Texas Lawmakers Now Hope To Ban Pregnancy Terminations After Approximately 6 Weeks

sb5 texas abortion bill

Women protesting SB5.

After coming into the office this morning, I read headlines about three Texas lawmakers with a plan and my heart began to drop. Despite their state already passing one of the most restrictive bills in America regarding abortion, despite the incredibly strong fight against it by thousands of women, these three politicians have a plan to make abortion virtually illegal and, at the very least, incredibly invasive. How? By banning abortion after the fetus has a heartbeat. When does that happen? At around six weeks.

According to ThinkProgress, “Reps. Phil King (R), Dan Flynn (R), and Geanie Morrison (R)… filed HB 59 on the same day that Perry signed [SB5].” The bill, which is so severe that it’s divisive even in the anti-choice realm, would criminalize any abortions after the fetus has a heartbeat. This also means that any woman seeking an abortion would need to have an invasive ultrasound — or a transvaginal probe, in all likelihood. North Dakota already has this law in place; will Texas be next? And if so, who will come after?

Women and men, we can’t ignore this. We can’t let everyone else ignore this. We can’t dismiss it as being something that’s happening “elsewhere,” because elsewhere is still America, and we are Americans. If this passes, there will be 13,350,000 women who will not be able to obtain abortions after six weeks. We have the responsibility to protect our mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, friends and selves from having their bodies regulated by the government. I realize it sounds like I’m on some sort of soapbox, but wow, who imagined that in 2013 we would get to the point where “should women be able to terminate pregnancy from rape?” is even a debated question?

Don’t say “fuck Texas” and give up; support Texas’ women in the same way you would hope they would support you if your rights were the ones under attack. Don’t pretend this doesn’t exist; that’s what makes these types of bills go through almost unnoticed. It does exist, and it’s not going away unless we all collectively push against it.

Photo: Lauren Gerson / Flickr

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    • Haradanohime

      Oy! They might as well just outright try and outlaw Abortion since many women don’t even realize they ARE pregnant until at least 1 month into their pregnancy if not more because of being extremely late with the monthly visitor or other signs. But they can’t do that because of Roe v. Wade. If this ridiculous law passes, it and SB5 both need to be taken before the supreme court and overturned as Unconstitutional. Really glad I’m not in Texas right now but I am afraid for all women’s futures because of this legislature. (And Heaven FORBID Rick Perry try to run for President again!)

      • sara whittemore

        i’m in texas & i’m so glad he’s thinking of running for president – so he’ll stop being our governor. i have faith that america is a reasonable place that will stop him, just like last time.

      • Haradanohime

        The reason I say heaven forbid, and he’s already said he’s not running for Governor next term supposedly, is he would take take laws like this and try it on a national scale! That scares me.

    • Myriam

      With most unexpected pregnancies, most women don’t even know they’re pregnant by then. That’s not even long enough for most diagnostic tests to be perform to be sure that the baby will be viable… If you ban abortions after 6 weeks, you might as well ban them altogether! That’s sick….

      • ZanBrody

        Yes that is totally a way of essentially banning it. 5 weeks is usually when morning sickness and symptoms like breast tenderness, etc. kick in, so that would give people a week or less to make their decision and TRY to get an appointment, which likely has a mandatory waiting period + limited appointment availability.

        All of these crazed attempts to aggressively take away abortion have served to completely radicalize me. In the past I had sort of a passive stance on some of the restrictions, but now that those restrictions are being tightened I see how insanely oppressive it is to legislate my rights regarding my own flesh and blood body. I generally try to approach the things I care about with patience and compassion to other views—but this…fuck this and fuck anyone who disagrees with me.

        A party that insists government involvement in business is meddling and a violation of personal rights, yet no issue with criminalizing my decisions about my own uterus. The hypocricy—it is startling.

    • sara whittemore

      Really, thank you for bringing awareness to this! I am a Texas woman- & almost all of the Texas women I know are shocked & appalled by our lawmakers. It’s so frustrating & upsetting to me, & even my typically conservative mom & grandmother have been opposing these laws. To pretend it’s for women’s health is so insulting – it’s hard to fathom this is happening in 2013.
      Thank you all so much for standing with us!

