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Of course some anti-abortion bill will pass this session

Passing bills restricting abortion is one of the reasons the modern Republican Party exists, so of course some bill (or bills) which do that in some fashion will be passed in this legislative session. It’s as safe a bet as there is.

Right there with them

Texas lawmakers have filed more than a dozen bills that would further restrict abortion rights, including an outright ban on abortion and legislation that would forbid Texas cities from contracting with Planned Parenthood – possibly the next step in pulling government funding from the women’s health group that’s also an abortion provider.

While top state officials say they’re largely swearing off divisive social issues this legislative session in favor of focusing on school funding and property tax relief, advocates on both sides of the abortion debate are getting ready for the next round.

Texas is one of the leading states in the nation for curtailing access to abortion. Both the governor and lieutenant governor have reiterated their support for protecting the unborn in the past week. Newly appointed House Speaker Dennis Bonnen has a sterling record of supporting anti-abortion legislation.

[…]

Political analysts expect the Republican-dominated Legislature to keep pressing.

“Abortion is still a meaty gold standard for conservative Republicans,” said Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston. “It is not going away. It is too central to the organizing and the politics of the Republican Party … they can’t avoid it because it will be seen as complete abdication of Republican Party principles.”

In the Texas House, any abortion bills would likely go through Dade Phelan, a Beaumont Republican and the new chairman of the State Affairs Committee. He has a stellar anti-abortion voting record, according to Texas Right to Life. The majority Republican committee is made up of 12 men and 1 woman. More than half of the members have at least a 90 percent voting recording with the anti-abortion group.

But while he says he’s not trying to dictate the actions of the committee, Phelan doubts that an outright ban of abortion would be passed into law.

“I don’t see us passing legislation that’s unconstitutional at this point in time. Passing something that will not stand up to a constitutional challenge, I don’t think that’s in the best interest of the Texas House,” Phelan said.

Speaker Bonnen’s record on reproductive choice isn’t relevant here. I will remind you that the omnibus anti-abortion bill that was eventually overturned by SCOTUS in the Whole Women’s Health decision was passed while Joe Straus was Speaker. Straus’ appeal in the first place was that he allowed the will of the House to take precedence, unlike Tom Craddick and his iron-fist, top-down approach. Bonnen will follow that path, which means that other than a bathroom bill that seems unlikely to stalk the halls this session, he’s gonna let the Lege do what the Lege does. And what the Lege does is pass anti-abortion bills. I don’t know when the last session was that didn’t include at least one anti-abortion bill.

Of greater and more immediate concern is whether the Whole Women’s Health decision, which affirmed Roe v. Wade and the undue burden standard, will continue to have any meaning. The Louisiana legislature last year passed a bill very much like Texas’ overturned HB2, and the Fifth Circuit, being the garbage collection of lousy judges that it is, allowed it to stand on the grounds that it was not quite as bad as HB2. An appeal to SCOTUS to put enforcement of the Louisiana law on hold while the case goes through the courts is pending, and if SCOTUS allows it to be enforce in the interim, it will be a clear message that it’s open season on choice. Ian Millhiser and Mark Joseph Stern have the gory details. Keep an eye on this, because the fanatics in and around the Lege sure will.

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7 Comments

  1. Manny Barrera says:

    Texas Republicans will target abortions and gay issues, those the folks that have voted for a particular party. However the Pro life people are a very large group, the Gay community is not as large. What they will not do or attempt to do is poke the Latino community as they would prefer they don’t come out in large numbers like 2018. They are the masters of spreading lies, usually by misinformation, for instance;

    They need the pro life people to vote and not desert the party. I am not sure what they will do to try bring back the suburbs, maybe try to run candidates like Sarah Davis. The people that support the Republican Party tend to be more social liberal, they just don’t want to pay taxes.

  2. Bill_Daniels says:

    Manny,

    What’s the problem? All you pro abortion folks need to do is spend your money and do bulk buys of plane tickets to New York and you can send pregnant women there to kill their babies, right up until the point the baby is crowning, trying to be born. And if that’s not satisfactory, there’s always Virginia, where the governor wants to make post-birth abortion legal.

    Weird how the very pro-family, Catholic, Latino population would throw their lot in with the zealous pro-abortion folks. How do you reconcile that dissonance?

  3. Manny says:

    Bill last time I looked there was not the right equipment that would allow me to give birth.

    Unlike Protestants (Their Pastors) we Catholics don’t do exactly as the Pope commands. It is called free will.

    Besides as many Evangelicals have pointed out to me, “Catholics are not Christians, because they worship saints and pray to Mary mother of Jesus”. So what do we know.

    We have so many sins that we constantly violate that we are going to hell anyway.

  4. Manny says:

    Bill you don’t care about babies or children, who are you trying to convince, yourself.

    As proof let me post what you said about a pregnant woman;

    “…. if Mexico fired rockets and floated incendiary balloons at the United States like Hamas does to Israel….”
    They are firing ECONOMIC rockets into the US. Each and every illegal that sneaks across costs the US lots of money. If they get caught or surrender, that’s probably tens of thousands of dollars catching them, detaining them, checking their identity and background, then going through the legal process to deport them. But hey, let’s say one stays, like the pregnant Honduran caravan member who crossed our rickety ass fence while pregnant, then gave birth to her anchor baby two days later. Boom. You just added a $ 15,000 hospital delivery to her cost to the US taxpayer, and we haven’t even begun to talk about the 18 year long joy it will be for taxpayers to pay for her little nino or nina…..Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, ESL classes at school, with free breakfast and lunch included. That’s ONE rocket. There are hundreds of thousands of rockets that are fired. Even the ones we deport cost money. Wouldn’t it be better if we spent that money on new roads, bridges, libraries, flood control, schools, fire stations, etc.?
    What Mexico is doing is firing human rockets and waging economic terrorism against the US.
    Emergency? Hell yeah it’s an emergency. We have to do something to stop the constant barrage of economic rockets.

  5. C.L. says:

    Bill, where does your Pro-Life position come from ? Is it religion-based ?

  6. Bill Daniels says:

    Manny and C.L.:

    I support legal abortion. If you don’t want to take care of, and pay for your kid, I sure as Hell don’t want to pay for it either.

    I believe in private charity and helping people who need help. Just not with taxpayer dollars. You should not be able to pump out a kid then hold a gun to my head and force me to pay for it. If you are my friend and need help, I will help you. If I feel sorry for you, I will help you. If you feel entitled to my help, then no, I won’t help you.

    “Ha! I had a kid and now you owe that kid and me a lifetime of free stuff.!” No.

    I.would prefer that you just abort it and try again when you can fully pay for the whole thing yourself.

  7. Manny says:

    You had me fooled Bill, you sure sounded like you were poking fun at your perceived believe that I was pro abortion.

    Actually Bill, I know that life begins at inception (conception). The question then becomes much more difficult to determine was is right and wrong.

    I strongly believe in a creator and feel comfortable allowing him to make the decision as to what happens to the person that has an abortion when they go to meet their maker.

    Also, as a man I have no right to tell a woman what to do with her body.

    I, also, think that if they are going to force a woman to have a baby than they are responsible for the care and upbringing of the child. Something that most so called Bible Thumping Christians are not willing to do.