Today, if you are a woman, Texas makes the world a little darker and more unfriendly. The Texas abortion bill is set to be rammed through the Texas House of Representatives. It passed provisionally on Tuesday night, and there may actually be a formal vote going on as I write this. Despite the brave filibuster on June 25 of Senator Wendy Davis and the cries of her supporters in the gallery, the good ‘ole boys in the Lone Star State have sent the unmistakable message that women have no rights over their bodies and reproductive systems.
Don’t worry yer purty little head honey, us rich white guys know best. You have them babies so you can struggle to support ‘em. We’ll keep you in poverty ‘til yer babies are old enough, and then we’ll send them little fellers off to fight our wars. Remember, we believe in the sanctity of life.
There is no mention of family planning or sex education—other than abstinence. Conservative Texans believe that sex education leads to fornication. They are confident that if their young’uns will just abstain from sex and cling to the Baby Jesus, they will somehow stamp out fucking. For the ones who go astray it is only the responsibility of the woman and there is no mention of the man’s obligation to support his child.
I have written about abortion before. I detailed my own grim abortion story in my autobiography, Playing the Field, and I can tell you it is a frightening, gut-wrenching decision for any woman to make. But it is her decision. If a woman does not want to have a child, she will find a way to abort it. I have seen the horror of that over and over in my life.
In addition to Texas’ devotion to fetuses until they are old enough to be cannon fodder, it has also regurgitated Governor Rick Perry, who announced he will not seek a fourth term as governor, presumably to run again for president in 2016. You can bet your 10-gallon hat he’ll try to be the drawlin’est, pro-lifein’est, shit-kickin’est candidate in the race. Perry has the kind of rugged good looks you associate with, say, the Marlboro Man or a middle-aged gigolo, and he is likely backed by barrels of conservative oil money, but as we all remember from the last campaign, he’s pretty much a half-wit, not much of a deep thinker, and doesn’t speak well in public. Surely America wouldn’t fall for another edition of George Weenie Bush. Surely.
As national embarrassments go, Texas once again gets the prize.