I have refrained from posting about much of the recent hoopla happening in Texas around the 20-week abortion ban (as it is known, although that is a woefully inadequate title, since it has much farther-reaching implications), mostly because it is exhausting to follow the speed at which changes occur. However, I also have stayed away from it because I know that most of my readers are well-aware of my position on this issue and probably don’t need to hear any more about it from me.
That said, does anyone else feel as though we have dropped into another dimension entirely with some of the news coming out of Texas? Like a Monty Python or Simpsons-as-reality show dimension? For the most part, I try to understand the position of someone who doesn’t believe the same as I do. For the most part, I do my best to put myself in their shoes and try to figure out why they might feel the way they do. For the most part, I can assert my beliefs without disparaging or belittling those whose beliefs oppose mine. And I certainly don’t intend to start saying nasty things about the politicians in Texas who are so forcefully pushing this bill, but I do wonder whether they can appreciate the absurdity to which they have resorted?
When a woman is forcibly removed from a hearing on the legislation, where women testifying about their painful personal histories with unintended pregnancies were routinely shamed and slandered by the opposition for pointing out that the “doctor/legislator” running the hearing was an opthalmologist and not an OB/GYN or even a family doctor, things are getting a little crazy.
When taxpayer dollars are utilized to confiscate “feminine hygiene products” at the state capitol building in advance of the vote, but a separate line was offered for those who wished to carry concealed weapons inside, I wonder what the goal is here. Any woman who happened to be menstruating and wanted to enter was forced to play a little Russian Roulette by discarding her tampons and sanitary napkins at the door and hoping she wouldn’t need a little extra protection before she left. I’m pretty sure nobody’s going to get harmed with a stray tampon, but an errant (or passionately discharged) bullet could certainly do some harm.
When a politician can sit and say, with a straight face, that sexual education, properly administered by trained educators, leads to horny teens who have unprotected sex, I worry about the future of America.
I can’t figure out whether these lawmakers are so frightened by the uprising they spurred by trying to shut the likes of Wendy Davis (as the mouthpiece for thousands of Texas women who were not allowed to speak on their own behalf) up that they have lost their minds. Are they so smack in the middle of a fight-or-flight response that they feel like any fight will do? Rational or not? Or have they convinced themselves of their own arguments and they are just as baffled by the women and men who are vigorously and loudly opposing them all over the nation? Whatever it is, I certainly hope the momentum continues for this fight, that there are honest folks out there who continue to report on the ridiculous lengths to which these rich, white men will go to deny choice to women and girls, and that they eventually get shut down in the next Texas election. This is one time where I can honestly say that I have lost all ability to understand where the other side is coming from. They are speaking a language I’ve never heard before and don’t care to learn, if learning it means I’ll make no sense to compassionate, rational human beings.