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Texas senator Wendy Davis
Wendy Davis
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis explains that she filibustered the recently passed anti-abortion bill for nearly 13 hours, and Texans came from across the state in protest, not just because of abortion but because of broader women's health concerns that have been under attack by the state's Republican leaders for years:
These partisans have depicted their bill as an effort to improve the quality of care available to women in local clinics. However, the filibuster exposed their real intent — to close clinics all over the state of Texas and deny health-care services to thousands of Texas women. And now Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst have rammed these new restrictions through the state legislature in a special session, without concern for health care or constitutionality.

This partisan effort builds on a concerted action by state leaders to roll back access to women’s and family health care. In 2011, their budget cuts threw approximately 150,000 women out of a health safety net that, as in my experience, served as their only source of regular, reliable care. Since then, state leaders have bypassed a nine-to-one federal match in funding for the women’s health-care program and saddled state taxpayers with approximately $30 million per year in unnecessary expense, as well as millions of additional dollars spent through Medicaid on unplanned births. Worse, a vendetta against Planned Parenthood by Gov. Perry and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst has gutted nearly half of the state’s women’s health-care delivery system. As a consequence, tens of thousands of Texas women may very well have no providers of care despite additional state funding.

If you look at this one new law in isolation, you might almost believe Republicans that the closing of women's clinics is an unintended byproduct. But when you look at Texas' record on women's health care over the past few years, it's clear that closing clinics and making health care harder to obtain is a feature, not a bug.

Draft Wendy Davis for governor.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 07:17 AM PDT.

Also republished by Houston Area Kossacks, TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans, Sluts, Abortion, Pro Choice, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If my memory serves, (6+ / 0-)

    the Governor of Texas doesn't have a lot of power, it's mostly the LtGov and the Lege. And the deck is stacked so thoroughly against the Dems in Austin, she's practically wasted there.
    I'd love to see Ms Davis knock Jon Cornyn or Louis Gohmert or Joe Barton (I don't know what federal district she's in) out of DC. She'd be a fine addition to Congress.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 07:44:57 AM PDT

    •  With Abbott vacating (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CwV, myboo

      Davis might stand a pretty good shot at AG, where she would be in charge of investigating state corruption, and the office has been a decent jumping-off point for Senate.

      "Hey, wait a minute, there's one guy holding up both puppets!" -Bill Hicks

      by Tismo70 on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 10:01:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wendy Davis' future is not the point. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Overseas, Oh Mary Oh

        She'll go far, in whatever direction she chooses, because she's smart and knows how to cut to the chase.  

        What's hugely important is that women are uniting around women's issues and human issues and we're a majority of the population.  We are also done being nice.  We are done cutting some slack for "personal beliefs" or "religious convictions". It's finally, undeniably clear that we aren't even human beings to the men in charge.  Second-class citizens would be a major boost up the ladder.  They screwed the pooch, Wendy Davis told the truth, Texas women are going to boot their asses out of office and run this state.  

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 01:04:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped & rec'ed (3+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 07:46:11 AM PDT

  •  I'm shocked, I tell you. (12+ / 0-)

    Shocked.

    Of course there's an agenda.  Get the women back into the kitchen, pregnant, and turning out kids (most of whom, lacking any health care, will die young so we don't have to worry they'll collect food stamps).

    Then the men can go out, earn a living, and do Men Stuff while the little woman stays in the home.

    If you think of the whole thing as a child's No Girls Allowed club, it almost makes sense in a pre-pubescent sort of way.

    (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

    by Lonely Liberal in PA on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 07:47:00 AM PDT

  •  It "protects women's health" in the same way (19+ / 0-)

    restricting early voting "protects election integrity".

    "We don't analyze the behavioural traits of people who carry weapons. We're looking for terrorists," -- TSA spokesman.

    by here4tehbeer on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 07:56:17 AM PDT

  •  If the GOP leaders in Texas don't watch out! (8+ / 0-)

    The GHOSTS of Ann Richards and Molly Ivins will come back and HAUNT them into resigning and then Wendy Davis will be our next Texas Governor.

