Texas and abortion
Every woman who I have known to have had an abortion did not take that decision lightly. Each woman that I know also had money and access to make that heart-wrenching decision.
Recently there was a study completed with over 1,000 women over five years that women who had abortions did not experience more depression, anxiety or low self-esteem after the procedure. That is one of the issues that have been part of the debate over the years since Roe v. Wade made abortion legal. Those psychological issues actually increased for women who were unable to have the procedure.
The study says something about the resilience of women. Women are counseled around the traumatic effect on their personal health when in fact it isn’t exactly true.
I firmly believe that women should have access to abortion. If men found themselves with an unplanned pregnancy I can guarantee you that abortion would not be a constant debate with the hope that the law gets repealed. A group of men couldn’t even handle a new birth control study that was similar to the pill because it made all of them irritable, acne-prone and gain weight. Hence all the men dropped out of the study. That says it all.
Texas has just passed a law ending Medicaid for Planned Parenthood which could affect over 11,000 women. These women rely on Planned Parenthood for birth control, cancer screening, HIV tests, healthcare issues etc. Essentially the Texan government has decided that they will not give the underserved access to healthcare with their nickel. There are plenty of thoughts here particularly that anyone with money has access to healthcare so screw everyone else. It says very little about Texans carrying about their fellow person (woman ).
Let’s fast forward on their ridiculous right wing forcing religious values upon the people in Texas who need and use Planned Parenthood for their healthcare. These women don’t get pre-screenings for anything so a percentage ends up with cancer that will drain on the medical system because they will be treated in hospitals once the cancer takes hold is expensive. That would be the tax payers paying for this vs paying for early screening. On the other hand women who need birth control (yes everyone has sex) might find themselves with more unplanned pregnancies. They must have those children even if they can’t afford it, have no job and are living in areas that might not be the best for raising a young child. Fast forward these kids end up not being productive members of society but kids who drain the healthcare system. Perhaps they find themselves lost and grow up without graduating school with zero prospects like their parents and find themselves in prison. I am painting the worst picture but what Texas is doing is just continuing a cycle that no child should have to live through. Planned Parenthood is mostly about preventative pregnancies although what is touted is that they are abortion clinics.
I am disgusted by Texas and the passing of this law. I’d like to hear from each of the men who passed this law how many women do they know that have had an abortion (guarantee they have zero idea), how the women in their life get to freely go see a doctor when needed. It is ok that the women in their life have a roof over their head and access to anything that they want but it is not ok for the women who need access to public health because they don’t have the money to pay for it. Many might be deciding between the cost of rent and food and healthcare comes last.
Shame shame on them. Texas’s move on cutting off Planned Parenthood is not only shameless it is short sighted as it is creating a long tail of costs that will continue to grow as the years continue. The data is that women who have access to healthcare and everything that comes with that end up in a much better place.
Oh…but of course what is data and information? It appears that our new leader Trump falls under that category too. Just shoot from the hip and push their own ideals on everyone else because they control the law and don’t think about the big picture.
Great writeup.”I firmly believe that women should have access to abortion.”Seems like the law primarily address the religious liberty issue and not access, at least directly. If someone’s religious views preclude them morally from them having themselves, or supporting a procedure then should the government have the ability to use constituence funds against their religious views. So not instead, that the law limits access to women to have an abortion if that does not contradict their religious views. Obviously, a by product of lesser funding means restructuring and income/cost realignment will occur which will inevitably effect access since there has been a government subsidized revenue stream that has been so sizable.”These women rely on Planned Parenthood for birth control, cancer screening, HIV tests, healthcare issues etc. Essentially the Texan government has decided that they will not give the underserved access to healthcare with their nickel.”I haven’t reviewed the law directly, but does the law directly preclude medical procedures outside of abortion? Or is it the indirect effect, lesser funding for those other medical procedures because they haven’t figured out a way structurally to align funding with specific procedures to ONLY preclude abortion sponsorship from state funds?”Planned Parenthood is mostly about preventative pregnancies although what is touted is that they are abortion clinics.”Does the legislation defund all non-abortion procedures? It seems like the spirit of the thing by people who have this particular personal religious position, is that they are interested in not having their personal tax dollars fund something contrary to their personal religious beliefs. Not defunding general early screenings, birth control, and other necessary medical services to under-resourced communities and individuals.Seems like there could be a way for people of certain religious beliefs to designate that they would not want to fund certain services where others without that religious view could green light funding of those items, Planned Parenthood restructures to the new cost model, life moves on. Woman can access if they want to, but their is no direct financial support for people whom it violates their personal religious views/liberties.Thoughts @gothamgal?
