Knock knock. Who’s there? Coat hanger.

Texas passed the horrible abortion restrictions last night.

The bill passed the Republican-controlled Senate just before midnight, two weeks after the Legislature failed to put the restrictions to a successful vote in its first special session. The bill would ban most abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy, place new requirements on which facilities could perform the procedures, and limit a woman’s ability to induce an abortion by taking a pill.

Abortion rights advocates, including Planned Parenthood of Texas, have said that the new law would effectively shut down all but six of the facilities where abortions are performed in the state.

The usual sentimental bullshit was talked about the fetus.

Gov. Rick Perry had made passing House Bill 2 a priority and said he will sign it into law.

In a statement after the bill passed, Perry said: This legislation builds on the strong and unwavering commitment we have made to defend life and protect women’s health. I am proud of our lawmakers, and citizens who tirelessly defended our smallest and most vulnerable Texans and future Texans.”

They’re not small vulnerable Texans, they’re developing fetuses inside the bodies of other people.

They’ve been busy, the haters of abortion rights.

Texas is only one of several states looking to tighten rules for abortions.

North Carolina’s House passed a bill Thursday that directs state regulators to change standards for abortion clinics to bring them in line with more regulated outpatient surgical centers.

Missouri’s governor Friday let a bill become law without his signature that requires doctors to be in the room for the initial dose of a drug used in medication abortions.

Wisconsin’s governor signed into law last week a measure similar to Texas’ that forces abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. That law was blocked by a federal judge.

Fox News talking head Erick Erickson has been gloating and jeering, in particular by telling liberals to stock up on coat hangers. Yes really.

Shortly after the Texas Senate passed legislation that drastically restricts abortion rights in that state, Fox News contributor Erick Erickson urged liberals to bookmark a website that sells coat hangers.

The Texas legislation, which was previously stalled by a filibuster on the Senate floor, would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, mandate new regulations that would force all but five of the 47 clinics providing abortions in the state to close, and require doctors who perform abortions to have admittance privileges at a local hospital. Texas medical associations have expressed opposition to the bill, saying that is “not based on sound science” and “does not promote women’s health.”

During Senate debate over the bill, opponents of the legislation appeared on the floor carrying coat hangers, warning that some women without the option of legal abortion would resort to back-alley methods. “Do you want to return back to the coat hanger or do you want to be able to give them the option to be able to terminate their pregnancy because they have been raped?” said state representative Senfronia Thompson.

In response to the Texas Senate’s passage of the bill, Erickson wrote on Twitter:

Erickson tweet

Oh hahaha that’s so funny. Like this:







  1. says

    They’re not small vulnerable Texans, they’re developing fetuses inside the bodies of other people.

    Someday they might grow up to be big oil companies and pay back those politicians’ investment in care!

  2. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    Not for me personally, but I suspect there is no small number of FtB regulars (and no doubt others) who will be seriously traumatised by that picture – could you possibly insert a trigger warning in there somewhere?

  3. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    What a fucking monster……….
    Moral majority? That’s a joke.
    Compassionate conservative? No such animal.

  4. blgmnts says

    Well Ophelia, consider me shocked.

    I was already disgusted by the Erick Erickson quote.

    Now I have to wonder whether I should read articles that may add unnecessary “shock value” to already disgusting content because my resources for dealing with such stuff are quite limited.

  5. ema says

    That picture only shocks those who consider pregnant patients to be people rather than uterine containers with no say in their morbidity/mortality. A piece of garbage, like Mr. Erickson, who jokes about septic abortions doesn’t qualify.

    In any case, my bias is that patient confidentiality always trumps shock value when it comes to patient pics/path specimens.

  6. Robert B. says

    Ophelia, when someone is triggered it does not mean they say “oh how shocking,” it means they are curled up on the floor having a trauma flashback or a panic attack. You’re not required to provide a safe space in your personal blog, I suppose, but it means that readers who don’t have the mental resources to spend on withstanding the episodes you trigger will stop being readers. I agree that shocking content has a rhetorical purpose – the image had its intended effect on me personally, my triggers are elsewhere – so I guess it’s up to you.

  7. says

    Well, yes.

    I don’t set out to trigger people, I don’t want to trigger people, but I also don’t want to abandon all rhetorical use of shock.

    I focus on stuff that is shocking. I think that’s pretty well known at least to people already familiar with the blog. The whole thing comes with an implicit trigger warning.

  8. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Yes, it does come with an implicit trigger warning. Also:

    1. Weighing the use of rhetorical shock against the possibility that a reader might be triggered does not always result in the potential reader’s position taking precedence. Sometimes we judge the rhetorical value to be worth it.

    Yes, that means sometimes people are going to be triggered. No, that does not make the author uncaring or irresponsible (necessarily).

    Many good people at FtB are laudably concerned about emotional damage to vulnerable people. There is a risk, however, of prioritizing that excessively. The potential triggering is not, by default, always the most important, high-priority consideration when weighed against other outcomes. It isn’t. That’s a fact, and it’s part of the decisions we all make in life every day.

    2. “Patient confidentiality” is particularly ironic way to protest the use of that image, Ema. The picture is in the public domain. It is widely circulated. The reason this is so is because the woman did not have a chance to be a patient at all because she felt forced into a self-induced abortion that killed her.

    Jesus Christ.

