Miss T Paraphrased: Come At Me Bro
Within these past few days there has been a whirlwind of press regarding the abortion bills moving through the Texas Legislature. With all the attention surrounding the protests and the citizens filibuster it might be a little bit distracting and hard to keep track of what Senate Bill 5 actually does.
Here are some quick facts you need to know:
#SB5 is basically an omnibus anti-choice bill, doing a many number of things to try to limit patient access and doctor's discretion with regards to a woman's reproductive health.
#SB5 outright outlaws abortion in Texas at or after 20 weeks post-fertilization. There is no exception for rape or incest victims, despite the efforts of Representative Senfronia Thompson (seen right).
#SB5 requires all abortion doctors to have hospital-admitting privileges within 30 miles of every clinic where they practice
#SB5 requires a woman to have to have two in-person visits with a doctor before she gets an abortion.
#SB5 requires every abortion provider to be licensed as an ambulatory surgery center. This requirement will costs providers about $1 million and will have to comply with 117 pages of regulation. It is expected that all but five clinics would not be able to afford to stay open because they simply cannot afford to comply with these regulations. It should be noted that this restriction is already in place for clinics in Texas that provide abortions past the 16 week mark. This law was passed during the 2003 legislative session, and significantly limited the access for women to have safe abortions.
It should also be noted that Texas already has extensive regulations on the procedure itself. These health care centers that provide abortions also must have a licensed physician and nurse on staff and must follow rigorous requirements that are then reported to the Department of State Health Services, and just last session the Texas Legislature passed the infamous sonogram bill, regulating what a doctors says to a woman during that procedure. The Legislature also cut two-thirds of the funding for the state's family planning program last session, ultimately forcing 55 health care clinics to close.
If the authors of this legislation were at all interested in preventing abortions they would help fund efforts to keep abortion safe, accessible, and legal. Instead this bill drives up the cost of women's health care considerably, making it less accessible and less safe for all women in Texas.
To watch Rachel Maddow explain what's been happening click on 'There's More' just below here.