Yesterday HB 2 passed the House (98 – 49) with five Democrats voting for the bill and one Republican voting against it, House Gives Early OK to Abortion Restrictions.
After more than 10 hours of debate, the House voted 98-49 to tentatively approve the abortion regulations in House Bill 2, which would ban abortions at 20 weeks and add regulations to abortion providers and facilities that opponents argue would effectively eliminate access to abortion in Texas. The House must approve the bill again on another calendar day before it will be sent to the Senate.
In closing remarks on HB 2, Republicans emphasized that their goal was to protect women and unborn children, while Democrats expressed concern that the legislation would harm women by decreasing access to safe and legal abortions without offering any alternatives, such as education.
The Democrats had a different goal in the amendment process this time then to stall the action, via QR, “Democratic action today [was] geared toward building legal record for future court challenge”.
Kuff has a great wrap-up of Monday’s hearing in the Senate and yesterday’s action on the House floor, Back to the House. In it he points to an editorial, (Get ready for all those babies), which is likely to expose the Texas GOP’s neglect of it’s stewardship of state government even more.
By the way, while Texas Republicans are pushing bills like HB2 to prove how “pro-life” they are, here are some things they’re not doing.
With new abortion laws in place, Texans can expect a significant increase in the number of babies born every year. That’s the whole point—to turn more pregnancies into live births.
We can expect the mothers of a multitude of these “extra” babies to be teens, unwed and/or poor. Those are the demographics of a significant proportion of women who choose abortions.
Since the moral impetus for reducing, if not eliminating, abortions is advocacy for life, then Texans should demonstrate our support for these babies. When you examine many of our current practices and policies, you understand why outsiders claim Texans are more concerned about fetuses than babies, children and teenagers.
Texas is among the nation’s leaders in child poverty, teen pregnancy, dropout rates and illiteracy. We’re also among the nation’s lowest-spending states on child poverty, teen pregnancy, dropout rates and illiteracy. Some people attribute these maladies to dependence on government, the product of a so-called welfare state. If that were true, then their incidence would be higher in states that spend the most on child welfare, anti-poverty programs and education, not the least-spending small-government states, like Texas.
Ironically, conservative states composed of higher percentages of Bible-believing Christians—from Texas across the South—suffer the blights of child poverty, teen pregnancy, dropout rates and illiteracy much more promiscuously than their more secular counterparts. Those are the states many Texans and Southerners call “pagan” and “dark.”
This disparity is an affront to the name of Jesus. Small wonder unbelieving outsiders doubt the compassion of Christ and the credibility of Christians. We often treat people Jesus called “the least” worse than unbelievers do.
If Texans’ conservative moral values prompt our state to implement one of the nation’s most stringent abortion codes, then we should accept the responsibility for all those babies we will bring into the world. We need to do right by them.
Yeah, that’s not going to happen. Not while Rick Perry is Governor, and not if Greg Abbott becomes Governor. These things are not important to them.
Anyway. In the end, HB2 passed as expected, and if it passes on third reading today it could then be taken up by the Senate as early as Friday, though Monday may be more likely. Either way, needless to say it will be well outside the filibuster zone. The next stop will be the federal courthouse, where a similar law from Wisconsin was at least temporarily blocked. Of course, we have the Fifth Circuit to overcome, but let’s keep hope alive anyway.
For more on the House debate, see BOR, Texpatriate, the Observer, Texas Politics, Raw Story, and PoliTex. Finally, the Village Voice reminds us that a whole lot of the bill supporters currently infesting Austin are outside agitators, while Sen. Wendy Davis and a bunch of actual Texans are touring the state to stand against these needless bills
Texapate has more on this and other legislation that is moving in the special session, Lege Update 7/9. And PDiddie has more on the incredible hypocrisy of Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R-Parker), As dumb as bean dip.