Texas changes rules on abortion: world as the left knows it comes to an end
By John D. Turner
23 Jul 2013

When the federal government told Catholic hospitals that, despite their deeply held religious beliefs, they would be required to provide abortion services in their health care plans, the Catholic Church complained. The federal government, ever the guardians of first amendment rights, informed them that while they had the right to hold those beliefs, that right did not trump the rights of others to obtain abortion services; they had one year to get their ducks in a row or be shut down.

When the EPA decided to treat carbon dioxide as a ‘pollutant,’ and regulate tightly how much of the gas coal-fired power plants could emit, many if not all of the existing plants were not in compliance. This did not deter the EPA from requiring the changes be made. Nor did the fact that a great many of the plants will now be force to close cause the government to change its stance.

Strangely, no one on the left had a problem with either of these decisions. In fact, they applauded them as being “progressive.”

So here we sit in the great state of Texas. Governor Rick Perry has just signed into law a new bill on abortion that will make changes in the way abortions are handled here. And what are the headlines?

The Daily Kos website is particularly poignant, with a graphic that shows the number of “legal abortion clinics” before the law was signed into effect today, and the number of “legal abortion clinics” after. Of course the graphic is a bit misleading as it gives the impression that only five clinics in the entire state are “legal” and the rest must be shut down immediately when in fact that is not true.

Just like the Catholic hospitals, all clinics in Texas have a year to come into compliance with the new law before they face being shut down.

The Reuters article notes that “Planned Parenthood and other operators of clinics have warned that only a handful of the 42 facilities in Texas providing abortions now meet the standards set in the new law, and the cost of upgrading could force dozens to close.”

Well gosh! That sounds unfair! Imagine – many of the facilities don’t currently meet the standards and would have to spend money to upgrade. Some might even be force to close! Sort of like those coal-fired power plants that now have to meet increased EPA regulations. But whereas forcing coal-fired power plants that supply electricity to millions of Americans to meet regulations that may cost billions and even force closures is apparently ok as far as the left is concerned, placing any sort of “regulation” on abortion clinics, which might inconvenience hundreds of women, is simply unconscionable according to those same folks on the left.

And “inconvenience” is the proper term here. Loss of electricity due to insufficient power generation can cause life-threatening conditions, injury or even death. Not being able to get an abortion on demand means you may end up having a baby, which, if you still don’t want it for whatever reason, can always be given up for adoption. I know, I know – how insensitive! I must just hate women to say a thing like that!

But sometimes, you may say, a woman simply has to get an abortion; it could be a life-threatening situation. A woman could die if she couldn’t get that abortion. With all those clinics closed, you are putting women’s lives in danger!

Not so. Abortion clinics are not the only places that provide abortions. Hospitals do as well. And if it is a matter of life or death, wouldn’t you prefer to have it done in a hospital, with a doctor attending and a surgical center available in case of need? Particularly if things are so dire that it is a matter of life and death?

So what does the law require exactly?

Well, it bans abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The law in Texas prior to this banned abortion after 26 weeks. Some abortion supporters expect that moving it to 20 weeks will cause the Supreme Court to rule the law unconstitutional. They point out that Roe v Wade allowed abortion up to the point a fetus is “viable,” defined as when it can live outside the womb.

The definition of “viability” has proven to be highly elastic, depending on the state in which you live. However, one thing is certain; advances in medicine have been moving the line at which babies can survive outside the womb earlier and earlier, and the Roe v Wade didn’t specify ‘unaided’ viability.

Moving the limit from 26 weeks to 20 weeks shouldn’t be something that causes most of the abortion clinics in Texas to close – unless of course the argument is an economic one. That is, there won’t be enough clientele wanting abortions prior to 20 weeks to ensure the economic viability of some or all the clinics. Of course, then we would be saying that we need to be able to kill children in the womb later simply so we can make money. That smacks of a capitalist approach. Is that a valid argument for a confirmed progressive to make? It isn’t one the left embraces on other issues. For the most part, making money seems to be a bad thing as far as they are concerned. They usually consider “profit” to be a dirty word, usually prefaced by the word “obscene.”

For the rest of us, is allowing later term abortions simply so that the institution performing the abortion can make more money (and stay in business) a valid moral argument? We once argued in this country that trafficking in humans (i.e. slavery) was immoral. Should not we view killing them for profit to be immoral as well? Surely this too is a form of trafficking in humans.

In any event, 12 other states have passed bans on abortions after 20 weeks also. It isn’t as if Texas is breaking new ground here. Indeed, Arkansas has banned abortions after the 12th week, and North Dakota has gone even further, banning them after six weeks.

The law also requires all abortion facilities to meet the same standards as outpatient surgery centers and requires doctors performing abortions to have hospital admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. Again, I am not sure why that is such a bad thing. It is an outpatient surgical procedure after all; why should abortion be held to a different standard from other outpatient surgical procedures? And things have been known to go wrong. I would think that if it were me, I would want the doctor performing the procedure to have hospital admitting privileges to a hospital nearby.