You would think that they could figure out the separation of one vs the other but they can’t. Planned Parenthood is deemed to cease funding due to insanely pious people putting their own beliefs on others.
Only a small amount of care provided by PP nationally is for abortion services. The majority of services provided by PP is for healthcare, mainly for poor women but also for children and men. The Texas law is cutting all funding for healthcare provided by PP. For example, 80% of PP services are for preventative healthcare.Nationally, no public dollars fund any abortions at any PP clinic (or any other clinic). Public funding does cover preventative healthcare at PP and at other clinics. In some states and places, PP is the only provider of these services to the poor.Here is more PP data – https://www.plannedparentho…
.By its own record keeping, PP provides one third of all abortions performed in the US; so the notion it is not their core service is not supported by the numbers.The PP numbers are notoriously flawed and are propaganda.When PP provides an abortion, it counts their initial intake, any subsequent visits, any post abortion visits as services unrelated to the provision of abortion services. Only the abortion itself is counted under the classification of “abortion services.”PP insists on using the number of visits in trying to compare the magnitude of their services. It is a false flag.They used to lie and suggest they provided mammograms but they don’t own any such equipment.People of good heart should be able to discuss important matters without resorting to false statistics and propaganda to support their positions. When PP does such a thing — cooks the books — they undermine the sanctity and nobility of their argument which makes the rest of their message clouded.I often hear the screed that PP is “the only provider of these services to the poor.” Look at where their clinics are located. They are not in poor neighborhoods.In Texas, cities have municipally funded clinics which provide identical services to PP but they are located in the neighborhoods where these folks live. Anybody can go to any City of Austin clinic and seek treatment. They can also go to The Peoples Community Clinic, a private clinic on whose Board I served.Let’s have a factual, honest debate about life. We can all stand it and the truth will be good enough.JLMwww.themusingsoftheibigredc…
I could not agree more. your points about the long term repercussions are ones I make all the time.Your point about men and birth control is fascinating. I didn’t know about that study. It is quite revealing that all the men dropped out due to the side effects. This reminds me of that Gloria Steinem essay, If Men Could Menstruate.My Mom, before she became my Mom was a nun. She worked with extremely poor people in Maryland. She ended up leaving the convent because she came to realize that poor people would never be able to rise out of poverty until they had access to birth control. She understood that she could not do the work she believed in as a Catholic nun because her ideas were not supported by the church. She left and became a nurse who spent most of her career in community nursing.What is really at the heart of this Texas law and many other laws is a lack of empathy. You mentioned that you wondered if the male legislators knew women who had abortions. The problem is that most women do not walk around telling everyone about their abortions. But maybe we should. I have had two. Both times I got pregnant while using birth control. I was young and in college and had no resources to enable me to be a mother or to take care of a child. I have never regretted these decisions and have suffered no long term effects from them, either emotionally or physically.I also was scheduled for a late abortion when I was pregnant with my son due to complications in my pregnancy. I always tell my story when I can because me case is an example of exactly why later abortions are sometimes necessary and should be between a woman and her doctor. Because the fact is that most of the revealing testing you have during a pregnancy cannot occur until between weeks 12-16. Genetic testing then takes 10-14 days for results. By the time you get the results, you are actually past the date that most states allow abortions. Because of this issue, my doctor had to pre-arrange for me to have an abortion in another state should my test results come back positive. My earlier tests (mostly blood tests) were all extremely abnormal, but inconclusive. I was lucky. I did not have to have that abortion because my genetic testing came back normal. I later ended up getting pre-eclampsia — both my son and I are lucky we lived. I was induced and he was born early. Both my son and I were extremely ill and we both almost died. Because of the pre-eclampsia, I am unable to carry a pregnancy to term because I would become ill and die without intervention. Some of these new laws that are being passed in some states would actually make it illegal for doctors to save my life if I became ill while pregnant. The only known solution to pre-eclampsia is to expel the fetus and even then you still can die.By the way, did you know that the majority of women who have abortions are christians? The reason no one knows about this is because these women don’t tell anyone. It is so hypocritical, I cannot wrap my mind around it sometimes. Yet, I also feel empathy for these women. But, how do we as women, as feminists, work on promoting our causes without alienating those who we need to embrace our cause? I think, for example, that these christian women who are the predominant group that have abortions are holding back all women yet also benefiting from the work of women who are open about what the laws and solutions should be. How do we fix that? I don’t know the answer. I think our country is in the middle of huge backlash that affects so many critical issues like women’s healthcare, the environment, etc.Here is a great source for data on abortion – https://www.guttmacher.org/…
What a story. Your Mom – bravo to her. And you being honest about the decisions you made. Why can’t other Christian women do that…who knows? Our country is definitely going to go through a major change. The fact that most Christian women get abortions is amazing. It says something that this loud voice we are hearing from right wing Americans might be the minority not the majority.
