Monday, July 1, 2013

View from the Texas Capitol Last Week - SB5

I was privileged to be at the Texas Capitol last week, out in support of the Texas Democrats, and against the restrictions on reproductive health care that the Republicans sought to pass. 

With a new special session coming up, it seems like a good time to lay some of the rumors going around to rest:

1. This was not an "unruly mob" - hundreds of people waited quietly in the gallery or in line between Sunday and Wednesday. We only got loud late on Tuesday when it became clear that the Republicans in the Senate were not going to abide by morality or the law. Did you know that at least one of the "strikes" they upheld to get Wendy Davis to stop filibustering was not, in fact, in line with the law?

2. The crowd was, as far as I could tell, mostly Texans. The prochoice movement in Texas is not as small as the people saying "we'll the crowd was bussed in from other cities" want you to think. 

3. This is not a prochoice/anti choice debate. SB5 would not outlaw abortion, as roe v. wade is still the law in the United States. Rather, the new bill would have closed all but 5 abortion providers in the state, causing huge segments of the population to be most likely unable to access their legal right to an abortion (getting an abortion takes multiple visits to the provider, and Texas is huge. Some women would lose up to four days of work, and in this economy that's unacceptable). SB5 would also outlaw abortions after 20 weeks. 

4. The Republicans falsified records to show that they had voted before the special session ended. This is not only morally reprehensible, it's illegal. 

Here's the scene shortly after midnight last Tuesday. I w proud to stand in defense of women's rights, and I can only hope we've gained some new activists who will stand with us as the new-new special session begins this afternoon. 

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