As expected, late last night the Texas state senate voted to approve the state’s draconian abortion bill. Governor Rick Perry will soon sign it into law. It will become one of the most punitive, oppressive, anti-women pieces of legislation anywhere in the country. Among other things, it bans abortion after 20 weeks, even for victims of rape and incest; requires that all doctors performing abortions have hospital admitting privileges; does not allow women to take the abortion-inducing drug RU-486 in their own homes; and requires that all abortions be performed in hospitals or surgical centers. That last requirement will force nearly all of the state’s abortion clinics to close, making abortion more expensive and less accessible than ever.
Thousands of Texas feminists, including everyone from the now-iconic Wendy Davis to badass extraordinaire Sarah Slamen put up a passionate, heroic, inspired fight. They will not soon be forgotten. Their activism helped educate millions of Americans and perhaps in the future, this will be seen as a watershed moment — an episode in which pro-choicers lost a battle, but turned the tide in the larger war.
For now, however, an important, hard-fought battle has been lost, and that sucks — hard. In Texas, those geniuses who run the state apparently allow you to carry a gun into the senate gallery, but not a tampon.
Since we can use some cheering up, here is the brilliant, hilarious, and must-missed Molly Ivins, commenting on earlier Texas legislature follies aimed at criminalizing women’s sexual freedom. Warning: the language is sexually explicit and definitely NSFW in most workplaces.
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