Texas House Committee Passes Omnibus Anti-Abortion Bill After Cook Refuses Late-Night Testimony

Read all of RH Reality Check‘s coverage of the recent fight for reproductive rights in Texas here.

Unwilling to stay up late, Texas state Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana) shut down a public hearing just after midnight Tuesday night with over 1,000 people waiting to testify on the omnibus anti-abortion bill, HB 2, that would close all but five abortion clinics in the state.

Cook, the chair of Texas’ House State Affairs Committee, told his fellow representatives earlier in the evening that they wouldn’t take a vote on the bill that night. But despite the protests of his Democratic colleague Sylvester Turner, the committee clerk began taking a roll call at 12:11 a.m. for a vote.

Turner, who had intended to propose amendments to HB 2 during Tuesday night’s hearing, chastised Cook: “Mr. Chairman, you know you’re wrong for that!”

Cook dismissed Turner and his amendments: “You can propose them on the floor.”

Anti-choice Texas lawmakers have shown that they are willing to run roughshod over rules, promises, and procedures to pass legislation opposed by all but a handful of extreme right-wing zealots. When Cook began the committee vote on HB 2, he did the same thing to Sylvester Turner that Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst did to state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) last Tuesday in the senate chamber: He pretended he couldn’t hear his Democratic colleague’s voice.

Texas citizens have shown up in droves in opposition of the legislation. Some 5,000 people, dressed in orange, came to the capitol Monday afternoon to rally against the bill, with 1,000 more returning to the capitol lawn that evening to march through the streets of downtown Austin.

But Tuesday was the day for the blue-shirted supporters of HB 2 to gather, ahead of the State Affairs Committee meeting that, as has happened multiple times over the past two weeks, saw many of the Texas legislature’s rules and traditions thrown out the window.

andrea txleg photo 2

Tuesday was the day for the blue-shirted supporters of HB 2 to gather.

Stumping in the middle of the capitol building’s outdoor rotunda, anti-choice bill supporters chanted, gave personal testimony, and sang hymns. A middle-aged man defiantly displayed an “I regret my abortion” placard as, into the early evening, more and more orange shirts filled the hallways to balance out the heavy blue hues of the afternoon.

Of the 90 or so people who were called to testify Tuesday, the majority were in favor of the bill, as Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) observed in frustration around 11 p.m. “It’s still very lopsided,” she said. Cook responded that the committee was “doing the best we can,” but anyone walking through the orange-packed hallways at 10 p.m. could see that bill opponents, many arriving after a long day at work, some with sleepy kids in tow, were being shut out of the hearing.

Among others, the committee heard from a professional juggler and self-described “sidewalk angel” who spends his days trying to convince women not to get abortions; a grey-suited man who waved around a DVD which, he said, contained the story of a nefarious abortionist who secretly infiltrated a small-town Texas high school to distribute ineffective birth control pills so she could make millions off of clueless teenage girls; and a woman who blamed the United States’ “economic crisis” on abortion.

The committee did not hear from the vast majority of the thousands of Texans who live hundreds of miles from the five abortion clinics that will remain if HB 2 passes—Texans whose lives will be threatened as they are driven across the border and into back alleys.

Now that HB 2 has passed the State Affairs Committee, it will go to the house floor for another vote.

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  • fiona64

    A middle-aged man defiantly displayed an “I regret my abortion”

    Well, then, he should have kept his legs together. /snark

    • RachelK

      I kind of regret the extra piece of pizza I ate last night, so obviously we need to outlaw pizza right away.

      • Texsquire

        OMG, I totally felt the same way. I kept telling the guys in my committee hearing overflow room that they needed to control my pizza intake, but they didn’t step up. Seriously. Why’d they let me make that decision to have a third slice?

      • MommaBeanBlessed

        Lack of self-control in regard to pizza is completely different than the willingness to kill another person for your own convenience.