I only tell my story because I feel that more people need to if the opponents are to truly understand what they are doing to us. I’d rather keep it personal but since they are publicly trying to take away our personal rights, then I need to make it public. I want more people also to take their stories public.
Just like the college women today are becoming honest and open about sexual assault, we need to be able to do the same about abortion. It is legal and it is ok.
Wow, Susan. What an ordeal. What a price we pay to bear children. I am glad that you and your son survived! And thank you for the willingness to share your story. Also, seeing how your mother lived out her convictions explains a lot about the person (you) that I see in the blog comments.I am no longer up-to-date on abortion regulation, but do I understand correctly that there are potential laws on the table that would preclude an abortion to save the mother’s life? That seems really radical.Re “the majority of women who have abortions are christians?”: I do wonder about the designation as “Christian.” Is this “Christian” as in devout, practicing Christian, or as a more cultural designation. For instance, my Orthodox Jewish friends make radically different life choices than my Secular Jewish friends, yet both would check the box for Jewish. Christian is a very broad category. Some of the most heated abortion debates that I have witnessed have been between women who would both check the box for “Christian.”
There was a great investigative piece in the NYT about this several years back — maybe even five or six years ago. I just did a search but could not find the piece. That piece included a survey which indicated that the majority of people who had abortions were white, married, practicing christians.When I have more time, I’ll see if I can do a deep dive to find the piece. In the meantime, here are some other data points and resources:54% of women who have abortions self-identify as Christian* (I know this is not practicing vs non practicing)38% of women did not identify a religious affiliation* (This is somewhat consistent with growing trend of “nones” in the U.S.; the fastest growing “religious” segment in the U.S. are people who do not have a religion.)A deeper dive into the data, highlights the rates for practicing christians by religion type. For example, 13% of women who have abortions are evangelical protestants.Data Sources:*Life Way Research – http://lifewayresearch.com/…On the topic of legal abortion to save mother’s life: Because of the cutoff dates in most states, it is illegal to have an abortion after a certain timeframe. This time cutoff is before testing results are possible for many of the high risk conditions. This is why legislation based primarily on timing is not effective. And this is also why it needs to be a decision between a woman and her doctor.
Thanks for the additional data points, Susan. And I can look for the NYT article. I used to be much more knowledgeable about this issue, in terms of data and stats.When I was more actively involved in these conversations, I discovered that a group of women who seemed to get lost in the midst of the “debate” were those who didn’t want to have an abortion but didn’t feel they had a choice due to their circumstances. These are the ones who seemed to have the least representation. Much more emphasis was (and still is) placed on preserving a woman’s right to choose an abortion (or to remove that choice) — and of course I understand that this is the crux of the matter.I am blessed/cursed with the often painful ability to fully understand both the opposite sides of an argument. I have had to find ways to live in good conscience with this.All those years ago, I decided to shift my focus to the underrepresented group of women mentioned above — as a way to demonstrate my concern for both the woman’s rights/needs and the unborn child. My involvement these days is little more than financial but I receive the reports from a particular organization that provides free medical care, baby supplies, parenting education and mentoring, birth control education, adoption education, etc. The numbers of women (and sometimes men) who seek their services are astounding.
