What on earth is a fifty percent chance of rain? How do you respond to that, carry half of an umbrella? - Lawrence Block in the voice of Matthew Scudder, A Drop of the Hard Stuff, p.41
Texas politicians have introduced a “Back Door Abortion Ban” (Senate Bill 537), a bill that would virtually ban abortion statewide. This type of bill, termed TRAP (“targeted regulation of abortion providers”), places medically unnecessary and onerous requirements on health care centers, while doing nothing to improve the health or safety of women. TRAP is a back door attempt to deny women access to a safe and legal medical procedure.
SB 537 would require all health centers that provide safe and legal abortions to become licensed Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs ). Among the 117 pages of regulations required of Ambulatory Surgery Centers in Texas are surgical operating rooms of at least 240 square feet, specific requirements for the flooring and outfitting of janitors closets, and ventilations systems required for a sterile operating room, among many other onerous requirements that are excessive for procedures that, like abortion, can be safely performed in a health center setting.
This “Back Door Abortion Ban” could mean the closure of multiple health centers outside of the few major cities and could have a devastating impact on women living in most areas of Texas.
Already, an estimated 200,000 Texas women are going without basic, preventive health care this year because of the state’s ongoing political attacks on women’s health care. If lawmakers care about women’s health, they should focus on restoring Texas women’s access to lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, and HIV tests by reinstating the Medicaid Women’s Health Program and restoring funding for the state’s family planning program.
Subject: I am outraged
Abortion is a safe and legal medical procedure. The safety is assured by physicians and nurses in the clinics you so regularly attack. The legality? the Supreme Court established that decades ago: a woman in America has a constitutionally protected right to decide whether to bear a child or not, a right to seek an abortion without unreasonable obstruction, a right to quality medical care in the performance of that abortion. Those things are NOT for you to decide: only the woman herself can decide.
If a woman disapproves of abortion on moral grounds, then she should not have an abortion... it's that simple. But each woman must decide for herself. If a man disapproves of abortion on moral grounds... well, don't go there. It isn't a man's right to make that decision for a woman or for all women. Man, what if you had a tumor growing inside you and your wife told you it is immoral for you to have it removed even if it kills you? Is that anyone's decision other than your own? Of course it's not. Abortion is similar: the person it affects most is the woman who would bear a child (or die in the attempt) without it. It is her call, and ONLY her call.
Irrational obstacles to a legally protected, routine medical procedure are unacceptable. Please cease your attempts to invade a woman's privacy and deny her what is hers by right. If you continue, you may count on my full-throated opposition at every turn. If you legislate in ways that restrict a woman's constitutionally protected right to decide for herself whether to remain pregnant, my opposition may extend to legal action and to civil disobedience. This has gone too far: women are human beings; women have human rights... and those rights WILL be protected.