By Ellen Snortland
Pasadena Weekly Columnist
Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, I have been writing about it and the continuing backlash.
Therefore, it’s impossible for me to stay silent about the recent Texas tyranny over early term abortions. In case you’ve been on vacation or hiding under a rock, the Texas Legislature has not only declared that terminating a pregnancy after six weeks is “verboten” (use of German term intentional), but it has added something extra special. Any tattletale reporting a pregnant person seeking an abortion, or any doctors or health care workers or anyone else who gets involved, can receive a $10,000 reward.
Of course, there’s no penalty for the erstwhile “father.” I would argue that the impregnator omission is illustrative: The legislators themselves wouldn’t consider a fetus having a father. Could that be because the vast majority of Texas legislators are white male Republicans? Well, no kidding! They aren’t going to risk having a bounty on their heads for abortions they caused, are they? No, darn tootin’ they’re not.
Where are the female fighters in Texas now that Ann Richards and Molly Ivins are gone? Currently, the ones standing up to this insanity are being drowned out by a group of Republicans who defy logic or morality.
Molly Ivins, always so eloquent in her irreverent way, said, “No woman who is seven months pregnant ever waddles past an abortion clinic and says, ‘Darn, I knew there was something I’ve been meaning to get around to.’ This is ridiculous. You have those late-term abortions because either the mother is going to die, the child is going to die, or both are going to die.” Ann Richards, the late, great former governor of Texas, said, “You know my No. 1 cause has always been that women’s reproductive health needs to be protected.”
And where are the corporations who are taking a stand? We’ve often heard they are to be considered “a person” who can claim rights but “not a person” when taking a position. Do you fly American Airlines? Southwest? Do you frequent a Chuck E. Cheese? There are many big corporations operating in Texas that are discoverable by a web search. Consider boycotting them until they push back on this unconstitutional — and unconscionable — legislation.
Lyft and Uber have done the right thing. Lyft donated $1 million to Planned Parenthood of Texas and has started a legal defense fund if one of their drivers transports a woman to a family planning clinic. And GoDaddy also took swift action: They kicked the Texas “pro-life” website off their platform pronto. That site was designed to allow anyone to report “abortion” activities so they could get in line for their $10,000 payout. GoDaddy was not having it and told them to vamoose and get another server. Yee-ha! By the way, I call B.S. on the spin term “pro-life”; it is anti-choice.
Then there were the Supreme Court shenanigans allowing this travesty of justice to proceed, which could take up another column. Suffice to say, the conservative majority has finally shown its true colors.
Never mind the Senate confirmation hearings that allowed the Drumpf-appointed goons to lie their little heads off about respecting “stare decisis,” the fancy Latin term for precedent. Justice Sotomayor wrote an impassioned dissent even though the decision didn’t require written opinions. The whole thing reeks, partly because the “shadow docket” the Texas people used to get this through the Supreme Court didn’t employ the standard tools of legal interpretation: arguments on both sides, appearances and establishing “standing.” Since when does Mr. and Mrs. Churchgoer have standing in an unknown woman’s body?
As the anti-choice authors of Texas SB 8 (the “Heartbeat Bill”) definitely know, bad laws are contagious. They intend to spread this anti-constitutional misnomer to other states, even though calling it a Heartbeat Bill reflects their stupidity. They think a fetus has a heartbeat at six weeks! It doesn’t, and at six weeks, it’s still considered an embryo and not a fetus.
But does that stop dumb-as-a-bucket-of-nails South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem from yapping about copying it? She has told the Legislature and health departments she wants to go beyond what Texas did! It could happen, as the Legislature is another white male supremacist body that can’t wait to prove just how ignorant they are. Gov. Noem is also recommending that chemical abortions induced by RU486, or Plan B, the “Morning After Pill,” also be outlawed. You watch: Birth control will be up for grabs next.
If you’d like a front-row seat on what the Bad Old Days were like pre-Roe v. Wade, please watch a movie called “Ask for Jane,” available on both Apple TV and Amazon Prime. Because this country is so hypocritical about reproductive rights and issues, it’s a miracle “Ask for Jane” even got made. Not one mainstream entertainment company had the gonads to finance or distribute it, so the film became a labor of love with a basement-level budget. Briefly, it’s the true story of a group of college students who took action about the number of women who were damaging — or killing — themselves with self-induced abortions. You must see it — now more than ever..
Ellen Snortland has written “Consider This…” for a heckuva long time, and she also coaches first-time book authors! Contact her at email@example.com.