Texas Consolidates its Most Horrifying Anti-Choice Bills Into One Nightmare Piece of Legislation


This is the worst “I told you so.” Those four short words bear the weight of lies and broken promises, of empty words from empty people: Republicans who promised they would not go on the offensive against Texans’ reproductive rights this year.

But I did tell you so. When Texas lawmakers—Republicans and Democrats alike—along with members of the media, hailed the 83rd Texas Legislature as a session of compromise and harmony on the issue of abortion, I said reasonable people were being set up by Republicans hell-bent on opening satellite offices in every Texan uterus at the first opportunity.

That opportunity is here. It’s called a “special session.”

Republican Gov. Rick Perry called the 30-day special session this month to address Texas’ redistricting issues, as he and his fellow Republicans fight to prevent the state’s growing minority populations from receiving the democratic representation they’re due; a federal court struck down state and federal district maps drawn in 2011, declaring them discriminatory.

But this week, Perry added a sweeping anti-choice bill to the legislature’s agenda: SB 5, filed by state Sen. Glenn Hegar (R-Katy), combines the worst of anti-choice legislators’ proposed abortion bills from the regular session into a nightmarish document that would decimate Texans’ access to safe, legal abortion care. If passed in its entirety, SB 5 would:

  • ban all abortions after 20 weeks, with the exception of those “necessary to avert the death or substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman” or if a fetal anomaly “will result in the death of the infant not later than minutes to hours after birth regardless of the provision of lifesaving medical treatment.”
  • require all abortion-providing doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where the procedure is performed.
  • effectively ban telemedical abortions, requiring doctors to provide the abortion pill (a mifepristol/mifepristone combination) in person and according to outdated 13-year-old Food and Drug Administration regulations that are not only unnecessary, but thought to be potentially harmful in current practice, according to the American College of Gynecologists and the Texas Medical Association.
  • require all abortion providers to be licensed as ambulatory surgical centers, which would reduce the number of sites at which a Texan can obtain an abortion to a total of five, located solely in major metropolitan areas.

The Texas Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee, dominated by lawmakers whose heads are buried miles deep in the anti-choice sand, will hear SB 5 Thursday at 3:45 p.m. (Here are some ways to take action against SB 5, in addition to attending tomorrow’s meeting.)

Perhaps what’s most disgusting about the whole thing—and what belies Republicans’ claim of honoring a “culture of life” in Texas—is that there are plenty of ways Gov. Perry and his colleagues could have taken steps to help pregnant women, and children already born, here in Texas. When Perry placed SB 5 on the special session agenda, his office released this statement:

“The horrors of the national late-term abortion industry are continuing to come to light, one atrocity at a time. Sadly, some of those same atrocities happen in our own state. In Texas, we value all life, and we’ve worked to cultivate a culture that supports the birth of every child,” Gov. Perry said. “We have an obligation to protect unborn children, and to hold those who peddle these abortions to standards that would minimize the death, disease and pain they cause.”

When Perry says he wants to “cultivate a culture that supports the birth of every child,” what he means is that he wants to force every pregnant person in Texas to carry their pregnancy to term, as demanded by a state government that thinks it knows Texans better than they know themselves—and that thinks it’s better qualified to practice medicine than members of the Texas Medical Association or the American College of Gynecologists.

If Perry cared about the health and well-being of pregnant women and infants and children in Texas, he could have:

This is but a sampling of the many proposals that could have helped reduce poverty and improve the health of Texans. But Rick Perry did not do any of these things. The three-term governor of Texas has built his political career on pandering and platitudes, on good ole’ boy cronyism and, in the case of his claims this week about supporting a culture of life, outright lies.

And in making this cowardly and despicable play with SB 5, Perry and his Republican colleagues have waited to strike until Democrats had been divested of their best weapon: the Texas Senate’s two-thirds rule, which requires the approval of two-thirds of state senators before a bill can make it to the floor. But that rule doesn’t stand in special session. Now that Republicans can steamroll any opposition, they’ve no need to “compromise” with Democrats, or pretend to play nice.

They can go back to dirty, underhanded, anti-uterus business as usual.

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  • Kathryn Rehmert

    How can they determine if a fetus will not survive more than a few minutes at 21 weeks when we do not rescusitate healthy fetuses that are born too early?? Are they going to mandate resuscitation of non-viable infants now?? This is disgusting and it is worse here in Arkansas.. they have already passed legislation that will cause a federal lawsuit.. but they do not care..

