A Devastating Loss For Texas Women

Today is one of the worst days in my professional career. I have been working to defend the rights of women and families to make their own private decisions about abortion for well over a decade. There have been wins and there have been losses. But no loss has been as profound as the one we got this week.

Yesterday a federal appeals court upheld a Texas law that has left large parts of the state without an abortion provider. Women who already are struggling to pay rent and put food on the table for their families must now travel hundreds of miles to obtain abortion care. For many, the obstacles will be too burdensome to overcome.

For example, one woman in the Rio Grande Valley who showed up to her appointment the day the law took effect was devastated to learn that she could not have an abortion in her area. She was happily married with several children, but she could not afford another. In tears, she said that she did not have enough money to travel north and had no choice but to carry the pregnancy to term. Other women have resorted to self-inducing abortion by getting pills from across the border in Mexico.

How did this happen?

Despite overwhelming opposition, lawmakers in Texas passed a bill that requires doctors who provide abortion to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. That doesn't sound too bad, right? After all, we all are concerned about women's health. But just a quick look below the surface reveals that the law has nothing to do with women's health and everything to do with forcing women's health centers to shut their doors.

You might start by asking who proposed this law. Was it a medical organization? Nope. A doctors' groups? Nope. All of the major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologistsand the Texas Hospitals Associationall opposed this law. Rather, this bill came from Americans United for Life (AUL), a group dedicated to making abortion if not illegal, then impossible to get. AUL has touted restrictions like these as great ways to shut down abortion providers.

And tellingly, this law only applies to doctors who provide abortion. It doesn't apply to doctors who provide other types of outpatient procedures, even those that carry far greater risks than abortion. But the appeals court overlooked this evidence and overlooked evidence demonstrating the devastating effect this law has on Texas women.

This isn't just a problem for women and families in Texas. AUL and others like them are pushing these bills all over the country as part of a coordinated assault on women's ability to make their own decisions about their health care. Similar laws have passed in Alabama, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Mississippi, and the list is growing.

At the ACLU we are fighting these laws in court. But the Texas decision shows that we can't always count on judges to stop these laws. That is why it's so important that we stop these laws before they pass. Our elected representatives must hear that we won't sit idly by while they continue their attacks on women's health. Stand with us.

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Vicki B.

The more you think you're controlling in a total stranger's life, the less you're controlling in their life.

I'm disgusted at every last one of them, sticking their noses where it doesn't belong all the time. One of these days they're going to stick themselves into a place and be chopped down by the residents of that area.

They didn't have "Peasant Revolts" for their health. They got sick of hyper-controlling busy-body bitches and bastards.
Someone who was knighted at 16 by the Queen told me that about peasants revolts but I added the b-word descriptions.
He said "You will not mistreat people indefinitely, because sooner or later they rebel from necessity. A cornered and badgered animal strikes back from necessity, and those in the echelon have no one but themselves to blame for what befalls them.

Abortionist are...

Hey women! An anspirin placed firmly between the legs will prevent the need for abortions. Why don't women take responsibility and stop getting pregnant when a baby is not wanted? Taking the easy way out by getting an abortion is the deliberate destruction (murder in cold blood) of an innocent child who can not defend itself.

Anonymous

All life is a blessing, regardless of financial status. Is it not the unborn child's fault that their mother/father didn't think about the means to provide for them. It's selfish to say yes, I'd like to kill the life within me now and it is dubious to say that it isn't murder. It's still a life, regardless. There are far too many other options than to choose an abortion. Please consider that this is harmful to the mother and that this ultimately kills an "innocent" life. This is a throw away mentality, life is worth more than that. Just because the life is in your body doesn't make it ok to kill it. All those who are for abortion have been born and given life. Give those unborn an opportunity to life too!

Anonymous

a bad day for you =a good day for the unborn

Lucas Geist

chalk one up for the good guys. you guys mask the murder of people behind the claim that you are trying to protect the health of women, when there are plenty of women's health clinics that have doctors able to admit women to hospitals. also, independent studies have shown most abortions to actually physically and psychologically harm women. so, that blows your "protecting women's health mask off." what about the American Civil Liberties of the people you are killing. oh, but wait, you don't think that they have basic human rights (or are even people) just as long as their heads are still in the womb. as if some magical transformation happens when their heads exit the vaginal walls.

from Richard, V...

Assault? War? I hear more combat-related words OUTside of the war than I did inside it.
I think words do matter and that people use too many of these violent images to describe what's supposed to be every-day civilian life, and that in turn detracts from how serious veteran's issues are taken, at least in terms of possibly being why the rest of society barely registers a reaction when you try to discuss a veteran's issues with them.
I work with helping homeless veterans of foreign wars, which entails trying to get funding for it. This can be rewarding work but is also extremely challenging when trying to get obtuse lawmakers to understand that active combat leaves scars that are almost beyond comprehension to a person who's been lucky enough to avoid war.
But I can see how all these words that I usually associate with active combat between two armies would serve to dampen or mute the gravity of war and battles and assaults to a person who's never seen guerrilla or any other type of true combat.

If EVERYthing is a war (even Christmas, terrorism and drug use) I can see how someone might not take the concept of active combat seriously.
I'm simply saying the terminology should be used more sparingly, especially when discussing a holiday.

from Richard, V...

To Anonymous poster identifying yourself as "Abortionists are Baby killers" Stand down on the baby killer sh*t. I never heard your God or Jesus call anyone a baby killer; "thou shalt not kill" ISN'T the same as calling someone a baby killer; and anyway, why does he say "Thou shalt not kill" but then "kill the enemy in a war?"
Even if you can answer that question, with whatever inane response you can supply, you can stop calling nameless, faceless people baby killers.
It's bad form, and I did not fight for my country and watch my friends die in ugly ways so you could assault the citizens of America.
So chill out with flexing your moral superiority complex over people.

Anonymous RN

Wouldn't' it be nice if the "pro-lifers" spent their time making this a world that women could bear children into, instead of passing these laws? 60% of women who abort already have children: they are aborting so their current children can continue to eat and have a roof over their heads.

And to the sexist people telling women to close their legs: no birth control is 100%, except closing the legs. And I'm sure you men don't REALLY want that, do you? We should all be free to enjoy our sexuality, and terminate an unwanted pregnancy. This is a free country, isn't it? I'm not so sure anymore.

Anonymous

They're not "United for Life."
As soon as the "life" leaves the womb, they start arguing for its death and doing things that endanger its life - and this is a person who can live and breathe on his OWN. OUTside the womb.
I know this is true because one of them TOLD me that's how they feel. His exact words: "Well how stupid can you be? Of COURSE we don't argue for it AFTER it's born. Then it's the mother's problem."

Then it's the mother's problem. Interesting.
It was the MOTHER'S problem beFORE it left the womb, it was the MOTHER'S problem before it was created and will be her burden to bury if its death occurs by violence or a sudden illness.
And all of that leads to one completely OBVIOUS conclusion that IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, NEVER HAS BEEN, SO KEEP YOUR NOSE OUT OF IT. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE AND TERRORIZE THE CITIZENS THERE. YOU'RE NOT AND NEVER WILL BE WELCOME HERE AS LONG AS YOU KEEP STICKING YOUR DAMN PINOCCHIO NOSE INTO EVERYONE'S EXCEPT YOUR OWN BUSINESS.
Stfu and gtf away.

David -ACLU mem...

The supreme court has recognized that abortion is a constitutional right. When will these restrictions become so onerous as to constitute a de facto prohibition to exercising a constitutional right? I think its time for the ACLU to look into it.

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