Of course, as a guy, I probably just don’t understand, being as I will never have to worry about having an abortion. That “inability to relate” probably disqualifies me from even having an opinion in the minds of some. On the other hand, I have been told that having an abortion is no different than having an appendectomy. Surely, if one were having an appendectomy at an outpatient surgical facility, one would want the surgeon in charge to have admitting privileges and a hospital close by just in case – not at some Podunk facility out in the middle of nowhere.

But then again, what could possibly go wrong? How could one even suggest that a woman’s “right” to obtain an abortion (at any time and apparently at any place) could possibly be held hostage to any sort of rule or regulation, even one purporting to be in her own best interest? How could one expect that any location performing legal abortions be inconvenienced by regulating the care it gives? You can regulate hospitals; heck, you can prevent parents from providing their children with aspirin. But inconvenience an abortion clinic? Heavens forfend!

The law also requires the abortion pill RU-486 to be dispensed by a doctor, and requires a second dosage be administered at a clinic under a doctor’s supervision – not at home like taking an aspirin. Again, I see no problem here. RU-486 isn’t an aspirin – it is serious medication. There is even the (remote) possibility that you may die yourself. It is not the same thing as the “Morning After Pill,” which is simply a high dosage of normal birth control pills. In any event follow-up with a doctor is necessary, to confirm that the abortion did in fact complete (it isn’t 100% certain). If it didn’t, a surgical abortion is encouraged as the baby may have been injured or deformed by the drug.

Surely, a requirement to have the second dosage administered at the clinic is not unreasonable, and should not be a reason that abortion clinics should close. Indeed, this should increase patronage, since those seeking this type of abortion would need to make at least one additional trip to the clinic. Unless of course, they are worried that the inconvenience might lead some women to elect not to abort in the first place, and therefore, again, impact their bottom line.

Incidentally, RU-486 is not cheaper than a surgical abortion; it typically requires four or more visits to a doctor to complete, is 3-4 times more expensive, and increases your risk of death by 10 times over a surgical abortion. And other states have similar laws as the new Texas law regarding its use. Why anyone would want to go this route is beyond me.

And yet, you would think that women were under siege by a bunch of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals intent on grabbing them by the hair, clubbing them over the head, and dragging them back to a cave where they were to be put to work scrubbing the floor and changing diapers. According to Nancy Pelosi, "What is at risk is the discretion of a woman to make judgments about the size and time, timing of her family... It's respect for the judgment of women about what is good for them, for their families, their health, which is important to their families."

She also went on to say “The reality is that people in our country do practice birth control and use contraception.”

Since the law dealt with abortion and had nothing to say at all about dispensing birth control pills and other means of contraception (IUDs, cervical caps, etc) one has to ask, is Nancy finally admitting that abortion is used routinely as a means of contraception, and, as a Catholic, why is that OK with her?

Normally when the subject of abortion as contraception is broached with a liberal, they go on some long diatribe about rape, incest, and the mother’s life being in danger. Is the left finally coming out of the closet on abortion as well, and admitting that as far as they are concerned, no time is too late and no reason invalid for an abortion to be performed whenever a woman decides to have one?

Nancy thinks that we on the right need “a lesson on the birds and the bees.” I don’t think so Nancy. We know where babies come from. And I haven’t seen many abortion clinics set up by birds or bees or any other sort of critter; only humans seem to practice that sort of thing; although I have witnessed Gerbils eating their young soon after birth. Perhaps Nancy thinks we ought to go in for that as well?

Nancy is good at shooting off her mouth without knowing in the least what she is talking about. Or does she? She also spouted out this gem:

"This is women's health, reproductive part of us is part of our health, and-and, especially young women," the House's top Democrat said. "How can they say that we're not going to be doing contraception or we're not going to be doing family planning? And so people focus on the most extreme cases in terms of terminating a pregnancy."

Again, Nancy, no one is even talking about contraception here. No one is saying you can’t have contraception. No one is saying we aren’t going to be “doing contraception” or “family planning.” The focus is on what you are calling “the most extreme case;” the termination of a pregnancy.

Those on the left are always so in to “code words” when those of us on the right say something. They are constantly saying that what we say is really “code words” for something else. So tell me Nancy, are “contraception” and “family planning” liberal “code words” for abortion?

So what will the effect of the law be for the “common folk” seeking abortions in the State of Texas? Will all these abortion clinics close?

Some might. In fact, the closure of three Planned Parenthood clinics has already been reported in the press. However only one of these three clinics performs abortions (and is therefore affected by the legislation) and that one, being underfunded, was on shaky legs to begin with. I am about as concerned about abortion clinics closing due to this law as those on the left are about coal-fired power plants closing due to new EPA regulations.

I also am pretty sure that the ability of a woman to have an abortion will not be diminished. New clinics will appear that adhere to the law, if it is profitable for them to do so, or if they are subsidized by other organizations. If those on the left are that concerned, I see no reason why they can’t put their money where their mouth is. I contribute to charities and non-profits that I am interested in – surely they can do the same.

For those on the left, abortion is like a sacrament. And like a sacrament, it is something they will fight to the death over; something not to be denied.