Social Question

jca's avatar

Can you please give me a summary of Texas Bill SB 5 (the abortion bill that was just defeated) so I can put it out there for a Conservative friend of mine on FB?

Asked by jca (28203 points ) June 26th, 2013

I posted a link on FB about the now defeated abortion bill in Texas and how it’s good for women.

A conservative friend of mine who I will sometimes debate with posted something similar to the following:

“Now that the bill was defeated abortion clinics don’t have to meet the same standards of other surgical centers in Texas & the doctors performing the abortions don’t have to have admitting rights to a local hospital if something major happens. This is good for women? Not to mention that after five months you could still destroy the pregnancy. This is good for women? I support a womens right to choose, but after five months?”

I don’t usually debate about politics but this guy and his opinions irk me. Can someone give me a summary of the bill and/or some “talking points” to reply to what he wrote?

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15 Answers

glacial's avatar

This is the bill.

The arguments against the bill appear mainly to be that: (1) it requires that the abortion provider have admitting privileges at a local hospital, and (2) it bans all abortions past 20 weeks, with no exceptions.

Here is a concise explanation of why abortion providers in the US are suddenly being required to have admitting privileges, when no such requirement has been deemed necessary in the past, and why this requirement threatens access to abortion.

The issue with late-term abortions is that they can be needed if there are very serious problems with the pregnancy. Someone in need of a late-term abortion is usually at risk of losing their life if the pregnancy is not performed, or knows that the fetus is going to be stillborn. It is barbaric to force a woman to carry to term under those circumstances.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Here are some possible responses. Feel free to copy and paste them, or to alter them as you see fit:

“Now that the bill was defeated abortion clinics don’t have to meet the same standards of other surgical centers in Texas”

Because abortion clinics don’t perform the same variety of surgical procedures as other surgical centers in Texas. This law attempts to make abortion clinics outfit themselves as if they were something else. It’s like telling a Chinese takeout place to buy a pizza oven.

”& the doctors performing the abortions don’t have to have admitting rights to a local hospital if something major happens.”

The doctors at abortion clinics would love to have admitting rights, but it is the rabid anti-choicers who prevent this. That’s why this provision of the bill was a “gotcha” measure. It was an attempt to make doctors secure something that the anti-choice crowd would never allow them to have. If you think it is a good idea for doctors to have admitting rights, stop the anti-choicers from standing in the way of granting them. Don’t chastise the doctors for not already having them.

“Not to mention that after five months you could still destroy the pregnancy.”

Only under certain circumstances. The failed bill wanted to prevent any abortion procedure from being performed after 20 weeks. This means that if complications threatening the life of both the mother and the fetus arose after the 20 week limit, both might be lost. It is not good for women to say that if there pregnancy goes wrong and is already lost, they also have to die because abortion after 20 weeks is illegal.

jca's avatar

@SavoirFaire: I just pasted them onto the post on FB. He’s probably going to start ranting and that’s where I end – because I don’t have time for it, just wanted to throw in my two cents on top of his negativity. Thanks both of you! :)

SavoirFaire's avatar

@jca You’re very welcome. And you might consider posting @glacial‘s source to FB, too. It’s a good read.

Sunny2's avatar

The issue about abortion that disturbs me the most is denying last trimester abortions.
These are always the first target of pro-lifers. The only reason these abortions are done is because something is very wrong with the fetuses and they will be unlikely to survive for very long, things like lacking a brain or other vital organ that can’t be corrected. The health of the mother may be in peril if the pregnancy continues. It’s a heartbreaking experience for the parents and blame being heaped on them by people who don’t know what they are talking about doesn’t help.

JLeslie's avatar

@Sunny2 I hate that they go after late term aboritons also. I would venture to guess the vast majority of women who want or need a late term abortion want to be pregnant. Everyone I know who have had late term abortions tried to get pregnant, wanted their baby, and it was a very sad circumstance.

