Texas House Republicans Just Passed A Creepy AF Anti-Abortion Bill
Texas Republicans passed two anti-abortion bills during Thursday’s marathon bill passing (and killing) session in the Texas House. Taken together, HB 2962 and HB 3771 — two of the 39 anti-abortion bills filed in Texas this session — serve only to stigmatize abortion and abortion providers and to shame women seeking abortion. As a stand alone piece of legislation, the version of HB 2962 the House passed is alarmingly invasive — requiring women to report the first day of their last menstrual period before an abortion that involved a complication, as well as their year of birth, race, marital status, and county of residence. All this personal information — which was added to the bill by an amendment proposed by extremist Tea Party Republican Matt Schaefer — would be housed in a state-run database. The amendment also requires information identifying specific doctors be included.
The debate over the bill — which Democrats in the House fought against for hours — exposed the unabashed lie its backers were using to justify the restriction: that abortion is somehow unsafe and therefore abortion providers should be subjected to medically unnecessary reporting requirements that no other medical provider is subjected to. In fact, abortion is one of the safest medical procedures, with a 99% safety record. The state also already has an extensive reporting system in place for abortion providers.
This lie, of course, was resoundingly rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court just last summer. In Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt, the Court struck down as unconstitutional two major Texas abortion restrictions, calling out the “health and safety” lie the Texas GOP used to shutter half of the state’s abortion clinics.