        • RachelK

          What jail sentence precisely do you suggest for the 1/3 of American women who are, by your definition, murderers then?
          And while you are clearly on the anti-choice side of this debate, I was confining my commentary to the poor logic of one particular anti-choice argument, not to the entire question. I notice you fail to actually address this. Perhaps that would get in the way of the nice feeling of righteousness you derive from sitting on your ass criticizing people on the internet? Please provide documentation of all you have done to help the children of the world, you know, the actual already born ones, and I will consider taking you seriously. Show me where you have spent this much energy protesting cuts to prenatal care. Show me where you’ve raised a fuss about governors rejecting the Medicaid expansion that would lower the higher than necessary actual infant mortality rate in a state like Texas and I will believe you care about babies. GOP policies have raised the infant mortality rate. That means that babies, ones that have been born, are dying. If you show that you care about them as much as you care about the unborn, I will take you seriously.
          Until then, I can’t help but find that your claims of being concerned about babies are made in poor faith.

          • HeilMary1

            I’d love to see blasted “Moma” got to jail for any women that die of forced pregnancy complications.

          • RachelK

            Seriously. It’s *almost* like they haven’t actually thought through the consequences of their positions at all. Probably because they haven’t. I’d like to see Perry and the other governors held accountable for women who die of cervical cancer or breast cancer because political posturing forced the closing of the only place a poor rural woman can get a pap smear or a mammogram.

          • fiona64

            They accuse the pro-choice of not thinking our positions out to the fullest extent (MommaBean said just that), which is, apparently, that the human race will disappear (which I find unlikely as long as people like the Duggars are breeding like rabbits). And yet, when you call them to account for the fullest extent of *their* position (abortion made illegal and criminalized), it’s quite clear that they haven’t thought it all the way out. It’s such a simple question: if abortion is a crime, how should the woman be punished? And yet (with the exception of Mr. Animal Torture), not one of them can answer. And honestly? I think it’s because they know it will reveal that they are not pro-life at all. I think Mr. Animal Torture said exactly what they all really think: that women who terminate pregnancies should be summarily executed.

            It’s as though every one of them masturbated while reading “The Handmaid’s Tale.” You can tell they get off on the idea of women being killed for daring to control their own reproductive lives.

            Pro-tip, anti-choicers: It’s a work of fiction.

          • RachelK

            It is frustrating. I do think there are a handful of people who consider themselves pro-life who are not anti-woman. Senator Zaffirini is pro-life, but she cares about women’s health and sees this bill for the sham that it is. She has been fighting on our side. And that’s what I was saying to Momma Bean just now. If you really want to reduce abortion, if you really want to support mothers, if these are really your goals, you should probably align yourself with us, because we on the pro-choice side do more to promote these goals than those who call themselves pro life. If you just want to outlaw and criminalize abortion and don’t work on anything else than you either just want to feel smug about how righteous you are, or you hate women and want to keep us in our place, or you are willfully ignorant, or some combination of those things.

          • fiona64

            I make a clear differentiation between pro-life (the number of such individuals I’ve encountered could be counted on one hand and still permit me to hold a cigarette) and anti-choice. IMO, those who are truly pro-life do exactly what you describe. They promote access to information, education and contraception. They understand that bills like this only hurt women in the long run. There aren’t too many out there, because it’s easier to talk about how tramps should keep their legs shut.

          • RachelK

            Agreed. There is a difference between pro-life and anti-choice and I don’t really have a problem with the former. We don’t have to agree, but we can work together. We have many goals in common. But the anti-choice crowd needs to start admitting what they truly support.

          • Rebecca Dalmas

            The consequences for an abortion can be the same as they are now in cases of illegal abortions. Punish the professional abortionists.

          • MommaBeanBlessed

            Well, none of that matters because we can just get rid of them, right? And yes, just because I am pro-life obviously that means I should take on all the orphaned and abandoned children in the U.S. I almost chose abortion – and I’ve seen the beauty of life after NOT choosing it. Also, I decided to be pro-life when i realized that the unborn is a human being and as such, deserves protection. Pro-life is a stance on a particular issue. You’re deflecting the trajectory of the argument. This is about whether a baby in a mother’s womb is 1) a human life and 2) deserves protection. If you are not out helping old people, then I will assume you’re in favor of euthanasia. That is an asinine argument.