  9. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Well, someone has to explain the bloody fucking obvious. Apparently. Grr.

  10. ema says

    Yes, you’ve explained the bloody obvious fact that, to you, some pregnant women are less worthy of confidentiality than others. I disagree.

  11. says

    ema what are you talking about? That photo was first published decades ago, as a protest against the desperation that drove women to try to self-abort. Are you seriously trying to claim that the important issue here is publication of that photo now? And are you seriously claiming that Josh or anyone is ranking pregnant women?

    If so, that’s really disgusting.

  12. says

    Co-signing Josh and Ophelia here. Seriously, not every every political discussion should default to the sensibilities of the most fragile person in attendance, any more than it should default to those of the toughest person.

    Ema, great job ignoring the content of what Josh had to say. Do you also think we should protect the privacy of Phan Thi Kim Phuc, while we’re at it? I’d say that cat’s pretty long out of the bag…

  13. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    I think it’s also sort of a matter that anyone who’s read more than a couple of posts at this particular blog should know that Ophelia writes about things that are likely to trigger more often than not. I occasionally have to skip some posts because I know reading them will take me somewhere awful. And a post about septic abortions (actually multiple posts about them), well, is about septic abortions and the deaths that occurred as a result of no safe abortion access.

    As far as patient confidentiality goes: she wasn’t a patient. Period. That photo is not of a patient who has undergone a medical procedure, that is a photo of a murder victim.

  14. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    I’ll also share more than I am comfortable here: the post titled “The end is sharp not tapered” actually did trigger the fuck out of me, and also set off a phobia I have. Which I sort of suspected might eventually happen, given the subject being discussed. So I backed off as soon as I realized. Because talking about this stuff matters.

  15. says

    Thanks, Happiest. I’m sorry that happened. And yes that’s just it: talking about it matters. Shock is part of the point. We get numbed – it’s so easy to get numbed. So fatally easy. Part of what I try to do is break through the numbing. I think constantly posting trigger warnings would just subvert that.

  16. Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom says

    Yeah, I’m not at all upset with you for the post, I think it’s more important for people who don’t know exactly what kind of tortures are involved in back alley abortions to understand exactly what Republicans are pushing women into, with their “culture of life” bullshit. As much as I was deeply triggered, there are the lives of many, many women at stake here, and talking about that is more important.

    Thank you for hitting as hard as you do when talking about this. I hope enough people will be shocked enough to care.

  17. Pteryxx says

    follow-up via Salon: Erick Erickson wrote a post claiming illegal abortion isn’t really dangerous and reports of the bad old days are “more legend than reality”, citing an anti-abortion group’s report that cherry-picks its data.

    To Erickson, a conservative commentator and outspoken reproductive rights opponent (who also happens to think that working women are “against nature“), dangerous, self-administered abortions are simply hilarious.

    Hilarious — and largely a fiction cooked up by reproductive rights advocates, Erickson is quick to add. In a Monday post addressing the negative response to his tweet, Erickson referenced a report from the antiabortion group Michigan Right to Life stating that in 1972, the year before Roe v. Wade guaranteed women a constitutional right to abortion, “only” 39 women had died as a result of illegally obtained and self-administered abortions, leading Erickson to call the dangers of illegal abortion “more legend than reality.”

    While the number of reported deaths in 1972 may be accurate (although 39 dead women is still 39 dead women, and thousands more died trying to end unwanted pregnancies in previous decades), there is quite a lot of data that Erickson chose to leave out about 1972. Like how more than 100,000 women were forced to seek out an illegal or self-induced abortion that same year, as a 2003 report from the Guttmacher Institute notes:

    Even in the early 1970s, when abortion was legal in some states, a legal abortion was simply out of reach for many. Minority women suffered the most: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in 1972 alone, 130,000 women obtained illegal or self-induced procedures, 39 of whom died.

    According to the Guttmacher report, 39 deaths in 1972 was the tail end of many years’ decline as states began to make legal abortion accessible with a doctor’s or hospital committee’s approval. In 1965 there were over 200 reported deaths.

    Also from the Guttmacher report, many patients obtained safe abortions by traveling:

    In the late 1960s, an alternative to obtaining committee approval emerged for women seeking a legal abortion, but once again, only for those with considerable financial resources. In 1967, England liberalized its abortion law to permit any woman to have an abortion with the written consent of two physicians. More than 600 American women made the trip to the United Kingdom during the last three months of 1969 alone; by 1970, package deals (including round-trip airfare, passports, vaccination, transportation to and from the airport and lodging and meals for four days, in addition to the procedure itself) were advertised in the popular media.
    Beginning in 1970, four states—Alaska, Hawaii, New York and Washington—also repealed their antiabortion statutes, and generally allowed licensed physicians to perform abortions on request before fetal viability. Alaska, Hawaii and Washington required a woman seeking an abortion to be a resident of the state for at least 30 days prior to the procedure; New York did not include a residency requirement, which put it on the map as an option for the affluent.
    The year before the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, just over 100,000 women left their own state to obtain a legal abortion in New York City. According to an analysis by The Alan Guttmacher Institute, an estimated 50,000 women traveled more than 500 miles to obtain a legal abortion in New York City; nearly 7,000 women traveled more than 1,000 miles, and some 250 traveled more than 2,000 miles, from places as far as Arizona, Idaho and Nevada.


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