Saturday, November 2, 2013

Controversial Texan Abortion Law

In the news this week, there was much uproar over a controversial abortion law in Texas.

I can't speak for Texas, but here in Portland, the Planned Parenthood has a big sign which says they are a health center.  Legally speaking, though, they are not classified as a health center or a medical clinic.  This means they do not have to follow medical or health laws when performing abortions, including the most basic laws such as "all equipment must be sterilized before use" and "the patient must be informed if there is a mistake in the operation".

As someone who is concerned for women's safety, I'd like to see this situation changed.  I'm not sure how to do it, though.  Maybe we could change it, so abortions can only be performed at hospitals (which have to conform to medical safety standards).  Or maybe we could repeal Planned Parenthood's exempt status, when it comes to performing abortions.

Part of the Texas law which got overturned was the rule "all doctors who perform abortions must have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital".

Pro: This makes abortions safer, because it prevents non-doctors from performing abortions.
Con: This law is sketchy about the definition of the word "nearby", considering the fact that Texas is an absolutely humongous state.

I suppose this raises an interesting question.  We can all agree "safe abortions are better than unsafe abortions", but what about these places in Texas where people only have access to unsafe abortions?  Is that better or worse than having no access to abortions at all?  The people who argued for this law to be repealed say that 1/3 of Texas was affected by the law, which is a pretty sizeable portion.


Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as a safe abortion. God Bless you, Michael.:)

Anonymous said...

I’ve never actually gone into a PP here in Texas, but from what I’ve learned of women who have, it’s no different than a doctor’s office. It’s clean, there are nurses and doctors there, medicine, etc. But never having actually gone into one, I guess that’s heresy.

There are two main problems with this law: 1.) it assumes that PP does nothing but provide abortions. While yes, it does, that is only ONE service PP provides. They also provide contraception and women health screenings for things like cancer and other diseases. This is important because of reason number 2.) Texas is a rather poor state. Obviously not the whole state, since we have metropolis like Dallas, Houston, Austin, etc. But if you actually leave those cities, a lot of the towns in-between are near, or under the poverty line. The middle class in Texas is rather small, with most Texans either really rich, or really poor. PP is for the really poor, a big chunk of Texas’ population. To deny them PP, is to deny them health screenings, which they otherwise couldn’t afford, and contraception, helping them from having multiple children they otherwise couldn’t provide for either.

What you said is also an issue: the size of Texas. If you head out to west Texas, it’s not uncommon to be driving for 2, 3 hours passing only fast food joints, gas stations, and “pop up” towns (impoverish towns that developed around the time of the oil boom out there, but now just cling to the fast food joints and gas stations.) Most of the time though, you’re just passing empty fields. Shutting down PPs out there, is effectively shutting PP for the next 10 hours. You would have to drive 10 hours to the other side of the state just for a mammogram.

That said, I can see where these towns are extremely poor, the PPs probably are not up to the best medical standard. But since these towns are already poor, how does anybody propose a hospital to be built “nearby”? Who’s going to pay for it? They certainly can’t, so tax the rest of Texas?

As a side note, at least here in Texas, PP performs most of its procedures for free, or near to it. Hospitals on the other hand, charge. PP was formed, in part, because poor people can’t afford insurance and can’t afford to pay for hospital procedures, like abortion and health screenings. So that’s why abortions aren’t done exclusively at hospitals. However, with the Affordable Care Act, (if it ever gets working), the poor could get insurance now, thus making PP perhaps obsolete. We’ll see.

Stephanie said...

Instead of praying and passing out pamphlets, the anti-abortionists should spend their time seeking Gods guidance and grace to foster and/or adopt the unwanted and neglected children that go through the horror and injustice of an overcrowded system that can't meet their physical or emotional needs.
Priests can adopt, look at Father Flager in Chicago.

Katie said...

I agree that no abortions are safe. They often destroy the mental health of the women (and the men) who take part in them. They also result in the murder of an innocent person. Many Christians adopt and foster children. Many Christians support crises pregnancy centers. There are many ways to go about tackling a problem. Prayer is definitely one of the most important!

Anonymous said...

How does prayer even begin to tackle a problem like abortion? Thumping those Bibles will not help those women who were raped, nor help them with raising their unwanted child, which regardless will have a meager upbringing in which ever adoption home- Christian or not.

PP goes a long way in providing many more services than just abortions. It provides sexual education and contraception. Please do not assume that all PP does is provide abortions. It's more about family planning and free screenings for those who cannot afford health care. Abortions, sure- if the individual who is pregnant decides on one. It not within your right or choice to deny them that option for whatever reason. How does it even concern you?