          • RachelK

            No, because you are pro-life, you should be interested in preventing death. However, you are only interested in preventing the death of those you view as unborn children. I am in fact, both out helping old people, and in favor of them being allowed to choose to die with dignity if their life has become unbearable to them, so try again.
            You fail to address the fact that the policies that claim to “protect the unborn” have the actual, real life effect of causing death to women. I am interested to know how you reconcile these things. I am interested to know if you protest the cuts to prenatal care that cause a heightened infant mortality rate. I am interested to know if it bothers you that closing clinics that provide (as about 2-3% of their services) abortion care will have the result of denying cancer screenings to poor women. Have you seen the difference between someone whose cervical cancer was caught early and someone who did not have access to cancer screenings? Do you care?
            It is very easy for you to say it is about whether or not a fetus is a human life that deserves protection, but the actual reality, not the little morality play in your head, but the things actually happening to real people, that reality is significantly more complex than that. As long as you continue to ignore that, then I cannot take your position as one offered in good faith. You have not thought it through, and you don’t seem to care to. No one suggested that you should take on “all the orphaned and abandoned children in the U.S.”. You are attacking a strawman and avoiding addressing the arguments being made. The only suggestion being made to you is that you spend some time thinking through the consequences of this legislation. Life is not as simple as you make it out to be, and that complexity is why people need to be allowed to make their own decisions. What if a woman has cancer and the treatments will kill the fetus, but without them, they will both die? What if a fetus has its brain on the outside of its body and will definitely die either in the womb or immediately after birth. Should a woman be forced to carry that pregnancy to term even if it might cause permanent damage to her body?
            Should a woman with bipolar disorder be forced to carry a pregnancy to term if keeping the fetus safe means she will have to go off the medications that prevents her from being a threat to herself and to others? I could go on, but this should be enough to get you started.

          • MommaBeanBlessed

            I understand all that you are saying. I think it is heartbreaking that there are unwanted children in this world. I understand that it can be hard for poor women to get medical care (I’ve been there). However, when a human life is the price – I think the price is too high.

            Pro-aborts and pro-lifers come from two very different perspectives. One sees a woman’s rights, body and future plans as trumping those of the unborn human within her. The other sees an unborn human as worth protecting, sometimes at the expense of the woman’s body, convenience, or intended future plans. The question is about priorities.

            You insinuate that it is not a just about the life of the fetus and that life is more complicated than that. I agree – life IS complicated, but we still have laws that are meant to protect the life, liberty and happiness of all people. So, this issue really is that simple. If it IS a human life – does it deserve protection? If so, to what degree and when?

            And, all the arguments about a women’s health or fetal abnormalities are diversions. YES, that does happen in rare instances, but the vast majority of abortions are done for reasons such as 1) a change in lifestyle 2) finances/not ready. Our focus should be on helping women embrace motherhood, and if not, then helping them find an alternative that does not include the ending of life.

            The only reason I did not have an abortion years ago, was because I was 3 days past the limit for the “simple” procedure. The next procedure would have cost significantly more money (at a planned parenthood) and be more invasive. I am thankful everyday that I was 3 days too late. I have journeyed a long road since then and am grateful that I was prevented from doing something I know I would now regret.

            A 2004 study by the Guttmacher Institute reported that women listed the following amongst their reasons for choosing to have an abortion:[44]

            74% Having a baby would dramatically change my life
            73% Cannot afford a baby now
            48% Do not want to be a single mother or having relationship problems
            38% Have completed my childbearing
            32% Not ready for a(nother) child
            25% Do not want people to know I had sex or got pregnant
            22% Do not feel mature enough to raise a(nother) child
            14% Husband or partner wants me to have an abortion
            13% Possible problems affecting the health of the fetus
            12% Concerns about my health
            6% Parents want me to have an abortion
            1% Was a victim of rape
            less than 0.5% Became pregnant as a result of incest

          • fiona64

            So, still no answer to the question. Not that I’m surprised. You talk about pro-choicers not taking our position to its “logical extension,” and yet you can’t answer the question. You want abortion to be made illegal, so what punishment should women who get abortions undergo? Surely you’ve thought *your* position out to its logical extension?

            No woman is required to disclose the reasons she seeks an abortion … and the latest Guttmacher stats are from 2011, anyway. You’re just about seven years behind in your documentation.

            Quote from *current* report:
            The reasons women give for having an abortion underscore their
            understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood and family life.
            Three-fourths of women cite concern for or responsibility to other
            individuals; three-fourths say they cannot afford a child; three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.

