It was a bit past midnight in Texas when news came forth that the pro-life omnibus bill, Senate Bill 5, had passed the Texas State Senate, 19-12. But, in part because of a several-hours-long filibuster, for which State Senator Wendy Davis is receiving much attention, and in the end because of commotion caused by unruly abortion advocates, the vote had not actually taken place on time. A few hours later, Lt. Governor Dewhurst conceded that the bill was dead.
The Texas Observer has a lengthy and helpful piece explaining the events, and includes minute-by-minute happenings for much of the evening as well.
It was around one o’clock in the morning for me in New York when I began to see posts about the filibuster and the bill on my Facebook news feed. Many of the posts included the hashtag #standwithwendy or dissed Texas for apparently being anti-women with such a bill. And on the Twitter sphere, a @BarackObama account and other celebrities sent out tweets in support of Wendy Davis, with the Obama tweet saying that “something special” was happening in Austin. Well, that “something special” was an attempt to make it impossible for lawmakers to save babies from late-term abortions.
Let’s consider: what is in SB5 that has abortion advocates claiming is so anti-women – enough for Wendy Davis to filibuster it? LifeNews.com provides a helpful breakdown:
According to Texas Alliance for Life, SB 5 is an unparalleled opportunity to protect women and innocent human life. SB will do the following:
- Increase abortion facility safety standards to the level of ambulatory surgical centers to shut down Gosnell-like abortion providers in Texas,
- Require the 18,000 RU-486 abortions performed each year be done according to FDA safety standards,
- Require physicians who perform abortions to be qualified to treat life-threatening complications after botched abortions and have privileges at a local hospital, and
- Ban abortions on unborn children beginning at 20 weeks after fertilization, when scientific evidence clearly shows babies can feel pain.
In commenting about the whole matter of SB5, a friend of mine on Facebook, who admits to being “kind of on the fence over the whole abortion debate,” expressed puzzlement about “all the fuss” when he actually read what was in the bill. Pro-lifers are obviously in favor of such a bill, but even those with no clear opinion are shocked at the opposition to it.
Of the 42 abortion clinics in Texas, 37 currently do not meet the standards outlined in SB5. Abortion advocates are thus up in arms over the state being left with 5 abortion clinics should SB5 eventually pass. But when true thought is put into considering such parts of SB5, they don’t really seem unreasonable. And if a majority of abortion clinics in the state cannot meet these standards, well, that really does say something about how “safe” abortion really is. Abortion advocates cannot claim that abortion is health care and clinics are performing that health care while making a fuss whenever there are requirements to be in place for the safety of women! Enough is enough – abortion advocates need to stop trying to retain their special treatment and circumventing the law.
Politicians like Wendy Davis and Planned Parenthood claim, in going to mob-like lengths to prevent this bill’s passage, to be in support of women. They’re not supporting women, though. They are supporting abortion, blindly and mindlessly. Anyone who bothers to read the bill should be able to see that.
Someone else on Facebook claimed that the law and people had spoken. Well, perhaps the law spoke, due to a technicality of time, but certainly not the people. Nineteen votes is more than 12, and so, had the vote been able to take place on time, SB5 would have passed. The people of Texas elected their officials to represent them, not Cecile Richards and Planned Parenthood.
Many pro-life sources and individuals have commented on the defeat of SB5, including Operation Rescue, LifeSiteNews.com, and Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, over at National Review Online. Students for Life of America also has a graphic with information up on Facebook. A summary from LifeSiteNews.com may be of particular interest due to its statements from Lila Rose:
Lila Rose, president of Live Action, said this type of behavior should be expected from abortion advocates.
“A lot of people are talking about how the [abortion] movement should be ashamed of its behavior. How shameful it is,” she wrote. “But this is the same movement that champions ripping apart helpless, vulnerable, even pain-capable children in the womb.”
“A movement that’s okay with that will have NO SCRUPLES about hijacking the legislative process. We waste time wagging fingers over civility,” she said. “[Gov. Perry], please don’t let a screaming mob determine how your state is governed. Please call another session.”
And indeed, it was announced earlier today that Governor Rick Perry has called for a special session, to consider SB5 as well as legislation on transportation and a court and sentencing system. There is hope that this commonsense and life-saving bill will actually pass.
Another special session shouldn’t have needed to be called to discuss SB5, though. Cecile Richards and other abortion advocates should be ashamed of themselves. This goes to say not only for their stance when it comes to abortion, including those performed late-term, but by achieving “victory” in a rather false and dishonest manner. I do not care what your view is of Planned Parenthood; the president and CEO of such an organization should not be participating in, never mind calling for such outlandish and chaotic behavior. Normal and respectful people do not act in such a way. When I went to the Capitol building in Albany, New York, to be a pro-life presence against Governor Andrew Cuomo’s abortion expansion act, never would it have crossed my mind, and I am certain it did not cross the mind of anyone else in our group, to behave in such an unruly manner. Sure, it can be disappointing when you don’t get your way in politics, but welcome to the American system of government.
So let the abortion advocates who are feeling victorious now know that it is a false victory. Their “victory” is not based on a vote; rather, it’s a matter of confusion in timing, caused by an angry mob. Such a “victory” will surely not last for long. Governor Perry has called another special session for July 1, and then the will of the people will truly be reflected in the pro-life laws of Texas.