@SavoirFaire A doctor can be credentialed at a hospital and not do abortions there, that part doesn’t make sense to me. My girlfriend couldn’t go to the closest hospital to her for her fallopian tube block to revent pregnancies, because it was a Catholic hospital, but her doctor was associated with more than that hospital, so they just went to another one. My point is I don’t see why a doctor would be blocked from being credentialed at hospital just because they do abortions in a clinic. Not that I am ok with that part of the bill, I just didn’t understand exactly your point.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@JLeslie There are two issues when it comes to admitting rights. First, the bill in question tried to make it so that abortion doctors had to have admitting rights to a hospital within 30 miles. In a largely rural state like Texas, this can be highly problematic. Second, some of the abortion doctors in Texas are flown or driven in from other states (because being an abortion doctor who lives locally can get you harassed and/or killed in Texas). Doctors from other states typically cannot get admitting rights from local hospitals or else have extra difficulty getting them (particularly if hospital administrators don’t want to provide them).

JLeslie's avatar

Interesting. Thanks.

glacial's avatar

@JLeslie “My point is I don’t see why a doctor would be blocked from being credentialed at hospital just because they do abortions in a clinic.”

As far as I am aware, the hospital does not even have to have a defensible reason to block the doctor. It is sufficient for them to say “We don’t want to give admitting privileges to any doctor who performs abortions.”

rojo's avatar

This is not about admitting rights, or setting surgical standards, or the safety of women having abortions, or whether or not pain is felt, or the rights of the unborn. Pure and simple this is a way of forcing women to stop having sex except for procreation. If you do so, you should be punished and toward this end they view children as punishment from god.
If they could find a way to legalize and require clitorectomies they would do so.

funkdaddy's avatar

The biggest deal that I don’t see mentioned above (several great points already covered) is that all but 5 clinics don’t currently meet the (unnecessary) standards. All of those that do are in major metropolitan areas.

5 clinics serving the entire state of Texas. The Lt. Governor has stated and clarified that he would consider that a victory.

It’s hard to determine how many would work to reopen, or how that would affect the costs and services provided, but in the short term it would effectively shut down every rural abortion clinic in the state.

The sad part is that I don’t know if there is any way to stop the bill. Another special session has been called and starts Monday, the session can last up to 30 days and only has three items on the agenda. A filibuster won’t work this time.

rojo's avatar

It will pass this time.
The best we can hope for is that it will get people off their butts and out to vote next time.
I think we here in Texas will be lucky in that we can probably get rid of Perry, unfortunately to do so we will have to foist him off on the rest of the US. You think Bush was bad, Perry is a lot more spiteful, vindictive, devious and manipulative.

funkdaddy's avatar

I don’t think there’s any way he gets beat this time around (2014). He’s going to have a cash advantage over just about anyone, the state naturally leans conservative, and barring him failing in an extremely public manner he’s not going to lose his core groups. The problem most Republicans are having nationally is that they aren’t conservative enough for vocal portions of the party, he’s not having that problem.

I hate to say it, but the presidential debates were about as public a failure as he’s going to allow and he didn’t lose any steam locally.

The best hope for anyone else is that the national Republican party starts moving in a different direction and he loses some of that support, then maybe you get some division and an alternate, moderate, candidate who’s got a chance.

glacial's avatar

@funkdaddy Can’t be beat in the gubernatorial election for 2014? Have a look at the polling numbers between Perry and Wendy Davis in January of this year – her numbers will be higher following the filibuster, and a lot more women will come out to vote in the next election.

funkdaddy's avatar

I’ve looked, researched, tried to find a positive spin, and came away with the conclusion I posted above. I’ve been hoping the debates I mentioned would be enough to get “Adios Mofo” out of office, at the end of all that though it just doesn’t look like it at this point.

Dig into that report on the poll you mentioned a bit.

Every Republican candidate beat every Democratic candidate by about the same margin (5–10%), except for Bill White, who Perry defeated in the last election by 12 points and has said he won’t run again.

Also for some reason when Davis was polled against Greg Abbott (current Attorney General) she didn’t’ fare as well. I think you may be seeing that 5% margin of error reflected favorably in the result against Perry. And she’s still behind. The polled population was 56% women, so I’m not sure you can hope for better than that come election time (the mix was 55/45 last election). It’s a Republican state at this point, and proudly so.

Abbott is behind Perry by 25 points in those latest Republican primary polls so I don’t think he’s going to beat him out either. No one else is close.

I’m as tired as anyone, but for now he’s too recognizable and regardless of how people think he’s doing, the alternatives don’t seem to appeal to a wider base than he does. Unless he hires Clayton Williams as his new campaign manager, energy may be better spent on the representative battles.

For more background, dig into the Texas Tribune/UT poll questions and actual responses and decide which issue is going to shut down Mr. Perry. He’s good at this game.

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