.Joanne –Your information is terribly confused. Living in Texas, as I do, let me help you correct your misinformation.First, no Federal funds (Medicaid is Federally funded) may be used for the provision or funding of abortions anywhere in the US. This Federal law was enacted in 1976 and is often called the Hyde Amendment. There is an exception (enacted in 1994) for three conditions: rape, incest, or the life of the mother.This has been the law since 1976. Settled law for more 40 years. There is no current action related to the use of Medicaid funds in Texas (or any other state) for abortion of any kind whatsoever as Medicaid funds have been barred since 1976.So, any notion that Texas is taking any action related to Medicaid v Planned Parenthood over the subject of abortion is just not true. Fake news.BTW, very few Texas Planned Parenthood clinics provide abortions as there are better referral sources which are reportedly more cost effective.What Texas has done is to provide a thirty day notice of a cessation of all Medicaid funding unless Planned Parenthood requests a hearing into its “practices” before the Texas Health and Human Services Department. This is an administrative threat which is intended to bring PP to the conference room to participate in a state mandated hearing. Happens all the time. You may read into the State’s conduct that PP has not been cooperative.The issues in Texas as it relates to Planned Parenthood have nothing to do with their providing abortions but with the concept that a medical facility like PP must have facilities of equal quality to an operating room and be staffed by physicians who have admitting privileges at area hospitals in case something goes wrong during a procedure.These practices protect the health of their patients just as any hospital would be held to such standards.Further, the State of Texas is interested in the subject of whether PP violated Federal and State law by selling body parts as was alleged in some undercover films made by a group called CMP, an admittedly anti-abortion group, Center for Medical Progress. Several states, Texas included, determined that there was no currently actionable crime revealed by the videos themselves.[Greg Abbott was the AG who supervised this investigation and is now the Governor.]This, in turn, reinvigorated the debate in DC about Federal funding for Planned Parenthood (which receives approximately $500MM in Federal funds annually) and which was taken up by both the Senate (where it garnered 53 affirmative votes to cease funding but short of the 60 needed to pass) and the House where it passed by a wide margin. None other than Harry Reid said it was a matter worthy of investigation.President Obama threatened to veto the legislation if it ever made its way to his desk.Those are the bare facts as it relates to recent developments in Texas as pertains to Planned Parenthood. There is no attempt to deny Planned Parenthood of Medicaid funds for abortion as it has been illegal to use such funds for 40 years.Hope this helps.Having said that, I decry the 60MM+ children who have been put to death under the poorly decided Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision. That was a Texas case. I am convinced that at least one of those 60MM+ babies would have been as talented and blessed as yours or mine and I mourn their not having that chance.What is often not noted is the 22 week “bright line” standard included in that decision in which states were tasked to decide for themselves as to the viability of babies and the prohibition of abortions after that bright line date. Today, with advanced neo-natal care, that bright line of fetal viability is likely in the 15 week range and should be revisited by right minded, life loving people.I pray that Pres Trump appoints conservative Justices to the Supreme Court who will have an opportunity to revisit Roe v Wade and return that legal matter to the states where it belongs. In the end, mine is a plea for life for all.You owe it to your readers to ensure they have access to the truth. The truth will be good enough for fair minded people to make good decisions.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
And those abortions with zero federal or state funding to help take care of those children?Please.
.Sorry, I don’t understand your question.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
There’s obviously a lot that you don’t understand.Are you seriously citing those doctored and debunked CMP videos as “evidence”?! https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…Go away, troll.
