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Texas GOP is Influencing Harsh Abortion Laws Across the Country

We know the most effective way to lower the number of abortions is through sex education and expanding affordable contraception options. However, pro-lifers are still determined that the only possible way to stop abortions is by forcing women to either carry unwanted pregnancies to term or resort to back alley abortions. There are already cases of Texas women going to Mexico to obtain abortifacients of questionable quality and safety. To keep in step with this thinking, they are still working to create harmful abortion restrictions under the thin guise of medical safety.

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Texans are continuing the fight against the harsh restrictions that are separating them from the medical care that many desperately need. Workers hold vigils when their clinics are shut down, and recently two Dallas doctors settled a lawsuit and will be able to continue providing abortions after being refused admitting privileges at a hospital (a requirement of HB2). These fights aren’t isolated to the Lone Star state. Across the country, states are enacting harsh legislation to restrict a woman’s right to choose and are doing it under the guise of caring for their health.

The most recently hit states have been Michigan, Oklahoma, Arizona, Missouri, and Louisiana.

  • In Michigan, three lawmakers posed with magazines like Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar in a tweet captioned, “Don’t say we don’t understand women”. They did this after voting for a provision that would bar private insurers from covering almost all abortions, including some that are medically necessary. 
  • Oklahoma followed in the footsteps of Texas when Gov. Fallin signed a bill that requires abortion clinics to be equipped and staffed to deal with a medical emergency. (Quick reminder that 1st trimester abortions carry a risk of less than 0.05% of suffering a major complication requiring hospital care.)
  • Arizona is currently fighting over restricting and tightening regulations on abortion pills.
  • Over in Missouri a bill passed last month that makes it the 3rd state requiring a 72 hour wait period between a consultation and an abortion. It is worth noting that Missouri has only one clinic that performs elective abortions.
  • Finally, in Louisiana, the legislature gave final approval for HB 388. This will require abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges from local hospitals. The bill’s language was modeled directly after Texas’s law that is shutting down clinics. It will shut down at least three of the state’s five clinics.

Conservatives are looking to the draconian abortion restrictions of Texas for inspiration and bills that will most effectively kill a woman’s right to choose. However, they aren’t the only ones looking at Texas. Since last year’s filibuster, Wendy Davis and the “unruly mob” have also been a beacon of hope and renewed energy in the fight against the war on women.

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the filibuster, there is still an immense amount of work to be done. However, it is also important to take a moment and appreciate the power we can have when we work together to fight for what is fair and right.