Changing the argument

You know what? I fully admit I'm tired of talking about abortion abortion abortion. I know that's what the Texas lege wants us to talk about. And that's what the outside agitators want us to talk about – you know, the people being bused into Austin from other states because trying to legislate the reproductive organs of the women in their own states just isn't enough? They want us to talk about unborn babies with fingernails and eyebrows. They want us to talk about abortionists getting rich off of the travails of high school girls with loose morals and liberal parents. They want us to scream at each other about God and Satan and viability dates and pain receptors. They want video clips they can use for fund-raising. They want a circus.

But when we're finished standing in the heat and tamping down the desire to grab shoulders and shout SAFE, LEGAL, AND UNNECESSARY at people whose minds will never be changed, you know where an important part of this whole, troubling conversation needs to hunker down and spend some time? You know what I really want to talk about? 


Let's talk about that.

Let's talk about a governor and legislature who will preach about protecting the lives of women and babies, and then decline $4 billion for medicaid that would have actually – wait for it – protected the lives of women and babies.

Let's talk about a governor who will veto a ban on texting while driving because he doesn't want to "micromanage" the behavior of adults, and then radically support laws that will – wait for it – micromanage the behavior of adults. (Well, micromanage the behavior of women… but shockingly, even in Texas women count as adults.)

Let's talk about a governor who travels to other states bragging about the fecund business  landscape of the state of Texas, and then – wait for it – vetoes the state level Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay law.

Let's further talk about a pro-life governor who, after Sandy Hook – wait for it - traveled to Connecticut to brag about lax gun laws in Texas, and who worked to pass laws that would encourage teachers and college students to bring guns to school. (Albeit, with mixed results. Whew.)

Let's talk about a governor who spits in the face of the federal government every chance he gets and then – wait for it – begs for federal money, and cries out in indignation when the federal government is "too slow" in offering aid after a disaster.

Let's talk about a governor who rails on about making all abortion clinics ambulatory surgical centers when – wait for it – those are exactly the kind of centers that make his lobbyist sister wealthy and powerful.

I could go on and on. Seriously. I haven't even touched on how closing women's health clinics across the state could very possibly increase the deaths and injuries related to abortion. I haven't talked about how closing these clinics could send more uninsured women and children into ERs and the labyrinth of public assistance. I haven't talked about the decimation of education funding and how that – and lack of health care – is linked to the state's inexcusable numbers of poverty-stricken citizens. 

So let's broaden the subject and talk about hypocrisy, shall we? Let's talk about the state House and Senate legislators who are helping this all happen – and let's also talk about the ones who are standing by and not trying to stop any of this from happening. Then, let's talk about how we get this fool and his cronies and the hand-wringing-can't-make-their-own-decisions-flaccid-politicians OUT OF OFFICE. Because, folks, this abortion legislation is most likely going to be passed into law. Unless the Democrats flee the state so that a quorum can't be reached, or they have some super fancy tricks up their sleeves (and maybe they do – they've been very mum on the subject), we appear to be headed for the Land of Lawsuits. These Republican legislators listening to our testimony? They are biding their time. They are giving the smallest semblance of "fairness" that they can, and then they're going to do their damnedest to ram this legislation through. BAM. 

And while that's going on? While the anti-choice people high five each other and Rick Perry announces to the world that he is the Grand Poobah Of Texas Uteri? The rest of us will be having a conversation about hypocrisy and about how we have ways of shutting that down. That is an important conversation we need to start having right now. Elections will be here before you know it. And now that we know there's a rising tide of non-zealot, reasonable minded Texans, we have momentum to get some shit done.

I think I'll let Representative Sylvester Turner, from Houston, have the last word here, regarding hypocrisy and abortion and why it all matters. This is taken directly from Mr. Turner's comments at the end of the House State Affairs committee meeting last week. You can see it here. His comments are at the very end of the video. 

This is what concerns me, and let me just be pointed: I am a Christian. A strong one. But when I go to my district and I see children who don't have insurance; mothers who are trying to take care of children we see every single day, OK? And when I see the legislature turn its back on children who are uninsured, who are struggling to reach their full potential, tell me where does pro-life stop and start?

Does pro-life stop when a child is born and we no longer fight for their quality existence? Because when I go to my district and I see children who are struggling, and I listen to all this testimony, what do I say to kids we see every day? What do I say to them? […] These are kids who are *here* on the face of the Earth walking every single day that we see. So, is our love greater for those that we don't see? And less for those we see every day? That have already been born? THAT'S the disconnect that I have. That's my disconnect. As a Christian, that's my tension with this whole issue and with those who advocate for it. Because these are kids we see. I could bring them up in here and put them in front of us.

Help me understand. Why does it seem as though it stops when a child is born and walking on  the face of the Earth? […] How can you love those that you don't see greater than those that you see every day? That's the disconnect that I feel. That's my tension. And that's why I feel conflicted on this subject.  

So, yes, let's make our signs and prepare our statements and wear our orange shirts, and let's flood the Capitol with protests and with indignation and with a sea of non-violent demonstration. But let's also start broadening the conversation. This kind of hypocritical farce of "legislating" has to stop.

And we are are the ones who will stop it.  

2 thoughts on “Changing the argument

  1. Um, hypocrisy, like this
    It is NOT ok for the federal government to restrict a woman’s right to choose to (or not to) have an abortion.
    It IS ok for the federal government to tell law abiding women (and men) how many bullets they can have in their legally purchased gun. And what kind of gun they are allowed to own.
    It is NOT ok for the federal government to define to a woman (and man) what the definition of marriage is.
    It IS ok for the federal government to force a woman (or man) to buy health insurance, whether she (or he) wants to or not.
    Wait for it–
    Token Conservative (he’s back)


  2. Dear Token Conservative:
    1. Restricting abortion isn’t what is happening in some states. They are making it essentially impossible for many women to have access to a legal procedure.
    2. I would be happy with universal background checks.
    3. Equal is equal. You need not attend, have nor condone gay marriage if you do not think it is a real “marriage.”
    4. Someone pays for health care or lack of health care. I’m not saying it is a perfect plan, but it is the plan that the insurance lobby and conservatives fought less strenuously against.


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