Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Falkenberg again

Falkenberg again nails it. Nobody likes abortion; it ought to be “safe, legal and rare:”

“We'd love to live in a world where every pregnancy is planned, every baby is wanted and healthy and loved enough to thrive in this hard world.

“We live in reality, though.”

And how about this; “In 1965, illegal abortion accounted for 17 percent of all "reported" deaths attributed to pregnancy and childbirth that year; the actual percentage was much higher.”

Here’s yesterday’s column:

Abortion bill will force women into the shadows

By Lisa Falkenberg

“"Yes. I do want to end abortion," state Sen. Dan Patrick told a Houston Chronicle reporter Thursday.

And with those words, Patrick, the father of the infamous sonogram bill and recently announced GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, confirmed the real motivation behind legislation the Senate considers today to drastically restrict abortion rights in Texas.

Of course, Patrick was quick to follow up, for cover-your-butt purposes in case of future litigation: "This bill is not about that."

I suppose the bill isn't about the good senator's political prospects, either.

But Patrick's comment confirmed something else: the tragic futility of the "pro-life" movement. In reality, almost every single one of us would like to end abortion, or, more accurately, the circumstances and tragedies that lead to abortion.

We'd love to live in a world where every pregnancy is planned, every baby is wanted and healthy and loved enough to thrive in this hard world.

We live in reality, though. And the reality is this: No law, no vote-hungry politician, no movement of well-meaning citizens (and yes, I do believe most of the pro-lifers are well meaning), will ever end abortion.

A pastor who attended the Austin news conference where Patrick made his remarks was quoted saying "abortion began in Texas, and I pray it ends in Texas." Of course, abortion didn't begin in Texas. It was legal in some states years before the landmark 1973 Texas case Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationwide. But as long as there has been sex, there has been unplanned pregnancy. And as long as there has been unplanned pregnancy, there has been abortion.

Our best hope is to keep it safe, legal and rare.

Heading to disaster

Bills like the one Patrick and other GOP leaders are pushing threaten that endeavor to its core. Instead of supporting legislation that could really reduce abortions - by, say, adequately funding family planning services so poor women have access to birth control - so-called pro-lifers pursue an agenda that chips away at rights intended to protect women.

Let me step back. With this column, I'm breaking an important rule never to address the fundamental merits of abortion rights. After all, we had that debate 40 years ago, didn't we? And the highest court in the land deemed abortion a constitutional right of all U.S. women. But another reason I avoid it is because the debate itself is futile. If you feel strongly about it, you can't be swayed. This column won't change your mind.

Most people don't pick a side based on logic, or even information. They decide based on their gut, their emotions. Some are convinced by testimonials like the kind we've heard recently in legislative committee hearings from women who regretted their abortions and experienced trauma afterward. Some are compelled by religion or personal circumstances or by images of vulnerable, though not-yet-viable fetuses.

And many of us who believe in abortion rights are not unmoved by all of this. We are not comfortable with the idea of aborting a 20-week pregnancy, even if the fetus hasn't yet reached viability. We can count the fingers, same as anyone.

But we also know Republican lawmakers won't stop with 20 weeks. Next time, it will be 18 weeks. And then 16. And we know that criminalizing abortion, or restricting access to it, won't alleviate the trauma. It will create more. It may send a desperate woman to the border to buy abortion pills in open-air markets. It won't save the fetus. It may just cost the mother her own life if she's desperate enough to turn to the back alley for help.

In 1965, illegal abortion accounted for 17 percent of all "reported" deaths attributed to pregnancy and childbirth that year; the actual percentage was much higher, according to the Guttmacher Institute. And in the early 1970s many women had to travel thousands of miles to other states for abortions, risking the women's health and resulting in later-term abortions. After abortion was legalized, women's deaths plummeted and the proportion of abortions done early in the first trimester rose dramatically.

No gray area

Over the past couple of weeks, I've read so many emails, fielded so many questions about how I can believe the way I do on this issue. They see the issue in black and white. Life and death. And they can't see the gray.

Here's the gray. As a mother of two beautiful daughters, I have marveled at those sonogram images with tears in my eyes. I have strained to count the fingers and make out the grainy faces. I was so blessed that my girls were both born healthy, blessed that they were planned, blessed that I have a loving, supportive husband to help me raise them, blessed that we have jobs that enable us to care for, feed and clothe them.

Not everyone is so blessed. And for those women, there should be a choice. And it should be hers, her family's, and her God's - not her government's.

