Texas law already forces a woman to undergo a sonogram and listen to a description of fetal development and/or any heart sounds, and then wait 24 hours before she is allowed to receive safe, legal abortion care. Now Texas Republicans mean to leave women with no safe place to go at all. And they expect women to shut up and take it with our heads bowed. Please add your voice, and say, "Enough is enough!"
Clinics providing abortion care in Texas already are heavily regulated, inspected and licensed by the state. They give safe and professional care to thousands of women every year. Texas Senate Bill 537 is a stealth attempt to close clinics by requiring them to qualify as highly expensive Ambulatory Surgical Centers--to rebuild as small hospitals. That would not improve patient safety, and would be impossible for most clinics to do anyway. Clinics would just have to close down, as has happened in other states where this same tactic has been used. That is what Rick Perry means when he says Texas will "pass laws to ensure abortions are as rare as possible under existing law.” That is the only reason for SB 537.
A Houston woman recently hemorrhaged and was hospitalized after aborting her own second trimester pregnancy with an illegally obtained drug. The Houston Chronicle reports that authorities are awaiting forensic investigations before filing charges against her. If abortion after 15 weeks was not already so restricted, this woman would not have needed thousands of dollars -- money she didn't have -- in order to get safe care. Should this bill become law, countless women across the state with early pregnancies will follow in her footsteps.
No law can "make abortion at any stage a thing of the past," as Gov. Perry desires. But some laws can and do make abortion legally risky and personally dangerous. No matter how you personally feel about abortion, if you are not yet ready to see women injured or dead, if you are not yet ready to put women in prison, then you cannot be ready for a law that leaves them so little other choice.