Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Forth Worth, who captured national attention when she led a 13-hour filibuster against Texas abortion restrictions, is now making waves during her gubernatorial campaign.
“As governor, I’ll always make investing in our Texas children my first priority,” Sen. Davis tweeted on Tuesday.
Pro-life voters were outraged by the comment and responded to her via Twitter.
“Only if they aren’t aborted first,” said one user.
“In her world, ‘invests’ means stabbing something sharp into their brain causing death,” said another.
“Dismembering them is not investing,” one man said.
“Do you HEAR yourself? #AbortionBarbie,” tweeted another.
In November, Davis made headlines when she declared that she’s actually prolife.
“We need to get away from labels. That’s the way people talk in Washington, D.C. through labels, through ideological frames, through partisan frames,” Davis later explained to CBS 11. “We can agree we care about life, and we can agree that we want the same goal, which is zero abortions to occur in the state of Texas.”
Despite being prolife, she says she still supports a woman’s right to chose, calling Republican efforts to change the abortion law a “raw abuse of power.”
The Texas abortion bill creates costly restrictions on abortion clinics that would force most in the state to shut down as well as ban abortion after 20 weeks.
“To be pro-life doesn’t necessarily end with a woman’s pregnancy, and in Texas, the point I was making was we need to think of life at all stages,” she said. “We need to think about children born in this state who deserve a good education and who deserve to be part of a higher education system.”
Trick-or-treaters in Albuquerque, N.M., received a surprise with their Halloween candy: graphic anti-abortion cards with pictures of fetuses and phrases like “I am not a clump of cells.”
Candy bars were sandwiched between anti-abortion cards that read “53 million killed”; “I am a human being”; and “Am I not human?”
KRQE News 13 visited the woman who handed out the cards. While other homes were decorated for Halloween, her house was plastered with anti-abortion posters and paintings of fetuses across her windows. One read “Abortion is Homicide.”
She would not speak on camera, but she said she stood by her actions. She believes if people chose to ring her doorbell for candy, she has a right to share her beliefs with them.
“We just noticed these cards attached to certain candies and started pulling them off, and we were pretty shocked to see that kind of stuff targeted at kids,” said one parent, Frank Valdez. “They’re forcing an agenda on little kids, pretty much.”
"My gut reaction is anger because children should not be subjected to that kind of adult material," a neighbor said Friday.
The cards are from the Right to Life movement, but placing them in Halloween handouts is not a part of the local movement, reported KOB 4.
“No, it’s not our organization,” said Elisa Martinez, head of the local group Protect ABQ Women and Children, which is pushing for a late-term abortion ban on the ballot this month.
“Everything that we’re putting out is focused on this ordinance and passing the ordinance,” Martinez said Friday. “Whatever anyone else feels empowered to do, we’re not going to stop them.”
Two abortion rights issues will be heading to the Supreme Court soon and are sure to lead to much more debate between differing sides.
One of the cases, according to the New York Times, is McCullen v. Coakley, No. 12-1168, which is a “challenge to a Massachusetts law that restricted protests near reproductive health care facilities.” This case concerns the Massachusetts buffer zone law that prohibits protests within 35 feet of abortion clinics.
Many pro-choice advocates say that protestors should not be able to use intimidation tactics when women are entering clinics to have abortions, while pro-life activists say that it is their right to protest wherever they choose.
The other case is Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, and this will decide whether states may limit the use of abortion drugs.
Many pro-life activists want abortion-inducing drugs to be made illegal, but this bill will decide whether or not a state can limit people’s use.
Both are hot topics for the issue of abortion, and will soon have their fates decided. In addition to the two abortion issues headed to the Supreme Court, other controversial issues will be decided upon, including ones regarding affirmative action, campaign finances and public prayer.
Despite the continued government shutdown that seems to have no end in sight, the Supreme Court has remained open and will deliver rulings on these issues soon.
The Texas state Senate, on a roll from its successful and high profile abortion restrictions, is considering another law aimed at curbing abortion.
Democratic State Sen. Eddie Lucio filed SB 42, which mandates the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to produce a three-hour “course” on adoption procedures as an alternative to abortion. The pro-life senator has stated explicitly that the bill is intended to change women’s minds. The course could be taken both online and in person.
“It is my hope that, when presented with more information on adoption resources and services available, more pregnancies can be carried to term,” Lucio said in a public statement.
Lucio was the only Democrat to support Gov. Rick Perry’s bill earlier this month that closed all but a few abortion clinics. This time, however, rather than targeting the providers of abortion, this bill sets its sights mostly on women considering an abortion.
Currently, a woman in Texas who seeks an abortion must see an ultrasound, hear a description of her fetus and undergo counseling before driving to one of the few remaining clinics open in Texas, the largest state of the territorial United States.
Proponents of the bill might argue it only serves to assure the woman is making a fully informed decision.
Opponents, however, might allege that the bill is patronizing, expensive and infeasible for low-income women working many jobs and with little time to spare.
“I am fully aware that this bill, filed on the last day of the second special legislative session, will not immediately pass,” Lucio said. “However, I intend to continue advocating adoption as an alternative."
Lucio plans to bring the bill to a vote in the third special session of congress announced by Perry earlier this week.
