Every year, anti-choicers in state legislatures introduce bills to chip away at the right to abortion, make the procedure as inaccessible as possible, and shame those considering an abortion. Every year, the line on how far elected antis are willing to go moves farther into bold faced woman-hating territory. That’s why I was thrilled to read Amanda Marcotte’s coverage at RHRealityCheck of pro-choice legislators using their own set of amendments to highlight the absurdity, hypocrisy, and misogyny of anti-choice bills.
Last week, Texas state legislators were considering a bill that would force a woman considering an abortion to view a sonogram and then have to wait a day to have the procedure — you know, time to think about her decision, because we all know women don’t think unless we’re told to. That this terrible bill will become law is almost inevitable – the state House and Senate versions just need to be reconciled and Governor Rick Perry has made it clear he plans to sign the bill.
A group of state representatives who were fed up with these sorts of attacks decided they might as well jump on the absurdity bandwagon. State Representative Harold Dutton of Houston introduced three amendments, all of which were quickly tabled: one that would require the state to pay the child’s college tuition if the woman decides not to have an abortion, one that would require the state to cover the child’s health care till they were 18, and when that failed one that wold require the state to pay for health care till the child was 6. And you know what? Those are fantastic ideas! Dutton’s reason for introducing these amendments is spot on:
“We want to see all these children around, but the state of Texas ends its obligation to that child when it’s born,” he said. “We want it born, but we don’t want to do our duty.”
Exactly. Antis care about someone’s life right up until the moment they’re born. Then you’re pretty well screwed.
State Representative Joaquin Castro of San Antonio offered an amendment, also swiftly tabled, that would require clinics that provide abortions to also provide medically accurate information about contraception. Which is hilarious, since these clinics do this anyway, so letting that amendment stand would have changed nothing. But of course it points out the reality once again: antis don’t want women to have any control over their reproductive health — they should just be baby incubators (in the context of marriage of course, since contraception is for sluts).
State Representative Marisa Marquez of El Paso proposed the most outlandish of the amendments, which would let the pregnant woman force the father to have a vasectomy. Do I agree with this idea? Of course not. It’s just as as much of an insulting invasion of bodily autonomy as what Texas antis are forcing on women. And that’s the whole point.
While these amendments were largely a symbolic battle with no chance of actually passing, I am glad to see pro-choice legislators start to use their position to highlight the absurd cruelty and invasiveness of anti-choice bills.