Tag Archives: hb2

Dem Reaction to HB2, Looking Ahead

A few hours later and it is still sinking in that some sort of right-wing “christian” Taliban is in charge of the state of Texas. Too harsh? Well, when I’m still able and willing to recall the “good ol’ days” when Dems and Reps worked together on legislation, amended bills, and worked for the good of Texas, then it is obvious what Texas Republicans have chosen to do:  Double-down on their cultural and holy war against women, gays, Latinos, blacks, the sick, the elderly, etc.

Here’s some reaction from some of our fighting Democratic Senators .

State Senator Jose Rodriguez (D) El Paso:  H.B. 2 does not enhance women’s health, and it will not stop abortions. It will only make legal abortion services less available, and therefore, more dangerous.

Political medicine is bad for the health of women, our constitutional republic, and the lives of Texans, and it’s part of a historical pattern of oppression that has afflicted women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, the poor – the powerless.

State Senator Rodney Ellis (D) Houston:  Tonight was an extremely disappointing moment in the struggle for women’s rights and the movement to ensure all Texas families have access to affordable and quality health care.

On the heels of a major assault on our voting rights by a right wing Supreme Court, tonight is another reminder of the need for all of us who truly care about advancing the cause of democracy that the fight continues.  We must push forward and stand together to protect the rights of Texas families from attempts to reverse our nation’s proud  history of evolving towards greater equality and justice for all.

I’m awaiting additional responses, but there’s no doubt we have work to do. Again, registering voters may be one commitment, but we need to add to it political education on issues and voting. It will not help us to meet the ignorance sold to voters by the Republican Party with our own brand of ignorance. We must be better in all facets of this thing we call democracy.

Kuff has more, including more on the Tampon fiasco. Texpatriot asks and answers, “Where do we go from here?”

Stand With TX Women Bus Tour – Houston

I’m sure there is a lot of excitement, now that Rick Perry has announced he is done as Governor at the end of what seems like another endless term. But the fight in Austin against Rick Perry’s attack on women is not over; in fact, the Stand With TX Women Bus Tour is happening and is coming to Houston on Tuesday, July 9, at 6PM at Discovery Green.

I hear there will be many great speakers, including Texas Senator Wendy Davis. Of course, I’m hoping my favorite State Senator, Sylvia Garcia, will also be there. If you haven’t read her latest op-ed on Rick Perry’s War on Women, you need to catch up. Here’s a snippet from the Chronicle:

The Republican leadership has made it clear it does not support access to safe reproductive services, access to health care or even equal pay for women. But, at the very least, they could respect the female senators fighting for constituents.

It became obvious on June 25 that the Republicans would not allow Sen. Davis to complete her filibuster. They dishonored the traditions of the Senate as frivolous points of order were sustained against Sen. Davis for the whole world to see. This culminated in Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, rightfully asking, “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?”

The war on women had been declared and hundreds of Texas citizens in the Senate gallery that night rose in support of their constitutional rights, thus killing the abortion bill.

I plan on being there, so, I hope to see you all at Discovery Green on Tuesday!

RALLY SPEAKER UPDATE:  Planned Parenthood confirms that Cecile Richards will be among the speakers.

The Speakers Line-Up:

* Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund
* Melaney Linton, president of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast
* Sen. Wendy Davis
* Sen. Kirk Watson
* Sen. Sylvia R. Garcia
* Sen. Jose Rodriguez
* Sen. Rodney Ellis
* Rep. Jessica Farrar
* Jonee Longoria, single mom who relied on Planned Parenthood for basic health care
* Dr. Damla Dryden, Ob-Gyn
* Januari Leo, Activist and former Planned Parenthood patient

Houston’s Meet Up to Stand Up

Senator Sylvia Garcia Speaks to Meet Up Crowd.

After over 5,000 rallied in support of women’s rights in Austin yesterday, a couple to few hundred more gathered at Houston’s Hughes Hanger on Washington to continue the day’s activities and stay focused on the cause.

Along with getting to see some of my favorite Democratic and pro-choice friends, it seemed every corner of the place was filled with discussion centered on what was next–with the bills, with 2014, and the future. And I also got lucky and heard a first-hand account of the Austin rally from an activist who made both events. No doubt, there was a lot of energy in the crowd.

State Senator Sylvia Garcia headlined, along with Planned Parenthood CEO Melaney Linton. Garcia reminded us that while the fight is currently in Austin, that it will not stop there. Whether it goes to the courts or, ultimately, to the ballot box, it must continue.

