GOP War on Women Continues in Texas
Once again, anti-choice religious zealots are after both Planned Parenthood and women’s right to choose in decisions on birth and abortion in Texas:
Currently, Texas law prohibits abortions during the third trimester unless the health or life of the mother is at stake or if there are fetal abnormalities. A study by the Texas Medical Association published in 2005 found ‘evidence regarding the capacity for fetal pain is limited but indicates that fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester.’
Blake Rocap, the legislative director for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, said his organization would fight such a bill, and that decisions about abortion should be left to a woman, her family and her physician. ‘This legislation appeals and panders to a very narrow slice of the most socially conservative primary voters in the state,’ Rocap said
Joe Pojman, the executive director of Texas Alliance for Life, said his organization’s ‘big goal’ in the upcoming session is to ‘continue to defund Planned Parenthood’ by banning health providers affiliated with abortion providers from participating in the state’s Medicaid program.
Last session, lawmakers approved a similar rule for the Women’s Health Program, a Medicaid waiver program for low-income women, which is still being legally contested by Planned Parenthood. The move prompted the federal government, which jointly finances Medicaid with the state, to pull money for the program — an indication that the Obama administration would have little patience for a similar measure applied to the full Medicaid program.
Pojman also supports a bill filed by Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston and the author of last session’s abortion sonogram law, that would require doctors to be physically present to administer the two prescription drugs used to induce abortions during the first seven weeks of pregnancy.
More on how badly Dan Patricks’ bill affects rural women at The Texas Tribune