            And, of course, you bring up “alternatives,” which is anti-choice speak for adoption. As there are currently, per most recent AFCAR stats (again, 2011), in excess of 100K children available for adoption in this country, most of whom will age out of the system without ever being permanently homed, I wonder why you think that forcing more children into an overburdened system will help? And before you give me any nonsense about the “thousands of couples who would give anything to have that baby,” ask yourself why they couldn’t be bothered to adopt any of the 100K kids already waiting for homes.

          • RachelK

            If you really wish to support motherhood, then, and I know this is counterintuitive, you should not vote for “pro-life” politicians. With rare exceptions, these are people who have latched onto your cause as a way to further their own ambitions, ambitions which have little or nothing to do with preventing abortions. These are the same people who cut prenatal care and are using your genuine concern for life as a way to shred the social safety net and oppress the poor in the interests of the big business they serve. Rick Perry is a prime example. An example of the sort of exception I mentioned would be State Senator Zafferini from Laredo. She is devoutly pro-life. She is also one of our strongest allies against this bill, because this is not a pro-life bill. She’s not the only pro-life person on our side, and if your concern for babies and mothers is genuine, you should be on our side too, definitely in this particular case, and probably more often than you would suspect.

            If you really wish to prevent abortions, and once again I know this is counterintuitive at first, you would be better off aligning yourself politically with the pro choice crowd. One cannot simply outlaw abortion, then stick one’s fingers in one’s ears while chanting “la la la la la babies babies la la la” while abortions continue. All that happens is that those abortions are unregulated, and in many cases performed by unscrupulous exploiters of women who know those women are not able to turn them in to the law. There was a friend of my grandfathers who used to be an illegal abortion provider. He wasn’t pro-abortion. He just got tired of removing the uteri of women who came into the ER dying from botched procedures, and wanted to provide these women with safe, compassionate care at this desperate time of their lives. The people on the pro-choice side are the people who are also concerned with providing support for mothers. I’ve never talked to a pro-choice person who didn’t think we should do more to make adoption a viable choice for people who want to make it. We believe in supporting women through all of their choices, and you might find that we each could serve our cause better by aligning with each other. There are certainly pro-life people who believe in supporting mothers, but the pro-life movement does just the opposite.

            As I said before, the data is in, and it is clear. Outlawing abortion is not effective in stopping abortion. Here is how you reduce abortion: You reduce unwanted pregnancy. You provide resources for women in abusive relationships. You provide comprehensive sex education. You help women access affordable reliable contraception. You provide prenatal and postnatal care for women and babies.

            I appreciate your sharing your story with me. I really do. However, I maintain that someone being glad about a choice they made, or regretful about a choice they made is not relevant to a discussion of whether or not we should restrict the ability of others to make a choice in that situation. That was the point of my original comment and I do stand by it.

            As for fetal abnormalities, etc.,you see those arguments as diversions, and what that says to me is that you are willing to accept the deaths of those women as collateral damage, because there aren’t very many of them. I don’t accept this. I don’t accept the death of that woman in Ireland, and the fact is that that is exactly what happens when you legislate such that the life of the fetus is more valuable than the life of the mother. Even if you believe that it is a baby and it deserves protection, what about the woman? Does she not deserve protection? Where is that line absolutely exactly? And do you honestly think that Rick Perry knows where that line should be?

            All I ask of you is to look at the individual pieces of legislation before you decide if they are helpful or harmful to your stated goal of reducing abortion. Ask yourself if a theoretical small reduction in the number of abortions is worth denying cancer screenings to tens of thousands of poor rural women who have no other place to get them. Take a look at the other things these politicians support before you vote for them. Look at Rep. Lauderburg, who sponsored this bill. Look at her voting record and all that she has done to make motherhood harder for poor women. She voted to defund prenatal care. She and her GOP pals won’t accept the medicare expansion that would provide care for mothers and babies who cannot afford it. She and her coalition have done everything they can to weaken education in this state. Are these the people you want to align yourself with?
            This particular bill will not make it any harder for privileged women to get safe abortions. Those women of whom you disapprove? The ones getting abortions because they don’t want to change their lifestyle? They can easily obtain abortion still, so you’re not accomplishing a single thing there. What else will it do? It will gut women’s healthcare in this state. It will definitely prevent poor women from getting all sorts of preventative healthcare. It will definitely raise infant mortality due to the number of women who will not be able to access any sort of care during their pregnancy. It will certainly increase the black market abortion rate. Does this bill align with your philosophies or not? Do you accept this collateral damage? If so, please don’t say you value life.