    Fighting Liberal at
    “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” --Gandhi:

    by smokey545 on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 08:28:56 AM PDT

  •  Liz Estrada strike and GOTV (3+ / 0-)

    The women of Texas should consider a Lysistrata strike.  Particularly the women of Texas legislators, but all Texas women - and bait the Texas GOP this way into saying and doing more stupid things.  But most important is register and GOTV.

    This is us governing. Live so that 100 years from now, someone may be proud of us.

    by marthature on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 09:01:13 AM PDT

  •  Though there is no evidence, it is quite (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    possible that poor maternal health and "difficult" births account for developmental problems and cognitive deficits that aren't immediately apparent.
    Random reproduction may well account for a significant population that has trouble thinking things through.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 09:14:35 AM PDT

  •  Here's the central issue (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, waterstreet2013, I love OCD

    A government entity believes it has the right to control a woman's body.  The government entity believes it can do what it wants, when it wants, and how it wants when it comes to a woman.  

    This is no longer a woman's rights issue or a reproductive freedom issue.  

    This is a civil rights issue.

  •  What is the end game? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betterdemsonly

    I have been trying to wrap my head around what the hell the end game is for all this ridiculous legislation coming out of TX, OH, PA, NC and other states.  What the hell is the end game?  To end legalization of abortion?  So women/families with money will always have access and poor women/families will not?  I can't understand the end game.  Is it religion?  WHAT???  I want an honest answer from anyone of these men and women who are voting for these laws what the hell their END GAME is?  

    'crickets' coming from the state legislatures.

    Why do Republicans Hate Americans?

    by Caniac41 on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 09:37:55 AM PDT

    •  eliminating all government spending xcept Defense (0+ / 0-)

      that is the point and purpose.

      This is us governing. Live so that 100 years from now, someone may be proud of us.

      by marthature on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 09:55:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  For the people voting for these laws (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      I love OCD

      I believe a lot has to do with ignorance and disinformation.

      A discussion with my moderate friend revealed that he's ok with abortions before 20 weeks.  But then after that, once the fetus is forming, he's more uncomfortable with the idea of abortions.  That's just ignorance.  Not really his fault; he's married but doesn't have kids (although him and his wife are thinking about starting a family) and thinking about abortions or reading about how shutting down clinics will affect primarily low-income minority women doesn't really affect him because he's white and middle-class.

      I talked to him a little bit about the effects it will have on Texas women if they close down the clinics and while I don't think I swayed his views completely, he definitely listened and it's just a matter of pushing more facts his way.

      A discussion with my hardline evanglical "friend" (who to her credit, is mostly well-meaning and keeps most of her views to herself rather than proselytizing to anyone that will listen within earshot) said that she's totally against abortions because she believes the bible teaches "life begins at conception" and that she is "speaking for the baby that has no voice" and "wonders about the thoughts of the baby in the womb and asking it if it really wants to be aborted". (!?)

      That's a combination of ignorance AND disinformation.  The religious right hijacked the abortion debate (among other things) and suddenly made it this terrible sin to have an abortion by selecting Bible verses out of context.  No surprise there.

      And of course, just plain punishing people who have sex.  Another Christian friend pretty said straight up that people just shouldn't have sex.  "Why can't they just keep their legs closed?  They made their bed, now they can just lie in it."

      •  So.. about (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        I love OCD, betterdemsonly, cybersaur

        your evangelical 'friend' did you ask her if she is so against abortion does she support  free and easy access to birth control and comprehensive sex education in public schools, because that would reduce the actual need for abortions in all but rare circumstances like rape, incest, life of mother? I suspect she was against these measures since they would be common sense.  I am sure that the other 'Christian' friend would be against it as well.  

        My point in asking - to prove that it is nothing but forcing the lawmakers religious beliefs on others - which if they want to be that kind of country then they need to re-read the Constitution.  

