Democrats To Filibuster Texas Republicans' New Abortion Ban



Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives have passed some of the severest abortion restrictions anywhere in the country. The new measures include a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, a requirement that doctors have admitting privileges for a hospital within 30 miles of abortion clinics, and abortion clinics meet the standards of surgical centers. There is an exemption if the woman's life is endangered or there are severe fetal abnormalities.

The bill was passed by an overwhelming and largely partisan majority of 97-33. Democrats infuriated by the bill attacked the measures as evidence of the  Republicans' "war on women," with Rep. Sylvester Turner (D-Houston) saying, "We are willing to have an attack on women in order to have someone's political agenda achieved."

The bill still needs to clear the state senate where Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), with the support of her colleagues, is intending to filibuster in a last ditch attempt to prevent the bill coming to a vote. The filibuster is to take place on Friday and would need to be a full 13 hours to be successful.

Supporters of the bill claimed that the new restrictions are needed to protect women's health as well as prevent pain to the fetus. Rep. Jodie Labenberg (R-Parker) said during the debate, "Sadly, too often today the back-alley abortion is the abortion clinic because the standards for providers and the facilities are too lax or substandard."

This claim has been strongly disputed by the Texas Medical Association, the Texas Hospital Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists who advised lawmakers to vote against the bill.

Pro-choice groups fear that the new measures will lead to the closure of 37 out of the 42 abortion clinics in Texas due to the need to meet the standards of surgical centers, of which only 5 would currently qualify."If this passes, abortion would be virtually banned in the state of Texas, and many women could be forced to resort to dangerous and unsafe measures," said Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.

40 years after Roe v. Wade support for the Supreme Court's decision is at an all time high and for the first time a majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Despite this dramatic shift in attitudes Republican legislators have continued to be strong proponents of stricter limits on abortion at both the state and federal level.

The Texas law follows a similar bill passed by the House of Representatives which would have banned abortion after 22 weeks.

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  1. “We are willing to have an attack on women babies in order to have someone’s political agenda achieved.”

    I couldn’t resist.

    1. This thread should be aborted

  2. Pro-choice groups fear that the new measures will lead to the closure of 37 out of the 42 abortion clinics in Texas due to the need to meet the standards of surgical centers.

    It is difficult to imagine Democrats making this sort of argument under nearly any other circumstances. “Better to have less safety regulation, since consumers are better off with more choices than suppliers going out of business.”

    1. I plan on using this as exhibit 346734 in my lifelong goal of bringing my baby mama to libertarianism.

      “Look at how ludicrous this claim is: now look at how this happens every single time the government regulates something.”

    2. The Republicans should just ask for reasonable restrictions – properly licensed and regulated abortion dealers, records open for inspection by the authorities on all abortion purchases, background checks on abortion purchasers, a waiting period for taking possession of an abortion, a limit on the number of abortions anyone can have, no abortion sales to minors, permits for concealed pregnancies, authorities maintaining a list of abortion owners, you know, the common-sense regulations that don’t really infringe anyone’s right to not keep and bear children.

      1. Nicely done.

  3. Without medical justification, I find it hard to condone the termination of innocent life. Guilty life, sure, kill the bastard, but abortions of convenience are repugnant to me.

    1. Plenty of people feel that way about cows…

      1. And? Cows are not innocent.

        1. Sure they are, what crime did the animals we eat commit?

          It’s not like we’re out there exclusively hunting predators.

          1. Predators =/= criminals

            1. Tell that to Chris Hansen.

              If we’re going by the definition of Innocent=non-criminal then all animals are innocent and it is completely immoral to kill them, especially when we can sustain ourselves without their delicious meaty flesh.

              1. Chris Hansen is a criminal predator.

              2. But bacon is gooooood.

              3. “f we’re going by the definition of Innocent=non-criminal then all animals are innocent and it is completely immoral to kill them”

                Millions, possibly billions agree.