          • Nor

            Pro-aborts is a much of a lie of a term as pro-life. It’s pro-abortion-rights and anti-abortion-rights if you want to be clear.

            Why is the term “pro-life” a lie?

            do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes
            you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking
            if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not
            a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want
            any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a
            much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”

            -Sister Joan Chittister,
            Catholic Nun

          • Nor

            One sees a woman’s body as belonging to hers. The other sees it belonging to the state. Whose property do you want to be?

          • Alison Brennan

            I am familiar with the Guttmacher study you have cited. I’ve read it multiple times. The actual study, not just what Guttmacher had to say about it.
            Did you read the qualitative portion? If you read it, you would know that the women in the study having abortions have engaged in a process of decision-making in which they consider the impact of their decision on the people around them, including children they already have. They aren’t just thinking “me me me, my wants, my needs,” but are focusing on their families, their role as a mother, the children they already have. It would be incorrect to insinuate that women who have abortions are doing so because they are selfish or are doing it out of trivial convenience. The truth is that many of these women have extremely complicated life situations, many have children already and are having trouble making ends meet, and being forced to carry another pregnancy to term (and bring another human life into the world, which already has enough unwanted children) is a decision best left to the women who understand the impact in their own lives.
            You know, it’s nice and happy and probably gives you warm fuzzies that the pregnancy you didn’t terminate has blossomed into such a beautiful story. But shit, how many women didn’t have abortions and their lives would have been better if they had? We never want to talk about that. And how many women who had abortions are really freaking glad, in retrospect, that they did? Just because your personal experience turned out so well doesn’t give you the right to make decisions for another person whose situation you cannot possibly fully understand.

          • Arekushieru

            Is a woman a human life? Apparently not, if her life and liberty deserve no protection, only the fetuses. That is the position YOU posed, not I, btw. A fetus DOES have protections, the SAME protections that everyone ELSE has.

          • Rebecca Dalmas

            If a fetus has the same protections as everyone else, how does one justify an induced abortion in cases where the life of the mother is not in imminent danger?

          • fiona64

            So, no answer to the question then?

          • Red Mann

            You are actually a “forced birther”. The right typically eschews sex education and birth control that would help reduce the need for abortions, then they don’t want to help care for the child after it is born in the way of public assistance. Seems like the only time you care is from conception till birth.

          • Nor

            Well, you should certainly adopt at least one. Otherwise you have no moral ground to stand on re: taking other women’s choice away.

          • Nor

            Have you tried taking on just one? Even temporarily? They pay you to foster you know. Or even just do respite for kids with emotional disturbances or physical disabilities, which is also usually paid. If you can’t even do something small like that to help mothers and kids, or won’t do it, how is it possible for us to believe you are actually willing to financially and emotionally support the huge numbers of extra children you want other people to bear to meet your personal beliefs?

            And I am all for euthanasia for the elderly if they want it and a doctor clears them re: their mental health. Making grandma starve herself to death seems so old fashioned, but that’s what we currently make them do.

          • Rebecca Dalmas

            Recently I have become more pro-life than ever before. In essence, we as women become uniquely powerful during pregnancy, due to the human being living in us, dependent on us. All civilizations, all good government has been about concentrating legal authority and spreading out power. Equal rights movements have been about giving protections to the vulnerable. As women we must recognize the call given to countless human beings before us and in other circumstances, to either stand up for the vulnerable and weak, or watch humanity falter as a result. If we are not willing to stand with the vulnerable when we are the only ones they can count on, what has the fight against inequality been about?

          • Arekushieru

            You are not protecting the weak and vulnerable. You are actually hurting them by granting fetuses more rights than they have.

            As for the ‘unique power’ women have during pregnancy, what about trans* women? What about those women who don’t want to become pregnant? Do they not have any power?

            Also, women tend to LOSE power once they become pregnant. If you REALLY wanted to help the weak and vulnerable, you WOULD understand this.