Finally Michael, since you are a man, and a Catholic at that, you have no valid opinion on what should be done with women who want an abortion. PP services are legitimate and the comical horror stories as opposition are just that. Accidents and stupidity happen in even the safest of hospitals. PP merely provides an alternative to those who cannot afford to pay for an abortion without health insurance. As a white catholic male, don't even go there. Just pray from the sidelines for all the lost souls if you wish. It is not within your right to dictate availability of PP services.

HAd you ever been in such a clinic as PP, you would easily see that the nurses, doctors, and methods are completely sanitary and respectable. Stop trying to use scare tactics and fear to denounce an affordable agency from doing what an individual wants. No one wants to have 12 babies, no matter how Catholic or whatever you might be.

Katie said...

When a great injustice or tragedy is taking place, such as the genocide of millions, men and women of conscience not only have the right to make themselves heard about it, they have a moral obligation. When a practice is destroying the very fabric of a society, people have the right to have opinions about it. When a child is being murdered and women are being damaged, men have the right to care and be involved.

Anonymous said...

"When a child is being murdered and women are being damaged, men have the right to care and be involved."

But a woman has the right over her own body. It's called Sovereignty of the Individual, or Bodily Integrity, and it's considered a natural right. Up until a certain point, the child inside has no such right, because it's own body cannot exist without the mother's. How dare you, as a woman (I assume), deny a fellow woman's right to keep her body her own, and her life her own.

Stop focusing on the 'evulz' of abortion and focus on actual evils, like actual genocide.

"There is no such thing as a safe abortion"

Then there's no such thing as any safe medical procedure, ever, and we should all stop seeing doctors at once.

Michael, I don't understand why you bring abortion up every few months or so.

Katie said...

I dare because someone has to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Anonymous said...

So you don't care about the women. That's nice. Women who already have lives of their own, as compared to babies who have no impact on the world, no ties to anyone yet.

And yes, you might say they have potential to change the world. They do. A baby could change the world, yes, but what about the woman who has to drop out of college and forfeit an education if she was forced to keep her child? She could have changed the world too. I'd rather sacrifice the fetus (who again, is a parasite that infringes on the mother's Bodily Integrity, a natural right) for the life of a woman who has already shown their potential, whose actions might be extinguished because of a thing they did not want or could not care for.

Anonymous said...

Save the fetus, starve the child.

C said...

Katie, do you think rape happens for a reason?

C said...

^The above C is not me, the C that's been annoying Michael on his philosophical posts for several weeks/months now. Just to clarify.

Stephanie Braddock said...

A woman has the right to decide what happens to her body. What's the difference between forcing her to go through with a pregnancy and strapping her down to do some other invasive procedure? I don't see much of one. If you oppose abortion, great. That's your business. I respect your beliefs. But not everyone thinks like you do; I, for one, do not think a fetus develops a consciousness (you may think of this as a soul) until far into the pregnancy. I am relatively sure there is research backing this. So please stop acting ignorant and self-righteous when you are the one imposing on others.

Anonymous said...

C II, that is the first time I've used C. I picked a random letter so people could identify me if needed. I don't follow Michael's philosophical and/or religious posts.

C said...

Haha, it's all good. I've been using C on here for awhile now and just didn't want people to get confused if our views happen to differ from one another.

Anonymous said...

banning abortions is the best thing to do unless the woman is dying

Anonymous said...

Do none of you care about women? A woman's life doesn't matter as long as a parasite still gets to use and distort her body, absorb her nutrients, and then later to utterly change her life?

Pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion. I am not pro-abortion. I hope women who consider it are not taking the decision lightly, and I hope they're not using it as a form of birth control.

Pro-choice means allowing a woman the right to her own body, whether she lets her parasite grow into a beautiful child whom she will love and care for and make sacrifices for, or whether she chooses to keep her life the way she wants it, without the added stress, burden, or health complications that might come with it.

Again, why is everyone ignoring the right a woman has to her own body?? A fetus, up until a certain point, cannot live outside the mother's body. It's a part of her body, and she can do what she likes with it, whether I agree with what she does or not.

Anonymous said...

It's really stupid that people claim the fetus does not belong to the mothers body. If you had a being growing inside of you, dependent in you for survival, you sure as heck would say that belongs to you. And if you don't, you're a liar.

Anonymous said...

I wrote out a somewhat long comment but now it isn't on here. What gives? Are you deleting comments, Michael?

Prof. James Dooley said...

I do not agree in banning abortions. My theory on abortions is the fact that women should choose what they want to do, like Jesus would have wanted us to.