                1. Unfortuntely, UnCivilServant has left and we’ll never know what his definition of innocent is.

                  1. If it’s fodder for my plate, I can’t find it innocent.

                    1. You’ve clearly given this some thought…

                    2. Some. Not much, since killing food isn’t an ethical debate for me.

          2. They are guilty of being tasty meats.

          3. Try working on a dairy farm, then tell me those bastards don’t have it coming.

            1. Or a ranch.

              Damn steers deserve everything they get.

          1. Why, do they taste worse than regular ones?

  4. But I thought filibusters were evil and undemocratic?

    1. That’s only when used by the Wrong People

  5. Killing babies – not ok in Texas.

    Killing prisoners? Let ‘er rip.

    Not that I dont think killing murderers or embryos is fine, it’s just astounding how idiotic a mass of people can be.

    1. I disagree with the death penalty because I don’t think the state should have that power (seeing as how they are inept as fuck and routinely send innocent people to jail).

      But killing an unwanted fetus =/= killing a known murderer or rapist.

    2. I think even opponents of the death penalty can tell the difference between an unborn child who never did anything wrong and a person convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death (which describes your typical Death Row inmate in Texas).

      To paraphrase P.J. O’Rourke, I can understand someone who wouldn’t want to kill in either case, and I can understand someone who would want to kill only those convicted of the most heinous crimes, but the people who generally raise this objection against prolifers (present company excepted) are the ones who think capital punishment for convicted murderers is immoral but placing innocent unborn children outside the protection of the law is a constitutional imperative.

      1. Seriously, what kind of bubble does a culture war bullshit artist have to live in to think that “if you support capital punishment of convicted murderers you must support abortion, too, hurr durr” is a coherent argument? And the thing is that people who argue this way are high-fiving each other for really showing up those right-wing fundamentalist hypocrites.

        1. The best argument against the death penalty is that it is a government program.

          Even conservatives understand how fucked up government programs tend to be.

          Progressives, of course, love their government programs as long as their team is in charge. Their sentimentality naturally opposes the death penalty … well, except for thought criminals. Fortunately the progressives don’t yet the sort of political power necessary to execute thought criminals in the US. In Yemen, maybe, but not the US.

    3. So if I think that people ought not to kill their children, I am then logically prevented from thinking that murderers ought to be put to death or indeed that any taking of life could be justified? Huh?

      1. I don’t think the death penalty thing is too much of a stretch.

        It starts by assuming that everyone convicted of murder did, in fact, murder someone.

        The sheer number of people let go in Texas after decades in the clink in recent years should put the lie to that. Unless the guy is caught on camera or something, of course.

        1. But while those may be good practical reasons for opposing the death penalty, they have nothing to do with abortion.

        2. You can still support the principle of putting murderers to death while opposing how a particular jurisdiction does it in practice, or while opposing the principle of killing fetuses for any particular reason.

  6. I eagerly await the Ezra Klein article explaining that the dems are evil to block the will of the majority using a filibuster.

    1. I eagerly await the SC decision where the liberal justices argue against increased government regulations due to it being overly burdensome.

      1. One can only hope that this abortion case is what makes it to SCOTUS. The liberal justices will HAVE to make the argument that some regulatory burdens are too much, which will open the door for liberty in other sectors.

        1. I can’t agree with this. The court has been applying a straight-up double standard for quite awhile now. The bloc which keeps voting for broad abortion rights (including state-subsidized abortion and abortion counseling) is the same bloc which approves the violation of economic rights. Their logic (if we may call it that) runs on parallel tracks, and the twain haven’t yet met.

          1. Right, but the objections to this law are under being pursued under an umbrella of economic rights.

            I’d be surprised if the justices struck it down and simply said “because privacy.”

    2. They’ve (progs) have pretty much since the 60s held the line that the Will of the People is only valid at the national level.

      If you left it up to the states, JIM CROW!!!