          • Rebecca Dalmas

            Where does a fetus get more rights than the woman? My position is that of defending BOTH lives, NOT of making either one disposable for the sake of the other.

          • Valde

            By enslaving the woman in favour of the fetus you are in fact making the woman nothing more than a disposable incubator.

          • PunjabiPete

            By your sides’ arguments, yes, yes you should, since right now your ilk are saying “because some people choose to get ‘vanity’ abortions (not sure what those are), then we should stop them for everyone. If I jerk off into a sock that is not a human being. If my wife has a miscarriage that is not a child. Until it comes out and takes a breath, it is not a human being. And while we may not be “out helping old people”, we are not advocating for their extermination by removing their Social Sec- oh, wait a minute… Hey!

          • Arekushieru

            Yeah, it does mean EXACTLY that. Otherwise you have just proven that you ONLY want to punish JUST women for daring to have consensual sex for purposes other than procreation. If you don’t, it also means that you only care about the lives of fetuses up until the point you have forced them to be born, not caring what misery you may have imposed upon them by denying an abortion to a woman. SICK.

            I realize a fetus does NOT deserve MORE rights than anyone born, even IF they were a human being. I realize that a woman deserves just as much protection as anyone else, that INCLUDES fetuses. Being Pro-Choice does NOT mean that someone has to have an abortion. Actually, the fact that you CHOSE not to have an abortion makes you Pro-CHOICE. SO sorry.

            A fetus is a human life. That does NOT mean that it gets a right NO ONE ELSE HAS. That does NOT mean it deserves MORE protection than the woman that carries it. Let ALONE every other BORN human. A fetus is not a baby.

            You don’t understand how privileged you were to be in such a position. A LOT of women REGRET continuing their pregnancies.

            Yeah, nice conflation of TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ANALOGIES. I am in favour of euthanasia and assisted suicide. But, guess what, not against the will of the person who is affected by it. That’s the SAME as my Pro-CHOICE position. It would be MORE APPROPRIATE to say that if you don’t want to support assisted suicide you don’t care about the elderly. You don’t care that some elderly are abused, you don’t care that they are force-fed, that they are often victims of neglect, etc…. You are FORCING them to live a life of horrible suffering, NOT yourself. That is GREED. And a sin.

          • MommaBeanBlessed

            Next time I’m pregnant I’ll invite you to my “uterine contents shower” and you can rub my “fetus bump” and feel my “lump of cells” kick.

          • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

            You (personally or in any official capacity) come anywhere near my daughters to “protect” and enforce your agenda IN REAL LIFE and I will stand my ground. I have a permit to carry. I will shoot you like any rabid dog. I would feel bad about the dog.

        • HeilMary1

          Self-defense against killer fetuses is hardly “convenience”, mother-KILLER.

        • fiona64

          Who is talking about any such thing?

          Oh, wait. i guess that’s your histrionic way of discussing abortion. Since a fetus is not a person, and you don’t know what is or is not “convenient” for anyone other than yourself, perhaps you might want to rethink your position.

          • MommaBeanBlessed

            A fetus is not a person? What is a fetus then? Will it be born a dog? or a cat? maybe a mouse? Does it have it’s own unique DNA? Do you know the definition of fetus? It’s an “unborn” offspring of a mammal. It’s not, not the mammal…it’s the offspring. Are you the offspring of your parents? When did that happen…before or after you were born?

          • fiona64

            Boy, did you miss a few days in biology class. Allow me to help.

            A fetus /ˈfiːtəs/, also spelled foetus, fœtus,
            faetus, or fætus, is a developing mammal or other viviparous vertebrate
            after the embryonic stage and before birth.

            I was not my parents’ offspring until I was born. Prior to birth, I was a fetus. Even wanted pregnancies go wrong and result in stillbirths (amongst other complications); that’s why rights don’t accrue until live birth. Until live birth there is no person.

          • MommaBeanBlessed

            Sorry, I did not miss biology, but apparently you missed English. I was speaking about the definition of fetus:

            Noun – “An unborn or unhatched offspring of a mammal, in particular an UNBORN HUMAN BABY more than eight weeks after conception.”
            You actually were the “unborn” offspring of your parents before birth. You did not become offspring once you were born. That is my point. The fetus is the baby animal before birth. That is the definition. Fetus does not mean it is some alien creature. Calling an unborn baby a fetus does not change what it is – an unborn baby.

