On Monday, the Texas legislature reconvened for a special session for the purposes of passing a strict anti-abortion law that would shut all but five clinics in the state and ban abortions after 20 weeks. Democrats successfully ran out the clock on the legislation in late June, an effort that was capped by state Sen. Wendy Davis' 11-hour filibuster, but this time around the bill will almost certainly pass. (Move to Texas!) Debate on the bill begins Tuesday, and it's likely to feature no shortage of overheated statements about Davis, her supporters, and abortion rights. If the last two months of rhetoric from GOP lawmakers and activists is any indication, we just have one bit of advice: Don't make "Holocaust" your drinking word. Here's just a small sampling of some of the eyebrow-raising remarks thrown around during the last round of legislative debate:
State Sen. Dan Patrick (R): Defending his party's chaotic effort to force through a vote as the session was ending, the founder of the state's tea party caucus told former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on his radio show that lawmakers had an obligation to ignore proper Senate rules and procedure if it meant saving fetuses: "I spoke to my colleagues and said, when Jesus criticized the Pharisees, he criticized them because their laws and their rules were more important than actually taking care of people. And in my view, stopping a debate to save thousands of lives, well, saving the thousands of lives is more important than our tradition of, well, you should never stop someone."
State Rep. Bill Zedler (R): On Twitter, referring to reproductive rights activists: "We had terrorists in the Texas State Senate opposing SB 5."
Gov. Rick Perry: Speaking to a national right-to-life conference on Friday, Perry lamented that Davis, who was raised by a single mother and had her first child at 19, hadn't drawn the proper lessons from her own life: "It is just unfortunate that she hasn't learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters."
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst: After initially telling reporters the bill had passed, Dewhurst later offered up an excuse for why it had failed: "An unruly mob, using Occupy Wall Street tactics, disrupted the Senate from protecting unborn babies." Following that, he threatened to arrest reporters for interfering with the Democratic process: "If I find, as I've been told, examples of the media waving and trying to inflame the crowd, incite them in the direction of a riot, I'm going to take action against them. We have reports that members of the media on the floor, on the floor of the Senate, were looking up at the people in the gallery, waving their hands, trying to motivate them to yell more. If I find examples of that, proof certain on our video. I'm going to address this firmly."
State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R): Laubenberg, the bill's sponsor, suggested during the floor debate that there was no need to include an exception for victims of rape, because rape kits are themselves a form of abortion: "In the emergency room they have what's called rape kits, where a woman can get cleaned out. The woman had five months to make that decision, at this point we are looking at a baby that is very far along in its development."
State Rep. Jonathan Strickland (R): On June 23, as reproductive rights activists were protesting in the capitol, he tweeted:
State Rep. Wayne Christian (R): Stating the obvious in an interview with the Texas Tribunethis spring: "Of course it's a war on birth control, abortion, everything—that's what family planning is supposed to be about."
State Rep. Debbie Riddle (R): Posted, and then deleted, this Facebook note: "This is a tough fight—the Gallery is full of orange shirts—very few blue—orange are the ones I call Pro-death. I am Pro-life—so they must be Pro-death. A human is a human prior to birth just as it is human after it is born. We have killed 50 million babies after Roe v Wade. Hitler killed 6 million people." So at least she's not a Holocaust denier.
Cathie Adams, Texas Eagle forum president: Continuing with the Hitler theme, Adams took to Twitter to vent about "feminazis" and "stinky stalking feminists" swarming the capitol.
Donny Ferguson, aide to US Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas): "Wendy Davis's pink shoes offer good protection from biohazards and contaminated sharps found in the unregulated abortion shops she defends."
And here's one bonus from the last time Texas lawmakers took on abortion access, chronicledby Texas Monthly's Mimi Swartz:
State Rep. Sid Miller (R): Responding to a question from a female lawmaker as to what his 2011 sonogram bill would actually entail: "Actually, I have never had a sonogram done on me, so I'm not familiar with the exact procedure—on the medical procedure, how that proceeds." Details!
While it is truly hard to keep up with the sheer amount of graft, giveaways, turning of blind eyes, and special favors that has emanated from Rick Perry's 13 years in the Governor's mansion, when following the tale of SB5/SB1 it is hard to miss the crucial results of one of theprovisions:
#SB5 requires every abortion provider to be licensed as an ambulatory surgery center. This requirement will costs providers about $1 million and will have to comply with 117 pages of regulation. It is expected that all but five clinics would not be able to afford to stay open because they simply cannot afford to comply with these regulations.
Wait, an ambulatory surgery center, that's just the religious right chipping away at abortion around the edges, right? No one could possibly stand to gain from this provision, could they? Follow me below the fold.
If the bill passes, only five Texas abortion clinics would remain open—those that are already equipped as ambulatory surgical centers, advocates say. But a question remains: would the 420 other ambulatory surgical centers that exist in Texas begin performing the operation? Abortion rights advocates predict that the demand for the procedure won’t disappear with passage of the law.
One company that will be faced with that decision is United Surgical Partners International, based in Addison, TX. Their vice-president of government affairs is Milla Perry Jones, Gov. Rick Perry’s sister. She is also on the board of the Texas Ambulatory Surgical Center Society.
So if this bill passes, it provides Rick Perry's sister's company an opportunity to move into a new field, one where poor women can be charged an exorbitant rate for a desperate procedure. Expect abortions in Texas to continue, just at 2-3 times the previous going rates.
AUSTIN (The Borowitz Report)—Republican lawmakers in the Texas State Senate are proposing a precedent-setting new bill that would make it illegal for women to live in the state.
Senator Harland Dorrinson, one of the many pro-life lawmakers backing the woman ban, crafted his bill after witnessing Senator Wendy Davis filibuster an anti-abortion bill last month.
“That was our moment to say, ‘Enough is enough,’ ” he said. “This comes down to a choice between life and women, and we choose life.”
Senator Dorrinson said his bill would call for a twenty-foot woman-proof fence to be constructed along the borders of the state.
“Women are great at talking, but not at climbing,” he observed.
But another G.O.P. state senator, Cal Jamson, believes that the total ban on women goes “too far” and is proposing a less draconian bill that would allow some women to remain in the state as guest workers.
“Texas needs women to cook, clean, and cheerlead,” he said. “If they show that they can do those things and stay out of politics, there could be a pathway to citizenship.”
“We have beefed up security today,” said Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, speaking from the floor of the Texas Senate this afternoon. “We will not tolerate any outbursts.”
The state is currently debating SB 1, one of the nation’s toughest proposed bans on abortion. The hearing has created a “circus-like atmosphere” at the state capitol, notes NBC News, weeks after Sen. Wendy Davis filibustered against the draconian measure that could shut down virtually all abortion clinics in the state. After holding a second special session, the Texas House, however, approved new abortion limits on Wednesday and the bill is back on the table for debate.
Part of the preparations Dewhurst alludes to, however, reportedly include confiscating tampons and sanitary napkins — but not guns:
Lacking recent updates, but looks like the original Gov. Ultrasound, McDonald from VA, is suffering the cramped feeling of an ever-tightening PUSH TOWARD EXPULSION. With a rush and a flush, Let Virginia be delivered.