Sources: Huffington Post
On Thursday, three Texas Republicans filed a measure that would criminalize abortion after six weeks when a fetal heartbeat can first be detected.
Gawker called the Texan move a “greedy” one.
Rep. Phil King, Rep. Dan Flynn and Rep. Geanie Morrison filed the “heartbeat bill” the same day that Gov. Rick Perry signed controversial abortion restrictions into law, and after Planned Parenthood announced it would close three clinics in Texas. This is the first time that all three representatives have sponsored a bill relating to abortion.
“Our founding fathers realized that ‘Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness’ were among the most essential of the unalienable rights bestowed upon us by our Creator,” King wrote last week. “Over the past several weeks a debate has been raging in Austin over the first and greatest of these enumerated rights: life.”
In addition to criminalizing most abortions, radical “heartbeat bills” require ultrasounds that can only be done with a transvaginal probe. The text of the Texas bill includes a trigger provision, which means it would not take place unless Roe v. Wade was overturned.
Similar trigger provisions have been added in other states in the hopes of quickly banning abortion if Roe is invalidated. The first state to add the provision was North Dakota, though it is being challenged for overstepping Roe.
King said the bill will not be reviewed during the current special session, which ends July 31.
After weeks of protests at the Texas state capitol building and a historic filibuster performed by Wendy Davis, Gov. Rick Perry signed HB 2 into law Thursday, which will drastically reduce abortion access throughout the state.
The bill has banned abortions 20 weeks after fertilization – four weeks earlier than the standard set by Roe v. Wade. It also requires that all abortion clinics register as ambulatory surgical centers and that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles.
Additionally, a woman must now be in the presence of a doctor when she takes the abortion-inducing drug RU-486 instead of having the freedom to take it privately at home.
“This is an important day for those who support life and for those who support the health of Texas women,” Perry said. “In signing House Bill 2, we celebrate and further cement the foundation on which the culture of life in Texas is built.”
State Democrat lawmakers have vowed to immediately challenge the bill, promising to challenge its constitutionality. The bill was written with a severability clause, which means Democrats must challenge each component of the bill separately.
Democratic Sen. Royce West said the bill would inevitably be taken to court, considering a Wisconsin statute requiring doctors to have hospital admitting privileges was frozen by a federal judge last week. In May, an Arkansas law banning abortions after 12 weeks was granted an injunction.
Citing a tradition of separation of church and state in Rhode Island, Gov. Lincoln Chafee vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have authorized funds from a “Choose Life” license plate to be contributed to a Christian crisis pregnancy center.
The CareNet Pregnancy Center of Rhode Island in Providence offers free pregnancy testing, post-abortion counseling and information about abortion alternatives. The clinic prides itself on being a Christian organization that offers “real choices” to women.
In his veto to lawmakers, Chafee wrote that license plates are meant to register and identify a motor vehicle, and not for the transmission of funds that would violate the separation of church and state.
Chafee argued that the state was founded on that principal when Roger Williams first opened the state as a haven of tolerance.
License plates supporting environmental conservation, breast cancer research, food banks and charitable activities of the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots are still permitted.
Supporters of the law in the General Assembly argued that people would have the option to decline purchasing a “Choose Life” license, adding that the raised funds would reduce abortions within the state.
Barth Bracy, executive director of Rights to Life of Rhode Island, accused Chafee of hiding behind the separation of church and state instead of revealing himself as an abortion extremist. He added that Chafee was “out of step” with other New England Democrats.
The Rights to Life group said it would consider requesting an override, though lawmakers are not expected to vote against the governor’s veto.
An override would require a three-fifths majority vote to pass. Considering the bill barely passed with a majority vote in the House and Senate, an attempt to reestablish it would hardly be worth the effort if the outcome is unpredictable.
A spokesman for Democratic House Speaker, Gordon Fox, said lawmakers would carefully review the vetoed bill before taking further action.
Gov. Rick Perry defended the Texas bill restricting abortions Sunday, arguing that the legislation is not anti-women despite Wendy Davis’ claims otherwise.
Perry, who argued that restricting abortions should be a state and not a federal issue, said that most Texans consider 20 weeks a reasonable amount of time to decide on an abortion.
“Most people, I think, in this country, and in Texas certainly, believe that six months is too late to be deciding whether or not these babies should be aborted or not,” Perry said, defending the proposal which Davis deemed draconian.
Perry also argued against a common concern of clinic access, citing Davis’ statistic that 90% of abortion clinics would close as an incorrect assumption.
“I don't agree with her premise,” Perry said, “and I don't agree with her numbers.”
Perry added that Texas has invested a great sum of money in women’s healthcare in the past two years, partly because the federal government stripped Texas of its healthcare funds when it refused to comply with federal abortion standards.
Davis, however, argued that weighing down taxpayers with millions of dollars spent through Medicaid for unplanned births was not an investment in women. She blamed Perry and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst for burdening taxpayers with the bill.
The bill would involve a set of new restrictions, including a mandate that doctors who perform abortions have hospital admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles, and requiring that clinics follow the same codes as ambulatory surgical centers. The bill would also restrict usage of the drug RU486, which is used for medical abortions.