          • fiona64

            Hmm. No, I’m sorry. That’s inaccurate.

            A fetus /ˈfiːtəs/, also spelled foetus, fœtus,
            faetus, or fætus, is a developing mammal or other viviparous vertebrate
            after the embryonic stage and before birth.

            Nowhere in the factually accurate definition of fetus, which I had posted once already, are the words “UNBORN HUMAN BABY” to be found. Why? Because it has to do with any viviparous vertebrate, not just humans. Inserting your emotion-laden words into the definition doesn’t change it.

            Before I was born, I was a fetus. After I was born, I was an infant.

            I’m glad to rectify this gap in your education all the same.

          • Nor

            Not a baby til it’s born.

          • Arekushieru

            Where did you get these definitions? And what kind of definitions are they? Is this the slang definition or the LEGAL/MEDICAL definition? Iow, sources, PLEASE.

            Why are you using the term baby as a method to define a fetus as a person, when, if you WERE to use this method, that would mean every mammal’s offspring would be a person? You OBVIOUSLY don’t believe that ALL mammals are persons. Therefore, you are defeating your OWN argument. But why?

            Finally, a human fetus is HUMAN. It does NOT mean it is a person. The two are completely irrelevant to one another. So sorry.

        • Nor

          How would you prevent abortions? We know making them illegal doesn’t work any better than Prohibition did.

        • Arekushieru

          So, rape is far less likely to kill, maim or injure you than unwanted pregnancy is, heck, than even a WANTED pregnancy will. Do you call someone who kills their rapist someone who killed out of ‘convenience’? No? Hypocrite.

        • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

          A parasite attached to me by umbilical cord and sucking my blood to live cannot be thought of as “an other person.”

    • Olivera Sach

      Maybe if his mother had done it sooner he would have died. But alas….

  • MyBodyMyChoiceTX

    So what is next? This is just a battle in a long war. We cannot have a defeated attitude. Many before us fought too hard for us to have the rights we have now. We cannot allow politicians with personal agendas rob them from us. We cannot be used as collateral sacrifice for their political personal gain.

    • colleen2

      I don’t have as defeated attitude. I have a pissed off attitude.

  • http://www.syllablesofdolor.wordpress.com/ V

    Maybe if I was a corporation my politicians would listen to me.

    • HeilMary1

      And if your corporation was “religious” and employed millions of mother-killing pedophile priests throughout its genocidal history!

  • Lisa B Hawkes

    They bused most of the “Blue Shirts” in and put them in the head of the line.

    • RachelK

      They also opened the kiosks to register way earlier than is standard, and somehow those anti-choice people just knew to get to the kiosks early. Odd, huh?

    • Lisa

      This same tactic was used during Keystone XL hearings in Nebraska. “Supporters” were bused in from out of state and put at the front of the line, while the rest of us had to wait for hours to testify.

  • Deb Shaw

    Democracy is being shredded in Texas. ALL the voices should be heard, not just the voices of those who agree with us.

  • OGalaxy

    WHO is making money off abortion bans?

    • goatini

      “WHO is making money off abortion bans?”

      The billion-dollar global human trafficking adoption syndicate, that’s who.

      • HeilMary1

        And the child sex-trafficking RCC!

    • fiona64

      In this specific case, Rick Perry’s sister. She’s the major shareholder and director of the largest group of ambulatory surgical centers in Texas … where, once the clinics are shut down, they can start offering abortions at increased prices. So, as always, the privileged will still get the full range of care, and the underprivileged will just have to suck it up.

  • Sandra Allen Bazzani

    Glad I don’t live in Texas!!! But if I did I would be out protesting. It isn’t about abortion (I wouldn’t do it) but about not forcing my beliefs onto others. These Republicans think this is the way to stay in power. I tell everyone if you don’t get out and vote to get these guys out then you get what you deserve. I am sick to death of hearing people don’t vote.

