Gov. Greg Abbott delivered his latest facepalm moment Wednesday with the announcement of what is being called the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the nation.
The law all but bans abortions and gives anyone the ability to file lawsuits against doctors or any person, such as a family member, who “aids or abets” the procedure.
The law, which goes into effect Sept. 1, also restricts women who are raped or are the victims of incest from having an abortion.
An exception for “medical emergencies” is allowed, yet who knows how many lives will be lost amid the threat of lawsuits and the red tape of justifying an emergency?
Who decides? Apparently not the citizens of Texas.
As written, the law would not be agreeable to most people in the state. Based on a poll by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune, 38% of respondents said women should always be able to obtain an abortion as a matter of personal choice. Thirty-one percent said an abortion is acceptable in cases of rape, incest, or when the woman’s life is in danger. Thirteen percent indicated that they believe an abortion should never be performed.
So where did the idea for the abortion law come from?
Politicians are supposed to represent the public that elected them, and that includes all people — whether the politicians agree with their ideologies or not.
Abbott’s move comes on the heels of an announcement that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that gives its Trump-promoted conservative majority the leverage to alter Roe v. Wade, nearly one half-century after it went into effect.
No one can argue against the moral obligation to protect a baby’s life, but Roe v. Wade provides the right to an abortion without government interference. Apparently for some conservatives, the Constitution is a piece of paper to wave around only when it suits their political or “moral” agendas.
Perhaps the most succinct and logical pro-life argument ever made came from — of all people — conservative commentator Tomi Lahren in 2017.
During an appearance on The View, Lahren said, “I’m pro-choice, and here’s why. I’m for limited government, so stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well.”
Lahren’s conservative overlords at her then-employer, The Blaze, promptly suspended her show, fired her, and order her to shut down her Facebook account with more than 4 million followers.
A wrongful termination lawsuit ensued, The Blaze counter-sued, and the matter was reportedly settled out of court.
Not very Jesus-like, huh?
Lahren went on to become a host with Fox News and later Fox Nation.
After fallout from anti-abortion advocates on social media, Lahren clarified that she wasn’t supporting abortion, only that the government shouldn’t interfere in a medical decision. Was that even necessary? Everyone knew what she meant.
They just didn’t like the fact Lahren dared to think for herself.
Her line of thinking doesn’t sit well with cronies who lockstep with Abbott and believe women shouldn’t make their own decisions — let alone voice an opinion.
What else should we expect from the same mask-on/mask-off, learn online/get your ass back in class governor? Abbott has left school districts scrambling nonstop to keep up with his oft ill-timed edicts since the pandemic began more than a year ago. The latest is his lift on the face mask requirement, which somehow couldn’t wait until the end of the school year.
If Abbott is so interested in protecting people’s lives, maybe he should do something to avoid another massive power outage like the one in February.
He sure isn’t rushing to announce any laws on that issue.
Showing respect for schools and the advice of medical professionals would also be two other really good places to start.
This editorial reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily the Fort Worth Weekly. The Weekly welcomes all manner of political submissions. They will be edited for clarity and factuality. Please email Editor Anthony Mariani at firstname.lastname@example.org.