On Wednesday, a trio of anti-abortion measures continued to wend their way through the Texas State Legislature, buoyed by Republicans’ expectations for a more conservative Supreme Court. A Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing included testimony from NARAL Texas legislative intern Maggie Hennessy, whose speech decrying SB 415 ended abruptly when Committee Chairman Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) smashed his gavel quite hard on the glass table, which was later shown to have cracked. Seems like ridiculously bad optics for a guy trying to crack down on women’s reproductive rights, but what do I know?
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The latest landslide of anti-choice legislation coming through in Texas has been justified by one supporting legislator: “Suffering is part of the human condition, since sin entered the world.”
Isn’t the point of laws, the point of creating a civilized society, to minimize suffering? Isn’t it our legislators’ jobs to see to it that we create a world where dignified life for everyone is possible? And as far as sin, well, we’ve been saying from the beginning of the great reproductive justice debate – legal and medical matters (especially of the masses) should not be influenced by a single person’s understanding of a god.
Why is this so difficult to understand? When the religious arguments of the anti-choice movement are stripped away – as they should be, because we have this glorious thing called separation of church and state and thus the right to not have someone else’s religion dictate parts of your life – what’s left is medical science, and each individual’s personal choices. Those choices are rarely easy either, and if people who identify as pro-life were really that, they would be spending more time educating people about how their bodies work, passing out contraceptives and setting up connections and funds for families who find themselves in difficult spots rather than shaming women and preaching.