    • Jenny Horton

      I’m from Arkansas and am living in Texas. This legislation sincerely makes me want to vomit. If you’re a Texan please take a moment to call your representative– In Austin your Texas State Senator is Kirk Watson (512 463-0114) and your State Representatives are Dawna Dukes (512 463-0506) and Eddie Rodriguez (512 463-0674).

  • TFYFWYA

    this fuckwad needs to be assassinated

  • pitbullgirl1965

    Where are the Dems on this? Why the fuck aren’t they speaking out!?

  • Rhonda Lowenstein

    Texas as f’d up as it is, has NOTHING on North Dakota, where I am unfortunate enough to live for the time being under my youngest child, whom I CHOSE to have, has graduated from high school. North Dakota has: banned abortion at 12 weeks, banned abortion at 20 weeks (YES, ALL at the same time!), requires admitting privileges to hospitals for the ONE abortion clinic we have, banned abortion in cases of genetic abnormalities and gender selection (even though gender selection does not exist in ND) and turn physicians into felons, and passed the personhood amendment that would ban birth control, ban invitro fertilization, ban abortion all together, and close down our only clinic. Nice try, Mr. Perry, but Jack Daylrimple has you beat! And speaking of beat, if you want to rape someone, you may want to consider living in ND in the oil fields, because our legislators have done nothing about violence against women in the oil fields. (the last statement is meant as sarcasm for the lame legislators we have here; although true, I am in NO WAY condoning rape).

  • Bryan Gremillion

    Life Begins At Conception. Having An Abortion At Your Own Free Will Makes You A Murderer And You Deserve To Be Convicted Of Murder And Be Arrested And Jailed For Life With Hardened Felons. For People Who Choose Abortion And Have One At Their Own Free Will, May The Lord Jesus Christ Have Mercy On Your Soul Because You Will Need Every Single Ounce Of It. If Your Mom Chose Life When She Was Pregnant With You, You Need To Do The Same For Your Baby. Having An Abortion Can Send You Burning In Hell. Jesus Christ Will Remember That On Judgement Day.

    • Anonymous

      A tip – no one will read this if you put in caital letters like that, because it makes you look both insane and ignorant. If you want to protect life, then make sure that women have the money and resources they need to raise a baby – as it is, right wing welfare cuts make this impossible.

    • cjvg

      I suggest you start promoting mandatory vasectomy laws for every male past 13!
      No unwanted abortions would ever take place!
      No unwanted, rape, incest or teen pregnancies would ever occur.
      No need for birth control
      Men would be in complete control of their own reproductive capacities.
      Every child is wanted
      If a couple decides they BOTH want a child they can make a quick visit to the sperm bank and viola!
      Total Utopia!

  • Bryan Gremillion

    As Far As Abortion Goes, We Need Unlimited Government cControl To Save The Lives Of Innocent Babies.

  • Bryan Gremillion

    And By The Way, Those Who Support Free-Will Abortions (Abortions That Are By Own Free Choice, Not To Save Life Of Mother) Are Definitely Supporting Kermit Gosnell And His Sick Practice.

    • Sarah Katelynn Bonney

      You’re a massive idiot. Take your bible thumping ignorance elsewhere please, preferably off a cliff.

      • Bryan Gremillion

        Bottom Line, I Am Hoping These Laws Do Pass. Roe Vs Wade Is A Big Mistake. In Regard To The Baby’s Life Inside The Womb, The Government Should Have The Right To Legislate Against The Choice To Abort. People Who Abort Their Child Like SayFor Gender Selection Or Convinence Are Being Selfish And Have No Regard To Human Life. This Country Needs To Follow In Brazil’s Footsteps Regarding Abortion. If One Cannot Care For The Child, Give The Child To Adoption.

  • Bryan Gremillion

    What Is Very Hypocritical Are Those Who aAre Pro Abortion But Against The Death Penalty Because They Imply That Convicted Murderers And Terrorists Deserve A Better Fate Than An Innocent Unborn Child Which Is Extremely Sad And Terrifying. Free-Will Abortions Need To Be Criminalized And Demonized Because It Is No Different Than What A Serial Killer Does.

  • Bryan Gremillion

    But I Do Believe In Protecting The Right Of Brestfeeding Mothers, But The Laws I Wish That Would Pass Are The Ones Against Abortion Itself.

