The House of the Texas Legislature, in a special session vote today, may be signing women’s death warrants.
Thursday night, hundreds of women testified against omnibus anti-abortion bills which would close all but 5 clinics in the state of Texas and ban abortions after 20 weeks, in addition to adding restrictions to the RU-486 abortion pill. Andrea Grimes of RH Reality Check explains the stakes for this battle:
Thursday, Texans of all stripes, from teenagers to septuagenarians who remember what the reproductive rights landscape was like before Roe v. Wade, signed up to testify against an omnibus abortion bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks, shutter all but five abortion clinics in the state, require physicians who provide abortions to have hospital admitting privileges, and make legal medical abortion all but impossible to acquire and prescribe.
They drove in: six hours from the Rio Grande Valley, three hours from Houston and Dallas, an hour and a half from San Antonio. Many were abortion providers and OB-GYNs. Many were lawyers. Many were college students. Many were parents. Seven hundred people in all reportedly signed up to testify, according to a statement made just before midnight by one of the committee members.
The vast majority of those who bore witness at the nearly 11-hour hearing were white, city-dwelling, English-speaking, cisgender women, and it is vital to remember that white, city-dwelling, English-speaking, cisgender women are not the Texans who will be most affected by this legislation.
The Texans who will be most likely to be denied abortions, who would travel over the border to Mexican pharmacies, who would have no choice but to carry unwanted pregnancies to term because they could not travel to one of four remaining Texas cities with an abortion provider, are those who are already unable to take time off work, arrange child care, and drive hundreds of miles to sit in a cold, sterile room—either for an abortion or for three minutes of air time in front of a Capitol committee.
I’m attending the hearings this afternoon and any associated protests I can find. Below, you can find my tweets on the subject:
Photo by Kit O’Connell, released under a Creative Commons license.