.Jen, reading comp problem on your end, perhaps?Let me quote for you from what I actually wrote — “Several states, Texas included, determined that there was no currently actionable crime revealed by the videos themselves.”As you can see, I am not advocating the content of the videos in any way. Seemed pretty clear to me that I was not touting the videos but, rather, explaining their connection to the subject matter. Check closely.I was trying to explain from whence the Tx Dept of Health and Human Services action came rather than the hysterical FAKE NEWS blog post Joanne had made which grievously misstated the 40 year old Hatch Amendment legal status of Medicare funding of abortion.Merry Christmas, Jen. And, a Happy New Year.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Those videos are in fact the central theme of the notice filed on Tuesday. You very accurately picked up on what’s really going on here, even with all the hand waving by our friend from Texas.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016…”The termination notice, signed by the inspector general, Stuart W. Bowen Jr., cited violations that found Planned Parenthood was unqualified to provide medical services “in a professionally competent, safe, legal and ethical manner.”The notice cited “extensive undercover video” obtained from a Planned Parenthood center in April 2015. The secretly recorded videos purported to show officials trying to illegally profit from the sale of aborted fetal tissue and discussing the issue with abortion opponents who posed as representatives of a biomedical firm. “Seems the fake news of ‘selling body parts’ (as you always phrase it) still has legs with the Texas government, as they’re citing it in *Tuesday’s* notice.You’re an iron fist in a velvet glove. Every time. That soothing voice that there’s ‘nothing to see here.’ That smiling “howdy y’all” warm embrace as the knife goes in one’s back.We owe it to ourselves to have access to the *facts*. What you’ve presented is your elaborately embroidered version of the truth.
.You are attempting to erect a strawman argument, Kirsten.Joanne’s blog post was a screed about Texas and abortion and Medicaid. The title is “Texas and abortion”.There is no Medicaid money being used by any abortion provider in the US as it was outlawed by the Feds in 1976 via the Hatch Amendment. That was my point — the current issue between the State of Texas and Planned Parenthood is not about abortion and Medicaid. Again, my point was that Joanne was whipping up hysteria about a matter which does not exist — the funding of abortions in Texas by PP with Medicaid funds. Not happening and not really what they are fighting about.The current confrontation between PP and the Tx Dept of Health and Human Services has been ongoing for a long time and pre-dates the CMP tapes. It originally started over the issue of the status of PP operating rooms — were they built and operated up to the standards of Texas hospitals? — and the necessity for doctors operating therein to have admitting privileges at local hospitals in the event of a patient emergency during a PP procedure.The State of Texas — the Dept of the Attorney Gen’l — looked at the CMP videos (which PP argued had been edited and which CMP freely admitted had, in fact, been edited but not altered in their accuracy) and decided not to proceed with any legal action. The AG is the top law enforcement official in Texas.The matter drew the attention of the US House of Representatives which fomed a Select Investigative Panel. This House panel conducted an investigation of the UNEDITED video shot by CMP and sent a report to the Inspector General of the Tx Dept of HHS. This was received on/about 1 Dec 2016.On the strength of this new evidence, which has not yet been revealed but was based on the UNEDITED video shot by CMP and interviews with PP personnel, the IG of the Dept of HHS sent the noted Termination Notice which provodes a 15 day appeal process in which to refute the allegations.PP then filed suit in Federal Court to overturn the Termination Notice and to deal with other legal matters.What is at stake here is approximately $4MM that PP received from the State of Texas’ allocation of Medicaid funds which PP contends it uses for service which do not include abortion. Again, no Medicaid funds may be used by any abortion provider. Period.The issue of selling body parts for a profit — a profit indicating it is not being done for altruistic medical research — is at the core of any illegal activity by PP.Nonetheless, the actions of the Dept of HHS is not a criminal investigation — though it would be perfectly normal for such a referral to be made in the course of the investigation were illegalities uncovered. It is an administrative matter and one that is routinely discharged through a hearing process. PP has participated in such hearing in its past and would not be unfamiliar with the process.There is no intellectual dispute that PP sold body parts. They admit as much under the banner of supporting medical research and with an admonition that they do not engage in felonious conduct (selling them for profit). The fact that PP sells the parts of aborted fetuses is not denied by PP itself.The Tx Dept of HHS will likely want to get to the bottom of the financial acc’t for the sale of body parts as a measure of whether PP engaged in selling body parts for profit, recalling that the existence of a profit is what makes it a felony under Federal law.You do what many who are on the left do when losing an argument — you tend to personalize the conversation and launch in to ad hominem attacks. It does not further your argument and it undermines your credibility.The State of Texas is engaged in its rightful duty to regulate PP but it is not picking a fight over abortion using Medicaid funds. That is a bogus strawman argument.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
