Texas State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R) filed the State Legislature’s first attempt to ban abortions after 20 weeks. It is called the Preborn Pain Act, which is strongly supported by Governor Rick Perry. The Bill alledges that substantial medical evidence recognizing that an unborn child is capable of experiencing pain by not later than 20 weeks after fertilization.
While the facts clearly dispute this strongly held Republican opinion. In fact the American Medical Association has concluded that evidence regarding the capacity for fetal pain is limited but indicates fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester.
The Bill provides an exception for the life of the pregnant women. But only if the person is in physical danger. An abortion may not be provided if there is a claim or diagnosis that the woman will engage in conduct that may result in her death or irreversible physical impairment of a bodily function. It also changes the language of the Texas Health Code. It would require physicians to report the probable post fertilization age of the unborn child, rather than the period of gestation. This is part of the States new Big Brother style requirements.
20 week abortion bans are Republicans way of taking choice out of the equation, as well as a way to nake abortions inaccessible to women in very bad situations. A lot of women seeking late term abortions are in abusive relationships. Sometimes it is women who wanted the pregnancy but suffered severe personal problems that makes the prospect of having a child untenable. Others are addicted to drugs. There are many different reasons, that is why it is their choice.
Rep. Laubenberg is the Texas state chair of ALEC. They are a hyper-conservative non-profit lobbying group that drafts model bills and provides them to lawmakers. Some of the goals of ALEC model legislation are dismantling Medicaid, protecting big business from the EPA and stregthening Stand Your Ground Laws nationwide. ALEC is in very good standing with the NRA. ALEC has also been tied to the Voter I.D. Laws and Privatizing Public Education.
Recently during a special session called by Governor Rick Perry, the Texas Republicans tried to force this Bill down the peoples throats. They were halted by Democrat Wendy Davis and her 13 hour Filibuster. Also by the people who were chanting against the Bill. They called it the Peoples Filibuster. The Bill needed to be signed by midnight, but was signed at 12:03, which effectively stopped the Bill. Although Republicans tried to change the time to force the passage of the Bill, but they got caught. Republicans said that it wasn’t over and they were right. Governor Rick Perry called another special session. He says the hell with the will of the people.