As of this morning, the Texas legislature has virtually banned abortion in the state. The bill passed 97-33 mostly along partisan lines and will ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, with no exception for rape or incest.
I'm unclear whether there's an exception for the life or health of the mother, but whether there is or not may be immaterial since the bill will also effectively shut down 37 of the remaining 42 clinics in the state under the guise of regulating health care. And, of course, forcing people to travel out of state to get an abortion just makes it that much harder to get under the 20-week deadline.
The bill still has to go to the Texas Senate and then to Governor Rick Perry, but Rick Perry is not an ally to women. Many members who voted to support the bill had flyers on their desks quoting Bible scripture.
Many members of the conservative majority had flyers on their desks that read "Psalm 139:13-14," which reads in part: "You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
For the record, I do not interpret that verse to be anti-abortion. But even if I did, I did not consent to be governed by a Christian theocracy. I expect my government representatives to vote for the people and what we want and need, and not for what the representatives personally desire to impose on us against our will in order to control our bodies and make us serfs of the state. That's all I can manage to say about that.
This particular Texas woman is now grappling with whether or not to get her tubes tied, and whether her insurance will cover it. And I hate -- to the point of bitter tears -- that I even have to consider these questions in the year of our fjord, 2013. I'm writing this dispatch from the heart of Gideon and hoping that my red robes and white wings don't show up in the mail soon.