is in San Antonio. Look at how far, and through what kind of terrain, a woman from Presidio or Brewster County would have to travel.) You’re either mathematically inept or deliberately disingenuous if you’re quoting “average” travel distances for a place like Texas. Most Texans live within a few minutes of an emergency room, so why not allow every emergency room west of San Antonio to close? It would only add a few minutes to the average. Your question about why doctors can’t just move closer to a hospital just shows your naivete about the realities of rural Texas. Again, look at a map. Look at Brewster, Presidio, and Jeff Davis Counties. They compromise an area larger than New England. Now look for the little “H” that stands for hospital. Keep looking. C’mon, don’t give up! I’ll help you; there’s ONE hospital, in Alpine. How can a doctor serving Terlingua and Presidio move closer to a hospital and still serve either Terlingua or Presidio?

    And if this bill were about quality of care, it would require that any doctor attending childbirth meet the same requirements. Episiotomy has an astronomical complication rate, so why doesn’t that have to be done by a licensed surgeon in a fully-equipped surgical suite? Why do we allow babies to be delivered by doctors who don’t have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles? If even non-surgical abortions have to be done by licensed surgeons, it’s unconscionable that any quack with an OB/GYN certificate can cut a woman from vagina to anus and stitch her back up.

    Childbirth is more dangerous than abortion, so until this bill adds provisions to build a fully-equipped maternity hospital within 30 miles of every household in Texas, it’s not about women’s health.

    • admin said

      Thanks for your reply AW. If more people like you on your side of the issue could communicate like you, instead of screaming insults, using children to hold vile signs, and generally acting like immature kids, we would probably be looking at a different legislative situation. I appreciate your knowledge and detail.

      Many of your points are quite valid, and to me they illustrate why government needs to stay out of our lives as much as possible. What your message tells me is that this Texas bill is a microcosm of Obamacare. You have pointed out legitimate concerns that need to be addressed if the bill is to be successful. The 30-mile requirement was my main concern due to the size of Texas (where I live, btw), yet I still believe many of the centers can upgrade to meet standards. And unlike health insurance purchases, Women can cross state lines to purchase services if centers are closer that meet their needs. And, the cases you mention post 20-week are medical exceptions that according to my understanding are still allowed for in this bill.

      Back to the bigger picture, this bill has its flaws and needs to be updated. Someone like you needs to be heard and your points need to be brought up to the people writing this bill. But I think your side is not organized enough from the intellectual side to get its crap together. They are only concerned with stifling communication and disrupting the process, not educating people or enacting reform. Emotions are getting the best of both sides, which is never a good thing.

      And your points give me even more reason to work hard to get Obamacare repealed. If this one bill in Texas about one specific medical scenario has problems (that can be fixed), just imagine the legislative carnage and unintended consequences that exist within the 3,000 pages of Obamacare.

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