She did not have enough money to travel north

So let’s check in with the ACLU on the subject of religious interference with access to birth control. There’s Texas for instance…

Yesterday a federal appeals court upheld a Texas law that has left large parts of the state without an abortion provider. Women who already are struggling to pay rent and put food on the table for their families must now travel hundreds of miles to obtain abortion care. For many, the obstacles will be too burdensome to overcome.

For example, one woman in the Rio Grande Valley who showed up to her appointment the day the law took effect was devastated to learn that she could not have an abortion in her area. She was happily married with several children, but she could not afford another. In tears, she said that she did not have enough money to travel north and had no choice but to carry the pregnancy to term.

Triumph! Victory! Score for the people who value the fetus more than the woman whose body is incubating it. So she has several children and can’t afford another, so what, she should be forced to have that another one. God wants it that way.

How did this happen?

Despite overwhelming opposition, lawmakers in Texas passed a bill that requires doctors who provide abortion to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. That doesn’t sound too bad, right? After all, we all are concerned about women’s health. But just a quick look below the surface reveals that the law has nothing to do with women’s health and everything to do with forcing women’s health centers to shut their doors.

You might start by asking who proposed this law. Was it a medical organization? Nope. A doctors’ groups? Nope. All of the major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologistsand the Texas Hospitals Associationall opposed this law. Rather, this bill came from Americans United for Life (AUL), a group dedicated to making abortion if not illegal, then impossible to get. AUL has touted restrictions like these as great ways to shut down abortion providers.

And tellingly, this law only applies to doctors who provide abortion. It doesn’t apply to doctors who provide other types of outpatient procedures, even those that carry far greater risks than abortion. But the appeals court overlooked this evidence and overlooked evidence demonstrating the devastating effect this law has on Texas women.

Because that’s what they want. The devastating effect on women isn’t an unfortunate side effect, it’s the goal.


  1. Cuttlefish says

    She should have thought about this when she dared to have sex.

    Seems a just punishment to me.

    Holy fuck, how do people say those things and not have their skulls implode?

  2. Blanche Quizno says

    God says sex is for procreation. That settles it.

    Oh, and make sure you don’t end up being one of those welfare freeloaders, sucking off the government teat. We God-fearing taxpayers don’t want to get stuck paying for the results of your own stupid irresponsibility.

  3. AsqJames says

    Triumph! Victory! Score for the people who value the fetus more than the woman whose body is incubating it.

    And also, as Avicenna is prone to point out, above the children she already has who will each now have to be fed, clothed and educated on a smaller slice of their parents’ income.

    At best.

    What if she’s working and the extra childcare time/costs means she loses that job?

  4. Lofty says

    It’all about reinforcing the “natural order”, the desperately poor remain desperately poor and provide cannon fodder for the filthy rich to throw at their imaginary enemies.

  5. Pteryxx says

    how is Texas doing these days? Well…

    Fact-checking a Texas Republican’s claims on women’s health ‘advances’

    Over the last 15 years—under a decade and a half of statewide Republican leadership and strong GOP majorities in both the Texas house and senate—maternal mortality in the state has quadrupled. According to the Texas Policy Evaluation Project at the University of Texas, 59 reproductive health-care clinics—none of which provided abortion care and most of which were located in rural and underserved areas of the state—closed as a result of the 2011 budget cuts; only a handful have reopened as of 2014. […]

    According to the Department of State Health Services, Texas’ state-funded family planning providers are currently seeing 77 percent fewer clients, at an increased cost of 17 percent per client, than they were before the 2011 budget cuts that Nelson signed off on.

  6. Pierce R. Butler says


    Howsomeverwise, a nit must get picked:

    Despite overwhelming opposition, lawmakers in Texas passed a bill …

    Somebody at ACLU needs to look up what “overwhelming” means, and doesn’t mean.

  7. Pteryxx says

    Despite overwhelming opposition, lawmakers in Texas passed a bill …

    Well, it was overwhelming opposition. (and I was there, so now your nit is personal. *token glare*)

    First the Republicans snuck the abortion omnibus into the tail end of the “emergency” special session after promising not to. So many citizens registered, on short notice, to give testimony against SB5 that they filled the session until 3:45 AM and got cut off with hundreds still waiting to speak. More came back to support Davis’s 13-hour standing filibuster during which she read the stories of those who hadn’t been allowed to give their own testimony. The citizens’ uproar at the BS point-of-order objections pushed the vote past midnight in spite of the Republicans changing the time stamp. At that point 200,000 viewers were watching the livecast. The opposition won and killed that bill and ran out the special session called to force it through.