        I am going to start asking 'nicely' all the people I see with 'Pro-life' bumper stickers if they are supporting free and easy access to birth control and comprehensive sex education in public schools.  Just to see if they can see the logic in actual pregnancy prevention as the first and critical step in reducing abortions.  I suspect that logic won't play into the discussion at all. SAD

        Why do Republicans Hate Americans?

        by Caniac41 on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 10:24:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I did ask her about comprehensive sex ed (0+ / 0-)

          and access to birth control and about rape and incest.  I even pointed her to some links showing how better access to contraceptives lowered teen pregnancy rates.

          She basically deflected my question and said that I was focusing on the "economic side" of the debate while she was more worried about the morality of "bringing more people to Christ".  I ended the discussion at that point.

          And I agree, most politicans who play the religious card are pushing these laws are not Christians.  They just say things like, "All life is worth fighting for." and "This is God's will" and all that other BS just to play to their base and keep their job.

          Evanglicals and hardline "pro-lifers" won't listen to logic and reason.  That's why I talk more about this issue with my moderate friend.  Intelligent moderates are the ones to aim for when trying to sway public opinion.

          •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            betterdemsonly, backslide

            intelligent moderates are the people to discuss this issue with.  Hardline 'christianists' could care less about anything but their 'moral' beliefs.  

            I will also ask the 'Pro-life' bumper sticker people if the conversation is going smoothly, how much they support pre-k education and increasing minimum wage and food stamps for the poor as a stop gap to starvation. I also want to ask them their stand on the death penalty.  It shouldn't surprise me but it does that these 'every life is precious' people are the first to make sure that their state has and uses the death penalty - Rick Perry is the prime example of this.

            My hope, is to try to nicely show their hypocrisy.

            Why do Republicans Hate Americans?

            by Caniac41 on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 11:23:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Clearly she selectively reads the Bible (0+ / 0-)

            ...what about all those fully-developed, already-born Egyptian children slaughtered by god's angel of death in Exodus?

            Also, a good tactic here is to point out that restricting access to abortion DOES NOT REDUCE abortion rates. It simply makes them less safe. Desperate women stay desperate.

            I always say to my religious friends, "It's perfectly okay and understandable to be pro-life with regard to your own life and body, but everyone needs to understand the importance of having pro-choice laws"

  •  Look for the money (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caniac41, backslide, I love OCD

    Perry's sister owns an interest in the clinics that will be left.  He's eliminating the competition for her so they can profit from abortion.

    He already said that the state would open clinics to replace Planned Parenthood.  Sure they will - at a price that his family can profit from.

  •  outlier question (0+ / 0-)

    Is there a male equivalent to planned parenthood?  If not, why not?  Obviously men don't need the obstetrician part--but regular exams for prostate problems are the equivalent to pap smears.  Men are more likely to hurt themselves doing manual labor--is there an orthopedic charity for such industries?  I'm not advocating the need of one over the other, I'm asking for both--and also dental clinics--and child care--and maybe expanded Obamacare.

    Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

    by melvynny on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 09:59:31 AM PDT

  •  Wow! It is about time Texas Republicans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD, betterdemsonly

    found out about women!

    They have been pesky little dimwits too long. It was so comfortable for them pretending girls had cooties as they sat in their clubhouse all day.

    This is what a Woman is, Texas!

    Are you paying attention yet!

    Take off your fake JR Ewing hats and be polite! Women do not want anything of yours, but they want AND SHALL TAKE everything of their own. Their health, their bodies, their decisions. Got it, wranglers?

    Because your old boys club has been shut down and you WILL show respect to your equals.

    Take off that cowboy hat or they'll knock it off.
    Especially YOU, "Governor OOOPS, AREN'T I CUTE?"!!!!

    YAY, Wendy Davis, first person I will support when I get the money to share. Thanks for all you do!

    Honesty is not a policy. It's a character trait.

    by Says Who on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 09:59:50 AM PDT

  •  Texas Repugs are really hoping for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betterdemsonly

    a Mittens Rmoney style "self-deportation" of poor women. They think they will eventually leave and go to places like Oklahome or other nearby places and they won't have to  pay for their foodstamps.

  •  Women have the power to put an end to this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caniac41, Danali, I love OCD

    All they have to do is stop voting for these clowns.  It is hard to gerrymander women into their own district.  Republican women can offer an alternative in their party's primary and if they don't get it they can choose to vote for the other party or not vote at all in the general election.  Until that happens, expect more of the same.

