House State Affairs Disruption

Small child“There are many ways to kill a child, and abortion may be the kindest way to do it.”

That first line was not only a statement made by one woman who testified (watch the meeting at the House website, here), it was a recurring theme at the House State Affairs Committee meeting on June 20, 2013, even though there is no evidence that increased elective intentional abortion has ever decreased child abuse.

But, the suggestion that it is acceptable to kill children was not what disrupted the meeting of these Texans. After many, many times of reminding them not to film the proceedings, not to engage in outbursts that broke up the meeting, Chair Byron Cook announced that he would limit the testimony in order to bring up the second Bill on the Agenda. At that point, the crowd began shouting and some tried to speak without being called to their turn. The Chair called a brief recess and testimony resumed. (Personally, I agree with the Chair that the crowd should be better behaved and with the citizens who had signed in that they should be allowed to speak.)

Earlier this week, Representative Jessica Farrar (D- 148, Houston) sent out this email:

Friend, Governor Perry has declared war on women. Last week he vetoed the Texas Lilly Ledbetter Act because he thinks women should be paid less than men for doing the same work. Now, he has added bad women’s health bills restricting safe access to abortion to the Special Legislative Session. This week is your only opportunity to speak out against these bills. Come to the State Capitol this Thursday afternoon and evening, June 20th, when the House State Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on these bad bills. The hearing will begin at 1:00 p.m. or upon adjournment of the House in Room JHR 140. Please prepare a three minute testimony on the subject, and speak from your heart. What you say can make a difference. Be ready for a long night, as the hearing will go on as long as it takes. You can also fight back against Rick Perry’s war on women by helping to elect Democrats who will stand up for equal pay and women’s health issues. Please consider donating $5, $10, or $25 to the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee to ensure that our key Democratic legislators return, and that we are able to gain seats in the House. Your support now will build the foundation we need to ensure this war on women will go no further.


Pol. Adv. paid for by the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee, Lon Burnam, Treasurer. 

 P. O. Box 1925, Austin, TX 78767

Although Rep. Farrar admitted early on Thursday night, that “there are two lives involved” in abortion, she is the one who suggested that we should abort every child with spina bifida in Committee, back in the regular Session. Below are some of the other continuing themes we’ve heard during testimony in favor of the status quo and against any new restrictions on abortion providers.

Texas has a culture of hate for women, so we should abort children (male and female) in order to prevent a “brain drain.”

A married Social Worker told us that she was “elated” after her abortion to be relieved of a responsibility she never wanted. Another woman said that her friends had abortions between 18 to 24 years old, claiming that it was before they were able to choose their majors in college or decide on an outfit! Many men said that they were “relieved” not to be burdened with unwanted children. One that really stuck out was 24 years old when he enabled the abortion of his own child.

One man, an angry 30-year-old, unemployed lawyer, echoed the wish of many of those who came at the call of the Texas Democrats. He and the others believe that the Texas Legislature should work on laws that will give him a job and healthcare benefits. (And child day care, Medicaid for all, maybe even an allowance for stay-at-home women.)

There were the usual complaints that men in the Legislature were trying to control the women of Texas (ignoring that the author of the Bill, many of the co-authors and a great many of the voters who put them in office are women) and the repetitive accusations that only religious bigots are “anti-choice.”

“There are many ways to kill a child, and abortion may be the kindest way to do it.” Maybe, because then the child will never know. But there are no GOOD ways to do it.

Addendum (or a couple of other recurrent themes):

  1. The claim that abortion will prevent the consequences of post-partum depression. Abortion is never treatment for what is properly called “perinatal” depression. In fact, perinatal depression can be triggered by miscarriage or spontaneous abortion and by elective interventional abortion.
  2. Don’t forget that women and children will be harmed most by the limits on abortion and that Texas’ legislature should let President Obama give us free, expanded Medicaid and Obamacare!

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