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At Monday's Texas Senate hearing on the sweeping anti-abortion bill, now called SB 1,  the bill's author, state Sen. Glenn Hegar, rejected exceptions for rape and incest or for women with pre-existing psychological conditions and:
[Democratic state Sen. Judith] Zaffirini also asked Hegar what the bill did to reduce levels of unwanted pregnancy and inquired why it did not specifically address sex education. Hegar said the bill is not “a funding mechanism for women’s health” and that sex education is not on the call for this special session.
That lays it on the table, doesn't it? This isn't about women's health, it's not about reducing unwanted pregnancy, it's not about sex education, it's purely about making it more difficult to get an abortion, be you a victim of rape or incest or living with mental illness. Similarly, experts testified that the requirement in the bill that clinics meet requirements for ambulatory surgical centers—a requirement that would close most abortion providers in the state—is entirely unnecessary from a safety standpoint:
Ellen Cooper, an expert witness from the Department of State Health Services, said that abortion clinics are inspected at least once a year, while ambulatory surgical centers are inspected every three to six years.

“Generally speaking, compared with the other facility types, I have not been aware of any particular concerns” associated with abortion clinics, she said, and later added, “there’s no reason for me to believe that one is safer than the other.”

But the ambulatory surgical center requirements will close clinics, and that's the real goal, not anything about safety.

As many as 2,000 people have signed up to testify, getting two minutes each. At Burnt Orange Report, which is liveblogging the hearing, Katherine Haenschen reports that one Republican woman testified that "my personal reproductive choices do not give me the right to restrict those of other women. This omnibus bill is too restrictive, cutting off care for women who want a healthy pregnancy and need the resources that these clinics provide." Her party's legislators, though, have long since dismissed such concerns.

Help change Texas politics for the future. Sign our petition drafting Wendy Davis for governor.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 12:34 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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