There was a momentary sigh of relief last week when a federal judge declared Texas abortion restrictions championed by Republican Governor Rick Perry and fought by a now famous filibuster by Democratic Senator Wendy Davis to be unconstitutional. That didn’t last long; Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed an emergency appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans. It was granted, allowing enforcement of restrictions that will likely leave thousands of Texas women without access to abortion services.
Now, the anti-choice movement can jump for joy with the knowledge that not only have they made it nearly impossible for underserved women in Texas desperate for safe abortion services – they have also prevented all of those late-term abortions they like to bring up so much; you know – the ones that account for precisely 1.5 percent of all abortions performed? These folks like to turn a blind eye to the fact that the majority of these abortions are being performed on women who really want children but whose second-trimester genetic testing has found fatal fetal anomalies that will guarantee if these babies do survive birth they will be subjected to a life of severe brain damage and the need for constant care. No matter. They don’t like to dwell on these pesky facts.
If any of these people who espouse this “pro-life” rhetoric actually cared for the children they so desperately want to save, they could adopt a child in the foster care system and care for some of the kids that have chronic health needs. Nearly half of all children in foster care have chronic medical problems. You cannot force women to have children they do not want and can not care for. If the anti-choice movement gets their way, a system that is already bursting at the seams with kids in need will explode with even more. But they don’t want to think about that. They just want to think about all the poor, precious babies they’re saving. Never mind that they don’t give a shit what happens to those babies once they exit the womb.
Here’s a quote from a similar court proceeding in Arizona, when the debate about viability came up in proceedings about a similar 20-week ban:
During a court challenge, a federal judge
worried aloud about the pain and
suffering Arizona’s 20-week ban would
cause by making abortion illegal even in
cases of fatal fetal anomalies:
“They’re basically born into hell and
then die…I don’t see how the courts
could act before viability.”
To this concern, Arizona’s solicitor general
“With due respect, that’s the
(photo: Flickr/ CreativeCommons/ Jamie)