Texas votes to close 90% of its abortion clinics, ban abortion after 20 weeks

The Texas House just passed, by a huge majority (97-33), some of the strictest abortion laws in the nation. One of the new restrictions will make abortion illegal after 20 weeks, instead of the standard 24 weeks. Why? Because people hate science, and despite the fact that science unequivocally says that a fetus just does not have the kind of nerve endings that allow it to feel pain until 24/25 weeks– they have decided that it probably feels pain at 20 weeks. Which, once again, not at all true.

The vast majority of abortions happen within the first trimester. Like, over 80%. In almost all cases, late term abortions happen either for the health of the mother or because of birth defects, like the child will be born without a brain or won’t be able to survive more than a few hours after birth, and will often be in excruciating pain the entire time. Women do not have late term abortions because they are lazy, or because they just plum forgot to go have one early on, or because they’re fickle, hysterical wenches who changed their mind that late in the game. Abortions are not laundry.

The other restrictions imposed in the bill will result in the closing of nearly 90% of the abortion clinics in Texas. In a state that’s larger than most countries, there will be only 5 abortion clinics left.

The sad thing is that those hit hardest by these restrictions will be the most vulnerable: the poor. The women who might not have the option of travelling to another city to have an abortion. The women whose lives may be endangered by their pregnancy that will not have the option of travelling to another state.

Even before Roe v. Wade passed, abortion wasn’t illegal or impossible for everybody. See, if you had the money, you could go to New York or Washington, where it was legal, and have one done safely and legally in the comfort of a doctor’s office. If you did not, well, that’s where the back alley abortions came in. That’s where the wire hangers came in. That’s where the trying to throw yourself down the stairs came in. That’s where pennyroyal tea came in.

What abortion opponents fail to understand is that abortion happens whether it is legal or not. This is not the same thing as saying, “Well, murder happens whether it’s legal or not! So why not just legalize murder?” Why? Because, murder isn’t legal for rich people either. Just ask Phil Spector. Rich people cannot just fly to another state on their private jet and murder someone and have it be peachy keen with everyone. Having two sets of laws for the rich and the poor is about as deeply unjust as you can get.

As these things keep happening, all I can think of is the fact that I have been told all my life that it was silly for me to base my voting and political support on protecting my right to choose. I was constantly told that they’d never actually go after that, for real. Now they are, and it’s getting serious, and I’m getting scared.

Now it goes on to Gov. Rick Perry, who, duh, is expected to sign it into law. Which means we just have to hope that the Supreme Court will overturn it.