    • RachelK

      I understand your point, but I don’t think you understand the way they have rigged the system. Voter ID isn’t yet in effect, but there were numerous reports in 2012 of people (mostly minorities) being turned away from the polls for lack of ID. They’ve made it very hard for people in rural areas to vote. They have gerrymandered the state to such a ridiculous degree. Remember when all our dems fled the state to deny the house a quorum so they couldn’t vote on that? Eventually they got it through, and they are doing more now. There are little slices of liberal Austin that are carved out so that the majority of that district stretches into more conservative areas and progressives can’t vote as a block. It’s completely insane.
      Even with all that though, they lost their supermajority which is why they couldn’t get this bill through during the regular session, and which is why they’ve had to twist and break the rules to bring this up at all. I expect voter turnout to get higher here. There was a real “why bother” feeling for a while due to all the redistricting and breaking up of progressive and minority areas, but people here are pissed off right now. Even a lot of republicans disapprove of how this is being handled.
      So, I do take issue with your “get what you deserve” attitude, a bit. Lots of us do vote, and we do what we can to increase turnout but we are working against a lot. And, you know, we live here too. We do vote. Is this what we deserve?

  • Olivera Sach

    So…. there’s no way to protest the illegality of this?

    • colleen2

      These are conservative Christians. They don’t even allow women to speak in church. We’re supposed to shut up, bow down and do what they say

      • Amanda Price

        Check your facts before spouting off about things you obviously know nothing about. I have read through many of these comments, and not said my piece because either the comment was so poorly thought out and/or rediculous that it didn’t warrant the effort, or the post actually made a valid point. However, your comment really just pissed me off. I am a conservative Christian. I am allowed to speak in mychurch, as is any other woman. I have been to more then a few churches in my lifetime, and have yet to come across one like what you describe. Idiots like you saying idiotic things such as you said, is what has caused a lot of misconceptions about God’s view of women and the roll they play. Women are equal to men, even if we are generally the weaker vessel. By weaker vessel, it does not mean that we are actually weaker than men. It just means we are different. We think differently, act differently, process things differently. We are never made to shut up and bow down, as you said. Try again, moron.

        • colleen2

          Please confine your primitive descriptions of gender roles to the astonishing freak show of conservatives paraded around as examples of ‘Biblical Womanhood’. The notion that any sane woman would want to emulate Sarah Palin or Michelle Duggar or someone who babbles incoherent nonsense like:

          Women are equal to men, even if we are generally the weaker vessel. By
          weaker vessel, it does not mean that we are actually weaker than men. It
          just means we are different. We think differently, act differently,
          process things differently.

          is absurd. The fact that YOU bought that crap hook, line and sinker does not mean that the rest of us have to.

          Lots of women don’t find the dominance/submission model for marriage relationships or political relationships healthy or fulfilling. I don’t care what you think God wants.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Seems kind of poorly thought out and ridiculous to refer to yourself as ‘the weaker vessel’ if you don’t actually believe that you are ‘weaker’?!? A bit illogical, yes? And yes, there are churches that don’t allow women to speak or preach ( look it up if you don’t believe me). So if I were you, Amanda, I wouldn’t go ‘spouting off about things you obviously know nothing about’.

        • Valde

          “Anatomy is destiny”


      • Dez

        “Pro-life” aka the religious right that is trying to force their misogynistic bullshit of a religion onto this country.

  • AL_Nemesis

    Texas has really lost the spirit of Democracy. It is, rather, a seat of theocratic conservative rule with no interest in any but the ideology of a zealot few… just like, hey, some places in the Middle East. Funny that.

  • http://www.kizi10.info/ Kizi 10

    Abortion, a result of problems in any country or place. Hopefully in the future things with the appropriate policies can bring changes in Texas in particular and the lessons for the region in general.

    • Dez

      Actually illegal abortion is the result of problems with a country that does not value women. They would rather a woman die from complications from a pregnancy than to give her a life saving abortion. We learned to keep fighting against the force birthers thanks to the courageous actions of Wendy Davis and the pro-choice crowd that attended.

  • http://www.kizi10.info/ Kizi 10

    These issues and articles related to this issue I found was really put on a lot of websites. and it will come to a conclusion.

  • http://www.yepi10.net/ yepi 10

    Texas House Committee Passes Omnibus Anti-Abortion Bill After Cook Refuses Late-Night Testimony! great