      1. *side note: I’ve even seen this in the marijuana debate. I have, honest to god, seen progtards on TV talking about how while they support legalizing weed, they cannot condone doing it at the state level, because the obvious next step is a return to Jim Crow.

  7. I don’t have a firm stance on abortion yet but the claim that making abortion clinics meet the same standard as other clinics will result in closure seems absurd. No one was protesting the regulations being put on the out patient clinics and they seemed to have survived. If you want to make an argument for or against something just come out and say it. No of this bull crap regulation is bad now but great the rest of the time garbage.

    1. Really? You don’t think that increasing the costs of a class of business will result in the closure of some individual businesses?

      1. It may, but why is one type of surgical center–the abortion clinic–exempt from the regulations that bind other surgical centers?

        1. It performs a very specific kind of surgery that doesn’t require the same standards as the others. Notice that the medical community isn’t clamoring for this.

  8. Did they ban alt-text too?

    1. It’s currently being filibustered.

  9. But wait a minute, regulations make us safer!

    Also, 62 percent of Texas voters favor this legislation.

    Also, from the same article, apparently Texas voters favor dumping even more money into the black hole of public education.

  10. Nine out of ten babies born at 28 or later weeks survive


    I have asked this question before and will ask it again of the pro choice people. If a child at 28 weeks can be aborted legally one moment and the next moment be considered a full human being worthy of rights, what changes? What happens during the process of birth that causes said child to obtain full rights? What is it about being born? Is there some kind of transformation that occurs? Is there scientific evidence that the child in some way changes and gains extra cognitive abilities as a result of being born?

    Why does the mere fact that you are no longer inside your mother make you a person? Why is that the marker of what is a person rather than things like cognitive ability, brain function, or human DNA?

    1. Personhood=convenience. Thus, if someone’s existence is so inconvenient to you that you want to kill it, it’s obviously not a person, otherwise you might have a few twinges of guilt over killing them.

      [I almost went Godwin, but, look, I restrained myself]

      1. Before science understood how gestation worked, I could see where pro choice people had arguments. But now that we know how it works and can literally watch the whole thing unfold on sonogram, I don’t see a rational argument for late term abortions being anything but infanticide.

        Early term ones are much more debatable. But once you hit viability and the fetus is showing brain function, I can’t see how that is not a human being.

    2. This is why I find abortion such a difficult subject. If my wife was pregnant and test showed that the fetus had massive developmental defects and would be disabled severely for life I would want the option of abortion. However I don’t support euthanasia of a living mentally handicapped person. I recognize this is not intellectually consistent, but that is the way I “feel”.
      Please don’t scream at me for feeling.

      1. At least you present an incredibly difficult moral dilemma. But feminists don’t even bother to do that. To them “oh I forgot to take my birth control pill and my dead beat ex was just so cool that night and adoption is just so hard” is some kind of a moral dilemma.

        I am not sure what to say about the case you describe either other than it assumes doctors know for sure the condition of the child, which is not always true. But assuming they are right, that is a tough choice.

        1. “oh I forgot to take my birth control pill and my dead beat ex was just so cool that night and adoption is just so hard”

          But it’s not even that. It’s simply a Can’t Stop Me argument. And I’ve never found someone who could make a rational argument regarding the Umbilical Cord = I Can Kill It dividing line. But yet, consistently, I’ve been told that’s the line, because anywhere else is a slippery slope to serfdom.

          1. See below where children are referred to as parasites. Being pro choice really takes people to some very dark places.

            1. Didn’t say children, I said embroyos. You probably should have paid better attention in biology, because that’s exactly what they are at that point in development.

      2. There is a difference between concern for the quality of life of the child and aborting a perfectly healthy child for your own cenvenience. So this is a debatable point, but far too many keep pushing for blanket, on demand services in all cases.

      3. If my wife was pregnant and test showed that the fetus had massive developmental defects and would be disabled severely for life I would want the option of abortion.

        Is this something that can usually be determined in the first 20 weeks?