  • Erin

    Wether you’re for abortion or against it, we should all agree that it should be a woman’s CHOICE whether she has one or not. While I personally don’t agree with having an abortion after 20 weeks (you’ve carried it that long and NOW you’re deciding you don’t want it?) I still believe that government has no place in a woman’s personal reproductive abilities. By taking away the few abortion providers who can perform the operation safely and effectively, women are going to be desperate and go elsewhere, to potentially unsafe conditions. And do you know how many children are cycling through the adoption system in the US? Our country makes it too difficult to adopt (hence why many Americans go elsewhere to adopt children). The system is overflowing. Think about the child’s future, whether in the adoption cycle or in a home where the parents cannot adequately take care of him/her. It’s pretty simple, really. Don’t like abortions? Don’t get one. But don’t take away the rights of others who believe differently.

    • Corey Turner

      While I am glad that you understand that the choice of the mother is the most important, the sentence where you say “you’ve carried it that long and NOW you’re deciding you don’t want it?” alarms me. Based on the research from the Guttmacher Institute, only 1.1% of abortions take place after 20 weeks. These are primarily because of danger to the mother or viability of the fetus. Some of the fetal anomalies cannot be determined until that age and medical conditions in the client come about later on – it’s not like they just didn’t get around to making a doctor’s appt. For the others, please consider that most women who want abortions would like to have it done as soon as possible. Factors such as accessibility and cost push the procedure further back for them. Laws such as making all clinics surgical centers, whether they do surgical abortions or not, are intended to limit accessibility and increase cost, making it harder for women to get enough money or time off to be able to have the procedure. They are causing women to have to wait longer.

  • Bryan G

    If you think about it for those who support Abortion (murdering of innocent unborn babies), how would you all feel if your mother aborted you? Are you happy your mother chose life when she was pregnant with you? The reason why people who want an abortion do not want to hear the baby’s heartbeat and do not want to have and see the image of the ultrasound is because they know they are committing murder because of their own selfishness and convenience that they do not want to be shamed and guilty but they need to. People who want to abort their child need to be miserable with guilt forever and God sure will remember that on judgment day.

  • Guest

    Plus they do need to steamroll these bills fast

  • Bryan G

    If you think about it for those who support Abortion (murdering of
    innocent unborn babies), how would you all feel if your mother aborted
    you? Are you happy your mother chose life when she was pregnant with
    you? The reason why people who want an abortion do not want to hear the
    baby’s heartbeat and do not want to have and see the image of the
    ultrasound is because they know they are committing murder because of
    their own selfishness and convenience that they do not want to be shamed
    and guilty but they need to. People who want to abort their child need
    to be miserable with guilt forever and have their hearts broken. Abortion is what is horrifying, not these bills. I am in complete support of bills making it harder to murder babies. This country needs to go back to pre-Roe vs Wade

  • Guest

    If you think about it for those who support Abortion (murdering of
    innocent unborn babies who cannot defend themselves and protect themselves), how would you all feel if your mother aborted
    you? Are you happy your mother chose life when she was pregnant with
    you? The reason why people who want an abortion do not want to hear the
    baby’s heartbeat and do not want to have and see the image of the
    ultrasound is because they know they are committing murder because of
    their own selfishness and convenience that they do not want to be shamed
    and guilty but they need to. People who want to abort their child need

    to be miserable with guilt forever and have their hearts broken.
    Abortion is what is horrifying, not these bills. I am in complete
    support of bills making it harder to murder babies. This country needs
    to go back to pre-Roe vs Wade

  • Bryan G

    If you think about it for those who support Abortion (murdering of
    innocent unborn babies who cannot defend themselves and protect themselves and who cannot fight back to protect their own life), how would you all feel if your mother aborted
    you? Are you happy your mother chose life when she was pregnant with
    you? The reason why people who want an abortion do not want to hear the
    baby’s heartbeat and do not want to have and see the image of the
    ultrasound is because they know they are committing murder because of
    their own selfishness and convenience that they do not want to be shamed
    and guilty but they need to. People who want to abort their child need to be miserable with guilt forever and have their hearts broken.
    Abortion is what is horrifying, not these bills. I am in complete
    support of bills making it harder to murder babies. This country needs
    to go back to pre-Roe vs Wade

  • Bryan G

    Use of profane language shows immaturity and behavior of a two year old.