Abortion Laws in Texas

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July was a tumultuous month for Texas state legislators and the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate.  Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed into law more regulation surrounding abortion providers, creating a wave of fury among advocates.  Disgusting and distasteful actions aside (link), groups against this legislation – like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and Whole Women’s Health (a Texas women’s clinic) – have failed to justify their position.  Let me explain:

First, the state’s ability to regulate abortions is supported by federal law, and the majority of states have done exactly that.  Second, these restrictions apply to standard cases (i.e., not impinging upon health of the mother or rape victim cases).

 

Graphics like this (from ACLU website) are overtly biased and nonspecific, weakening its point and alienating moderates.  Nonetheless, the graphic shows that regulating abortion is common.

Graphics like this (from ACLU website) are overtly biased and nonspecific, weakening its point and alienating moderates. However, the graphic does show that regulating abortion is common practice.

Taking a closer look, two critical parameters are changed.  Abortions were banned after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and abortion providers need admitting privileges at hospitals.  The newest timeframe moves the abortion ban by four weeks (the previous ban was after 24 weeks of pregnancy), based on scientific research surrounding the fetal capacity to feel pain.  Nine states have already regulated to this threshold or earlier (link).  Regarding the admitting privileges, the requirement seems like a standard safety precaution – one that other medical practices (e.g., outpatient surgical centers) already meet.  Why should abortion clinics be different?  Additionally, Texas has provided ample time for existing clinics to meet these mandates.

 

Ultimately, I don’t see any validity for opposing arguments.  The law is constitutionally allowed, does not impart “undue burden” for women seeking abortions, and protects the potential life of the fetus.

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