I’m straight out saying that this is a lot of hand waving to draw attention from the truth. Your personal intention is irrelevant. Whether you even believe it, yourself, or not is irrelevant to me. The content of your comment is smoke and mirrors, and I’m pointing that out. To accuse me of an ad hominem attack is textbook gas lighting (and is ironically a bit ad hominem, itself, the way you’ve phrased it).”Joanne was whipping up hysteria about a matter which does not exist…” is more gas lighting. I guess we’re all whipped up into hysteria here, huh? The conversation here has been anything but hysterical. So why would you characterize it as such? Perhaps it frames your comment, then, as the only rational voice in the sea of hysteria.To imply this is just the TX Dept of HHS engaging in its rightful duty is even more gas lighting. I want to highlight the seductive nature of a comment that suggests that it’s just much ado about nothing, that everything that’s going on is perfectly OK, and that there’s nothing to worry about. It sounds like the voice of reason talking. But what it really does is muddy the truth.Bowen is striving to defund PP because it provides abortions, regardless of where the money comes from for those abortions.
Today’s Trumpwatch and how it may affect women’s voices and rights:* https://www.washingtonpost….
Half the women in my family have had an abortion, including me. Mine was at the tender age of 39. I don’t regret it. It wasn’t a hard decision (it wasn’t a fun decision, but there was no question that it was the right decision). It didn’t leave me emotionally scarred. It was also a miserable experience, and I wouldn’t want to do it again.I’d like to add that my abortion was performed later than necessary because, unbeknownst to me, my OB at the time had religious values that drove her to under-inform me about what tests to have and *when* I should have them and how critical they are. I relied on her. Big mistake.I still go to Planned Parenthood today for my reproductive healthcare services, as a way of helping to fund them (and frankly, the service is better than most ‘fancy’ doctors offices!).It’s astonishing to me how the religious right refuses to believe that the majority of what PP does is preventative healthcare. People will tell themselves anything in order to justify forcing their beliefs on others. It scares the hell out of me.I’m done being astonished and amazed and stunned by the far right. I’ve had enough civilized discussions with anti-choice people (often right here on this blog) that lead absolutely nowhere. I don’t agree to disagree. I’m a warrior for the resistance. Period.
I’m usually open to others thoughts but being pious and right wing is lost on me. I have no tolerance for intolerance
Yep. I’ve always tried to stay open to others’ thoughts, too. I don’t want to turn into a polarized zealot. But there really just is a fundamental difference between requiring people to put up with something that offends their religious sensibilities, and telling certain members of society they don’t have dominion over their own bodies. That is naked oppression.Remember when you were first starting out as an adult and thinking, “Thank God for the women who came before me and achieved things like the Roe v Wade decision so that I don’t have to. I get to just go on and strive for my dreams like they hoped I could.” The women of that generation warned me at the time, “Don’t kid yourself, kid.” And I thought, “Well, who can blame them for being a little jaded?” Now I see how right they were.Apparently, the struggle *is* real.
Thank you for the articulate and clear opinions here. It is important for us to keep speaking up for one another’s rights. Especially women’s rights = human rights. That should be implicit, not something we have to fight for.
I was dealing with a crisis (with a good ending) when this was posted so I’m late to the party.My comments would have been limited anyway. As a woman with deep convictions both about women’s rights and life in utero, discussions about abortion are among the most difficult I have ever tried to take part in. I have learned that without rules of engagement, it is almost futile for any real dialogue to take place around such a volatile topic. People on both sides of the debate tend to be quite dogmatic and labels/name-calling get thrown around that shut down the conversation. Very quickly the discussion can move into personal attack.I appreciate that you use your blog to share your thoughts and beliefs. One of the (many) reasons I come back. I don’t always agree (and also often do), but it is refreshing to have someone share with such passion and intelligence and gives me a platform against which to bounce my own thoughts — even if I don’t always choose to express these in the comments.
Thanks Donna. Appreciate it