    According to The Huffington Post, “Around 10 p.m. local time, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) ruled that Davis’ discussion of mandatory ultrasound testing was not germane to the anti-abortion bill,” a transparently insidious ruling with the sole purpose of ending Senator Davis’s filibuster. This served as her third and final warning, ending her filibuster with two hours left on the special session clock. Though Senator Davis’s filibuster was over, Senate Democrats continued to delay a vote on the bill with parliamentary inquiries and their own points of order. It was organized chaos, to say the least.

    The final 10 minutes were fraught with confusion, and after Democratic Senator Leticia Van De Putte was ignored by Lt. Gov. Dewhurst in her appeals, she roused the hundreds of protesters in the chamber and rotunda. Watch here:

    After seven minutes of screaming and chanting from the pro-choice protesters in the Senate chambers, midnight came without a vote. Though the Texas Republicans initially claimed to have passed the bill, ultimately, Lt Gov. David Dewhurst, the same man who ruled against Senator Davis three times during her filibuster, conceded that the bill did not pass according to legislative rules. SB5 was dead.

    youtube link to Senate feed

    youtube link to news coverage

    The only reason the anti-abortion omnibus passed (as HB2, formerly SB5) was that Rick Perry called *another* full 30-day special session, Republicans introduced the bill immediately, and called a new legislative day after a 2-minute break to rush it through as fast as possible.

    So yeah, that was overwhelming opposition, in every sense.

  8. Wylann says

    Even though this bill is likely to eventually be struck down, the legal system is rather byzantine in the way it now handles ‘standing’, such that it may take much longer than it should if there are enough judges around that want to keep things the way they are.

    1) In order to have standing, a pregnant woman has to bring the case. They wouldn’t allow a non-pregnant woman who might potentially require an abortion even if she and her partner were taking most non-permanent medical precautions available.
    2) These cases take a long time. By the time it makes it an upper court, the woman will not be pregnant (or dead), see 1).

    It’s an ugly, vicious cycle, and abused much by those who want to maintain the status quo.

  9. Pteryxx says

    (BTW, my reply to Pierce R. Butler is in moderation, thx.)

    Even worse news from the Texas decision by the *gag* Fifth Circuit Court… (bolds mine)

    As explained in the opinion authored by Judge Edith Jones, when analyzing the constitutionality of an abortion restriction, courts must presume the law in question is valid and vote to uphold that law so long as “any conceivable rationale” exists for the law’s enactment. Furthermore, the Fifth Circuit explained, the state doesn’t even really have to support with evidence its claim that law will advance the lawmaker’s stated outcome—in this case advancing maternal health. So long as lawmakers claim some basis in advancing maternal health, the Fifth Circuit believes that is, and will always be, enough to find an abortion regulation constitutional. “Because the determination does not lend itself to an evidentiary inquiry in court, the state is not required to ‘prove’ that the objective of the law would be fulfilled,” the court wrote, adding that “a law based on rational speculation unsupported by evidence or empirical data satisfies this standard of review.”

    This is the same court that declared HB2 “on its face does not impose an undue burden on the life and health of a woman”. THAT pile of viscous cat barf is what will get turfed to the Supreme Court.

    If the federal courts are going to create a legal architecture where the only way to successfully challenge state anti-abortion regulations is by showing actual, individual harm done to women, then we’ll have to ask the horrific question: How many bodies will be enough for courts like the Fifth Circuit? If 300 to 400 miles is not a burden to abortion access, how many harmed women and lives lost will be enough for the court? These are not hypothetical questions any more,

    Sorry, Rest of the US. What happens in Texas *does* affect y’all.

  10. Pteryxx says

    Thanks Ophelia. (my own fault for trying to ‘overwhelm’ Pierce R. with links.) ;>

  11. Pteryxx says

    Louisiana just followed suit.

    Without discussion, the House voted 85-6 to approve the bill, which requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at an adequately equipped hospital within 30 miles of the place where the abortion is performed.[…]

    “This is about the safety of women,” Jackson said, noting a federal appeals court has upheld a Texas law that contains the same language as the Louisiana bill.

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