[Dear fellow internet goers, I apologize for my recent silence – life is happening.]
In April, we at Generation: Handmaid realized that the GOP is starting a state-by-state shutdown of accessible abortion clinics by imposing very strict regulations regarding the time limit in which a woman can procure an abortion (roughly twenty weeks, depending on the state) as well as unnecessary zoning regulations that make it next to impossible for most abortion clinics to comply. Now, Texas has followed suit with SB 5 – which would “would have banned abortions at 20 weeks, and required abortion clinics to “meet the same standards that hospital-style surgical centers do, and mandate that a doctor who performs abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.” This would effectively close almost all of the clinics in Texas, as only five of the original thirty-eight would have met these new standards.
This did not go unnoticed – in this case, our champion was Senator Wendy Davis who led a thirteen hour filibuster to prevent this bill from being passed. Twitter exploded with the #StandWithWendy and everyone’s eyes turned to the Texas capitol, where hundreds of supporters came to support the Senator. Her filibuster was effective and the bill was killed. Victory?
What seemed like a blink of an eye later, we learned about HB 2, a response to the blocked bill which in essence reintroduced the same regulations, including the zoning requirements and the twenty week ban. However, this time, there was no celebrating.
It came to blows between Texas DPS and protestors, for example. Furthermore, DPS also confiscated all tampons, pads, and other feminine products at the door to the hearing in order to prevent protestors from throwing them at the Congressmen. Pause for reaction.
Guns – a cornerstone of Texan life and liberty, apparently – were allowed in the gallery. Guns are okay, feminine products are contraband.
When you recover from this, I am obligated to inform you that HB 2 was passed. We can now add Texas to the list of states that have taken accessible healthcare and abortion away from lower class and rural women, limited a pregnant woman’s options, and helped nudge abortion just a little further off the table.
Generation: Handmaid stands with and thanks Wendy Davis.
“Why is it that night falls, instead of rising, like the dawn? Yet if you look east, at sunset, you can see night rising, not falling; darkness lifting into the sky, up from the horizon, like a black sun behind cloud cover. Like smoke from an unseen fire, a line of fire just below the horizon, brushfire or a burning city. Maybe night falls because it’s heavy, a thick curtain pulled up over the eyes.”
-Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale