Texas legislature seeks to tighten abortion rules

The Texas legislature is in special session and one item on the agenda is a bill banning abortion at 20 weeks, a tightening of the state's current 24 week ban.

This 4 week tightening seems sensible, given that there are real ongoing debates about fetal pain and that the 20 to 24 week span is not typically a time when women first become aware of pregnancy.

Regarding fetal pain, if there is any debate about the presence of pain; justice and mercy simply require that we err on the safe side.

Regarding the signs of pregnancy by the 20th week, Planned Parenthood comments:

Women usually feel fetal movements ... during the fifth month. It may feel like flutters or butterflies in the stomach. This is called quickening.  The pregnancy symptoms of the fourth month continue this month. Heartburn, constipation, breast changes, dizziness, shortness of breath, nosebleeds, and gum bleeding are common. Breasts may be as much as 2 cup sizes bigger by this time.

These symptoms of course follow the onset of nausea, breast changes, acne and weight gain in earlier weeks.

So prudence, mercy and a lack of a compelling need for 20-24 week abortions beg for the Texas ban.  Nonetheless, the Houston Chronicle reports that debate "raged into the night."  Democrat Senfronia Thompson "brandished a coat hanger," saying, "There are going to be more people ending up in the hospital, DOA, dead on arrival."

Confused, I visited a Planned Parenthood website where this disconnect, between love and logic on one hand, and hysteria on the other, was finally solved.  Whereas Planned Parenthood collects $500 for an early term abortion, it requires another $400, for a total of $900, for a later term abortion.  This later term abortion premium represents an 80% increase in revenue for the mega-chain.  Although not exactly a war on women, I suppose foregone profit can make people crazy too.


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