The following petition expresses dissent on Governor Perry’s decision to add abortion to the 2013 Second Special Session agenda of the Texas Legislature.
Throughout the first 2013 special session of the Texas Legislature, members of the body and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, appointed by the Governor Rick Perry, continually violated their Oath of Office to "...preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of Texas". Various members of the Legislature, both in the House and the Senate attempted to pass an unconstitutional bill, SB 5, which reduced the time to abortion to 20 weeks instead of the often-cited 24-28 week timepoint acknowledged in Roe v. Wade (1973). This clearly violates a precedent law within the United States, and constitutes sufficient grounds for an impeachment trial of proposed sponsors, which would be initiated by members of the Texas House.
SB5 is purported by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on his Twitter account to "...[protect] the health of women AND their babies..." but the bill places an undue burden on women to get an abortion: under the bill, abortion centers would need to be upgraded to ambulatory surgical centers. With no increased funding or assurance guaranteed by SB5, only five currently certified ambulatory surgical centers are spread between Dallas (1), Houston (2), Austin (1), and San Antonio (1). In violation of due process, rural women could be forced to travel hundreds of miles to get an abortion, thus violating their 14th amendment right to get an abortion within the constraints of Roe v. Wade (1973).
The bill has no medical precedent to change abortions to 20-weeks, ignoring the credible article by the respected Journal of the American Medical Association (2005 294(8): pgs. 947-54): which states that "fetal awareness of noxious stimuli requires functional thalamocortical connections...[and] [t]halamocortical fibers begin appearing between 23 to 30 weeks' gestational age." Thus, SB5 represented an open attack on contemporary science and medicine. The decision should bring concern to any person, capable of giving birth or not, who is interested in the legitimacy of science and medicine, as SB5 would have represented an unscientific basis for medical decision-making.
With a population of 26 million, Texas would set political precedent for similar legislation by other states. Atrociously, one of the main proponents of the bill, Rep. Laubenberg, showed her lack of medical knowledge by stating that "in the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits, where a woman can get cleaned out," but a rape kit is only used for forensic purposes. No studies were described or defended in the 2nd and 3rd readings of the house, and Rep. Laubenberg refused to yield to questions within the house after a portion of time. The sponsors and voters of the bill chose to proceed with the bill without the backing of the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Hospital Association.
Because of their violation of their Oath of Office and these key offenses, it is prudent to consider the extent to which key sponsors of the bill fulfilled their legislative duties:
The senators and representatives who have supported this bill have shown themselves to be unlawful legislators, and have refused to properly acknowledge their oath. One Senator’s twitter (Bill Zedler) referred to Sen. Wendy Davis’ attempt to follow the constitution of the US by filibustering SB5 as follows: "We had terrorist [sic] in the Texas State Senate Opposing SB 5."
Lastly, the removal of abortion from the Legislative session will allow the pursuit of legislation concerning transportation and judicial punishment for minors, instead of pursuing unconstitutional legislation.
The individual and collective members and institutions signing this petition respectfully request the removal of abortion from the Second Special Session by Governor Rick Perry and the reconsideration of the office of the above-mentioned Senators by the House of Representatives, in respect for the culture and process of the legislature in Texas.