The pro-life goal of "ending abortion" is noble, but also naive and dangerous. It won't save babies; it will endanger the health of mothers who will be forced into the shadows to access their right to choose.”

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Here from the ‘why didn’t I write this’ file, is Lisa Falkenberg’s modest proposal:

“Where sex and reproduction are concerned, men and women will never be equal.

Women will always bear the brunt of the responsibility for family planning and pregnancy, which is why the folks in Austin are back at it again this week, trying to help the little women in this endeavor by protecting their health with unnecessary regulations and restricting access to constitutionally protected medical options.

Still, I can't help but think the men of this state are worthy of some Texas-style reproductive protection as well. The Legislature's compelling interest in restricting the reproductive rights of Texans shouldn't stop at lady parts.

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT relating to men's reproductive health and protection of potential personhood


SECTION 1. (a) The findings indicate that:

(1) substantial medical evidence recognizes that prostate health and heart disease may be associated with erectile dysfunction.

(2) the state has a compelling state interest in protecting potential lives of Pre-Conceived future citizens, and also the health of men, thousands of whom regret vasectomies and later opt to reverse them.

“(3) unregulated vasectomies result in fewer unwanted pregnancies and, thus, thousands of fewer births per year of future taxpaying citizens of the state of Texas. They also result in fewer impoverished children and fewer inmates in the state prison system, a job-killing outcome that endangers the employment of social workers, prison guards and law enforcement officers.

(3) restricting elective vasectomies does not impose an undue burden or a substantial obstacle on a man's reproductive rights because (a) abstinence is an effective means of birth control, according to sex education curriculum approved by the Texas State Board of Education; and (b) similar regulations restricting the reproductive rights of women have been deemed acceptable policy by the state of Texas.

(4) all sperm is sacred, given its unique contribution to potential personhood, and thus, should not be left subject to the unregulated whim of chemically induced arousal. This Act amends the Health and Safety Code by establishing Chapter 1004, to be entitled Men's Reproductive Health, as follows:

SUBCHAPTER A: Vasectomy restrictions and informed consent

Sec. 1004.001 - Not fewer than 24 hours or more than 72 hours before the vasectomy is performed, a physician whose office is located not farther than 7.3 miles from the male patient's home (in case of emergency), shall: (a) instruct the man to provide a sample that can be used for semen analysis (b) present enlarged images of the sperm to the patient and, in a manner understandable to a layperson, give a verbal explanation of the number, unique characteristics and life-giving qualities of the sperm (c) provide a state-approved pamphlet which may or may not include medically accurate information explaining complications associated with the vasectomy procedure, difficulty of reversal, psychological trauma of abdicating pro-creative duties and the potential of an unfounded link to ear cancer

Sec. 1004.002 - If a patient chooses to go forward with the procedure, the physician must (a) obtain approval from the man's wife or sexual partner in the form of notarized affidavit (b) ensure that the procedure takes place at an ambulatory surgical center, not in the comfort of the physician's private office (c) attempt one more time to talk the man out of it

Sec. 1004.003 - No exceptions to the provisions in this subchapter shall be made on the basis of the man's age, number of children, economic situation or danger to his partner in the event a child is conceived


SUBCHAPTER B: Regulation of erectile dysfunction medications

Sec. 1004.004 - Not less than 72 hours before Viagra or any other erectile dysfunction medication is prescribed, a physician whose office is located not farther than 5.2 miles from the male patient's pharmacy shall (a) inform the male patient about the health risks associated with erectile dysfunction (b) perform a live, real-time examination of the patient's prostate, otherwise known as a rectal exam (c) schedule a second appointment for a separate, cardiac stress test (d) provide a verbal explanation of the side effects of the medication accompanied by a graphic video, which may or may not be medically accurate, depicting symptoms such as long-lasting, painful erections, sudden hearing loss, upset stomach, blurred vision and bad breath (e) provide a referral to a state-licensed sex therapist, who must approve any medication prescribed by the physician (f) notify patient of alternatives to medication, including celibacy and natural remedies

Sec. 1004.005 - VIOLATION (a) physician who performs any procedure or prescribes any medication in violation of this chapter engages in unprofessional conduct for which the physician's license shall be revoked under Chapter 164 Occupations code.

Section 2. This Act takes effect on the 91st day after the legislative session.

Section 3. God Bless Texas.”

Monday, July 08, 2013

-Juanita's take: "For those of you who think Perry leaving is a good thing, let me introduce you to Greg Abbott.   Perry without the compassion and charm."

Today in San Antonio Rick Perry announced that he is not gay.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Texas Women Stand Together

Rally outside the second Special Session today.