That said, thanks to the Senator and the Harris Democrats for sponsoring and organizing a bus to today’s House State Affairs Committee hearing in Austin. If you’re in Austin, do attend. It begins at 3:30pm. 

Sidenote:  And while I did see a good contingent of Latinas at the event, I was disappointed that more Latinos didn’t show. No tengan miedo!  Also, it was great to see Mayor Annise Parker showing her support, as well as At-Large 3 candidates Jenifer Rene Pool and Rogene Gee Calvert.

Now, We Have SB1

According to State Senator Jose Rodriguez (D) El Paso, Senate Bill 1, the companion bill to House Bill 2, has now been filed as the omnibus anti-choice bill by Hegar and co-authored by Estes and Williams for the 2nd Special Session.

S.B. 1 would ban abortions after 20 weeks, which is contrary to past rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, and therefore, likely unconstitutional. In addition, the bill requires health clinics that perform abortions to be certified as ambulatory surgery centers. Doctors’ groups and others have deemed these additional building requirements medically unnecessary and extremely costly to implement; it would force closure of all but five of the 42 clinics that perform abortions in Texas, including the two clinics in El Paso.

Other provisions of S.B. 1 substitute political judgment for evidence-based, best medical practices regarding the use of a pill for a medical abortion and place other unnecessary restrictions on doctors and intrude on the doctor-patient relationship. In essence, if passed, S.B. 1 would make it extraordinarily difficult for a woman to have access to a legal, safe abortion in this state.

The arguments for and against will be similar; the difference is the time available for the right-wing to pass it. According to Rodriguez:

At the end of the last special session, the leadership chose to prioritize their narrow ideological agenda rather than pass transportation and criminal justice legislation that had overwhelming bipartisan support. The record clearly shows that Senate leadership sacrificed Senate traditions and twisted the rules — including a possible attempt to alter a government document — to pass a bill that ultimately endangers women’s health.

Now, they want a “do over.” But, the fact remains that this legislation is still as bad for women as it was last week. Along with the thousands of Texans who have made their voices heard, we will continue to do everything we can to fight this assault on Texas women.

So, here we go.

SB5 Is Now HB2 and SB9 [Special Session 2]

As Cryptic Philosopher reminds us, the rallying cry for defenders of women’s rights no longer will include “#sb5” in any of the communications regarding the 2nd Special Session called by Rick Perry. A new session brings us new bill filings and designations, so, now, we are looking at HB2 and SB9.

While SB9 targets “abortion-inducing pills” prescribed by physicians, HB2 looks more like the bill that came up in the Senate and was cause for the successful protest that smacked it down. In other words, HB2 resubmits banning abortion procedures at 20 weeks; dispensing of “abortion-inducing pills”; the change in medical standard (without much medical evidence of such need) that would result in the closing of 80% of abortion-providing clinics around the state of Texas; as well as  a requirement that physicians have admitting privileges at hospitals located within a 30 mile radius of their clinics.

Rick Perry’s special session is about republican primary politics and about a full-fledged war on Texas women. Every part of this bill targets the reproductive rights of all types of Texan women; be it women, in general, poor women, minority women, women from rural areas of Texas, etc. If Rick Perry and the Republicans were interested in the health care or “safety” of women, they would support an expansion of Medicaid, but they do not. Every part of this bill is based on politics–not on professional medical opinion–as was being announced by State Senator Wendy Davis and her Democratic colleagues during the filibuster.

One more nugget of information to the “anti-” folks; some who trolled my Facebook page the other day. This bill does not ban abortion. Roe v. Wade is still the law of the land. Simply closing down clinics will not end abortion, but it will mean unsafe and dangerous back-alley abortions for those who do not have access. If any of the “anti-” folks can live with this in their “Christian” conscience or simply say it’s “punishment for sins,” then their hypocrisy and disdain for women will only be more evident. And every attempt must be made to defeat them and these horrific bills.

Now, are the odds against the Texas Women defending against Rick Perry’s misogyny? Well, awful redistricting and lack of energy from voters during non-Presidential elections can be blamed for that. The Supreme Court of the United States is even lending them a hand in that regard with the recent Voting Rights Act decision. But if it serves as a catalyst to finally trek toward defeating Rick Perry and his right-wing minions, then it is safe to say we are on the right track. Once this battle is done within the next 30 days, it becomes about expanding this movement’s reach, utilizing all of the issues stances which make the Democratic Party the one to support. Better to begin now than 2 weeks before election day, right?