Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Updates on some of the bills I've been following

Well, the Texas Lege has gone home for two more years -- unless there's a special session to address school finance, which looks likely -- and at least it's over. I must confess, I'm kind of glad that they only meet once every two years. At least now we don't have to keep up the pressure and vigilance -- in THAT direction, anyway -- for awhile.

So I've been following certain bills there ever since I went to PPNT lobby day and here's the update.

Good news: SB 747, the "Medicaid Waiver" bill, passed. This will mean real access to health care for Texas women. Let's see if Perry signs it -- he vetoed the damn thing last time, and it's annoying because this bill could be saving us taxpayers some real money.

Bad news: Rider 34b passed. They stuck a clause in the bill that keeps Planned Parenthood (or any healthcare provider that performs abortions) from getting this funding, which is just downright stupid. There are some counties in which PPNT is the ONLY source of healthcare and family planning for women.

Good news: The pharmacy refusal cause -- that could have allowed pharmacists to refuse to sell you Emergency contraception AND BIRTH CONTROL -- died in committee. Thank goodness. I think they realized (cross your fingers) exactly how much this would piss people off.

Bad news: The house passed a bill requiring parental consent for teenagers. This is really unfortunate for those young women who come from abusive homes or families where they have been subjected to incest or rape.

Anywho. So, there was good news and bad news. As I said, at least it's over for two more years.

As I was writing this entry I was browsing the Planned Parenthood site and I found this great article, Five Ways to Prevent Abortion (And One Way That Won't). I'll close with an excerpt from it:

"The way to prevent abortion is not to make it illegal. That won't work. It never has. Whenever governments have made abortions illegal, they have not stopped them. Throughout the centuries, when women have felt abortion to be their only option, they have had them. Whether they were legal or not. In the two decades before abortion was legal in the United States, nearly one million women went "underground" each year for illegal operations. Thousands died for lack of medical care. Tens of thousands were maimed. All were forced to behave as if they were criminals in order to do what they felt was right for themselves. We hope those days are gone forever, even though anti-choice extremists are determined to turn back the clock.

But regardless of where we stand on the abortion issue, most of us would like to see the need for abortion reduced. This will only come as the natural result of reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies. Planned Parenthood has worked for decades toward that goal." Read the rest here.

And that's why I'm supporting Planned Parenthood, and will continue to do so.


Post a Comment

<< Home