    The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

    by Do Something on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 10:28:34 AM PDT

  •  question (0+ / 0-)

    Could the clinics affected by Texas’s new TRAP laws avoid those provisions if they stop offering abortions at the clinics in question? In other words, could they continue offering all family planning services except abortion? Or do the new laws reach further than that?  

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

    by Joe Bob on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 10:31:22 AM PDT

  •  I'm actually thinking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Overseas

    we should draft her for Senator instead of Governor. John Cornyn is a terrible representative for Texas, and she'd have far more influence and power in the upper chamber than being governor of a state in which the governor is practically a showpiece.

  •  ALEC and all red states (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD

    There is a cold war in all the red states and in Congress where Republicans present and pass unread ALEC written laws that are the equivalent of our Revolution.  They are helped that none of the corporate media cover what they are doing except for the isolated leftie network.  All of what they do is in the dark of night consistent with their fascist ideology.  Women, guns, right to vote, pollution, cut corporation and wealthy taxes, take land for mining and sell products for export.  Effectively they have already gutted the US much as they did in South American in the 1980's except we had some spine in Congress with Senator Church that is lacking today.  After 40 years the country bends to their power.  So walks Zimmerman with his gun while women in the red states get a back alley abortion maybe.  In Iowa they need to ask permission of the Governor.  All planned, financed and approved by the gang of 5 calling themselves "Justices".

  •  What would happen to the clinics? (0+ / 0-)

    If they simply stopped performing abortions?  The clinics provide a lot of health care services ans screening other than providing abortions.  Would they be allowed to stay open and provide family planning services and other health services as long as they didn't perform abortions?   Could they only provide referral services?  Or arrange for adoption services?  
    Or is the Texas branch of the American Taliban trying to repress all women as outlined in the ALEC agenda?  

    •  had you considered the end game here? (3+ / 0-)

      adoption services?  do you have any idea what an adoption costs.  i'll make it easy....it's about 30,000 for a whitish newborn in the current market

      poor women are not breeding machines for rich women.

      i am a progressive, and i wish wish wish more progressives would get a bit clearer eyed about what adoption is actually about.

      PLEASE stop putting forward the idea that  poor women should be surrendering kids to rich women.

  •  have you guys seen this? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD

    fair warning:  from the baptist standard

    adoption, y'all

    no sex ed + no contraceptives + no abortion + no medicaid + no food stamps  =  more adoptions, at $30,000 a pop.

    simple, really

    can you hear us now?

    Editorial: Get ready for all those babies

  •  20 week abortion hoax used by the right (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Danali, Caniac41, MsPlasmodesmata

    Abortin at 20 weeks and after are very raar and one for good reason. The right has cleverly used the very rare late term abortions to defund services for basic health care and contraception.

    Religious nuts, & selfish libertarians, and  John Birch racists have joined forces in the Tea Party to attack the poor, especially women.

    I think Paul Krugman said it best today: "Something terrible has happened to the soul of the Republican party....At this point we are talking about a state of mind that takes positive glee in inflicting further suffering on the already miserable"

  •  What about the anti-abortion Catholic Latino vote? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsPlasmodesmata

    I've been thinking that Perry may have given the Republicans a present by splitting the Latino vote somehow.  Latinos may agree with Democrats on immigration law, but what about the strong antiabortion views of Catholic Latinos? I wonder how that will factor in.

    I could be really incorrect.  I'd love to see some analysis of this.

  •  Ironically, Perry give $13 M to Chevron (0+ / 0-)

       Perry approved this to build an office building in Houston via his TEF (Texas Enterprise Fund) aka personal investment piggy bank.  He says it will create 1500 jobs.  

         How much money would it take to retrofit some of the closed Planned Parenthood Clinic locations  across Texas?

    http://www.rickperry.org/...

            For those outside of TX - these funds are taxpayer dollars and the authorization for these funds are decided by 3 individuals.   Gov, A/G and Head of Senate.   No real oversight - which is why I termed it his own personal piggy bank.

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