So is abortion a 'women's health issue' or isn't it?
Texas abortion rights activists want it all ways from Sunday. They want abortion to be seen as a women's health issue - but are screaming about the "restriction" that clinics have up to date surgical facilities. Abortion is, by any definition, an invasive procedure. Doctors can't take out tonsills in their offices so why place the health of women at risk by allowing abortions there?
And what about protecting women from the Kermit Gosnell's of the world? Requiring a physician to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles seems like a common sense rule.
Texas already has stringent abortion laws. Two years ago, the Legislature passed a rule requiring women to get a vaginal ultrasound and a full explanation from the treating physician 24 hours before an abortion. Opponents of that rule say it adds travel costs to the expense of the procedure, and in some cases means women also have to stay overnight.
For Melissa Bradshaw, all of it seems absurd. She spent the past year going through a bitter divorce and readjusting her children to a new life. An unplanned pregnancy was the last straw. So after heart-wrenching deliberation, she decided to terminate the pregnancy, calling Novick's AAA Concerned Women's Center in Houston just as Texas lawmakers held an angry debate over the new restrictions.
"Your mind is made up when you pick up the phone to call ... nobody feels good about it," Bradshaw said, noting the desperation women or teenage girls often feel.
The new requirements may not survive a court challenge. They conflict with the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established a woman's right to get an abortion until her fetus could viably survive outside the womb at about 22 to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Don't you love the term "unplanned pregnacy"? There are ways to avoid an "unplanned pregnancy" and that's by planning not to have a child. There is no excuse for unprotected sexual encounters - not when there are so many cheap, affordable options for both the male and female to avoid pregnancy. This is the 21st century, not the 19th. Saying that any pregnancy is "unplanned" is pure rationalization and is a popular way to avoid personal responsibility for one's actions.
And adhering to the 1973 standard presupposes that medical science has stood still for 40 years and no advances have been made since then that could make a fetus viable outside of the womb any earlier. In fact, the standard in 1973 was 24-28 weeks, not 22-24. Fetuses have been viable after 21 weeks so the 20 week standard would seem to take into account modern medical advances - something the apparently anti-science pro-abortion advocates refuse to do.
Abortion rights activists are going to have to come up with better arguments than these if they wish to prevail.