      (edited to say that even just talking about it makes me tear up in anger!)

      • kmd0113

        I am a Texan as well, and I couldn’t agree with you more. While I do know some people who are for the bills, and would love this one (they are predominately Catholic), the general consensus I have heard is in opposition. This is just scary.

      • Justme

        From what I read elsewhere, the people introducing this bill don’t really expect it to be received well…..now. But instead are introducing it so that the general public and lawmakers get used to the idea so that it can become law in the future.

      • millodactyl

        What can we do to help you guys out? Looked for petitions and charities — can you give us links to ones so we know they are legitimate?

    • Cee

      What can be done to help, especially if you are not a Texan? I am honestly curious. How can one help to make Texan women’s voices heard and get this shitty law to go away? Also fuck Rick Perry, seriously. I hope this guy makes it nowhere if he plans to run for president again.

      • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

        I personally want to set up refugee camps. start looking into finding job openings for the women who feel like they have no way out, get a HUGE old school bus and just start helping people who want out, out. We need to start having mass migrations out of Texas, because 75% of the voters thought that the first law that just went through was ridiculous and unnecessary, but the mother-truckers in senate went ahead and passed it anyways. So honestly, there is no democracy in Texas, the Senate will just say that it knows better than you do.

        Either that or we can help with the next uprising, when corrupt government doesn’t listen to the people and then forces totalitarian-type laws you are going to have a revolution on your hands. I’m waiting for it to go through then donating whatever I can to the rebel forces.

        I feel like Texas is going to make an example out of Texas law makers.

    • HSSenior

      I HATE living here! One more year and then I graduate and then I can leave! This is insulting. Most women don’t even know they’re pregnant at 6 weeks. Gah. *slams head on table repeatedly*

    • Justme

      By six weeks pregnant, my morning sickness hadn’t even set in yet. If I wasn’t tracking my cycle and all pregnancy related symptoms religiously I would have had NO idea that I was pregnant at six weeks.

      • ZanBrody

        Not to mention some people have crazy cycles and don’t even consistently get a period!!

    • meteor_echo

      Whenever I read about shit like this, I imagine all the sane women and men moving out of Texas, leaving the pro-forced-birthers behind, and then erecting a World War Z style wall around the whole state, so that the bipedal turds inside the wall could marinate in their own narrow-mindedness. FOREVER.
      This picture makes me smile.

    • Riot.Jane

      I’m a female lifelong resident of Texas. They really are trying to barrier abortion into nonexistence.

      Day ~30, realize period is 2 days late. Day 31, period definitely late. Day 32, positive home test. Schedule time off work, schedule doctor visit. Day 34, home test confirmed at doctor’s office. Day 35, have difficult conversation/s with sexual partner and others who matter to you. Think for a while, come to decision. Day 38, call the abortion clinic. Make the first appointment, schedule time off work, fscking panic when you find out even a chemical (RU-486) termination is $900 (instead of the $525 it was before ALL terminations had to take place in a surgical center). Day 39, call everyone you know trying to borrow $100 from each, pawn your laptop, figure out how little groceries you can get away with for the next month. Day 46 (2-weeks for an appointment now that all on-surgical-center clinics are closed), visit clinic for urinalysis, medically-unnecessary but legislated transvaginal ultrasound, sonogram (to prove the gestational age is less than 6 weeks because we’re now more than 6 weeks since the first day of your last period), conversation, paperwork, start legislated waiting period. Day 47, return to clinic to take the termination pills so that a heavy period will begin.

      This is a realistic representation. I know of what I speak. I’ve been there, and I had my act together. What if I hadn’t had friends from whom I could borrow money? What if I had a job from which I wasn’t able to schedule time off for 3 different medical (and one medically unnecessary) appointments? What if I didn’t have a car, and had to arrange or pay for transportation?

      What the fucking fuck? Don’t even ask ….. They are doing their dampest to eradicate abortion in the only way they can under Roe v. Wade. Because they think they know better than I do, and what terrifies me is that they have the power.

      Read Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale for the logical conclusion to their line of thought.

    • Hercules03

      Awesome. Way to go, Texas. Millions of babies thank you.

    • Hercules03

      Awesome. Way to go, Texas. Millions of babies thank you.