        1. I’m not an expert on these issues but I think with amnio screenings it can be found early. However I’m not sure if all defects can be found prior to 20 weeks.

          1. Amniocentesis is performed between 15-20 weeks (although due to possible complications, it is not always performed). It detects the chromosomal defects.

            AFP screenings also occur during this time and check for neural tube defects, and be part of a chromosomal screening.

      4. “If my wife was pregnant and test showed that the fetus had massive developmental defects and would be disabled severely for life I would want the option of abortion.”

        I think the Texas bill has an exemption along those lines, not that I approve it, but there’s one less reason to oppose the bill.

        1. This is where I am criticizing my own position. If it is ok to abort a “defective” fetus why does a delivered “defective” get special protection. I don’t have a logical answer for myself.

          1. The type of defects they are talking about involve fetuses that will not survive outside the womb, things like Anencephaly.

            1. That is a clear case but what about Down’s syndrome? It is viable, but is it a kindness to the fetus to knowingly allow it to be born with a mental deficiency. I do know that some people with Down’s syndrome are highly functional and it is a spectrum but you are rolling the dice as to where a fetus would fall on that spectrum.

              1. Down’s syndrome would not qualify under the definition in Texas law:

                (a-1) In Subsection (a), a “severe fetal abnormality” means a life threatening physical condition that, in reasonable medical judgment, regardless of the provision of life saving medical treatment, is incompatible with life outside the womb.

    3. 28 is not 20…

      The process that happens is called viability. The difference in classification comes when a child can be expected to survive outside of the womb.

      1. Not sure what your point is. Viability is not typically a relevant factor in the pro-choice debate kit.

        1. It’s a parasite up until it can live on its own.

          I’m not really pro-choice. I actually am really apathetic on this issue, and really annoyed that it is THE only issue worth voting on for some people.

          1. So it’s a parasite until it gets a job? Perhaps children can live without a direct attachment to the parents’ bodies, but they are certainly dependent on them.

            1. Yeah, there’s a distinct biological difference between requiring a physical host, and requiring a financial one.

              It’s tough to believe in bodily intergrity and say that you’ll make an exception for embryos.

              1. Not really. A parent has a moral obligation to support his child. He can disclaim that responsibility only by finding someone to relieve him. In the absence of a willing person to relieve him he retains the responsibility. There is more physical distance but the burden is quite similar.

                As for bodily integrity, the real question is where the bodily integrity of the fetus begins. Most abortions involve breaching the physical body of the fetus or embryo; it’s not like the mother just expels it and abandons it.

              2. So you are saying that something magical does happen when the birth occurs. It is a parasite that if it were just out of the birth canal were a human being.

                That seems rather arbitrary. And further, by your logic, one conjoined twin would be allowed to kill another. It is about body integrity isn’t it?

                And yes, when your bodily integrity involves someone else’ life, you lost control over it just like you lose other rights when your exercise of them results in the death of others. No one ever says all integrity and personal sovereignty is absolute.

                Bottomline, calling it a “parasite” is just begging the question. You can’t answer the questions I asked. Thanks for playing.

                1. “So you are saying that something magical does happen when the birth occurs.”

                  Didn’t say birth, I said viability. After 28 weeks the baby CAN survive outside the womb in pretty good numbers. At 20 weeks there is 0% viability, if there is early labor, there is a miscarriage, end of story.

                  Under your definition of bodily integrity separating conjoined twins would/should be illegal. Since separating them can often mean only one survives at the expense of the other.

  11. The real story here is that an obstructionist minority in the legislature is blocking the progress that the democratically elected majority desires.

  12. Why make any exceptions at all then if it’s innocent?

    Furthermore, simply using the term “life” is not enough. Any cell is alive. What matters is if we can call a embryo or undeveloped fetus a person (i.e. before the brain develops, or certain brain waves are detected).

    But what happens if we fertilize an egg outside? Take some anonymously donated egg and someone’s sperm and boom, a “person”. If we don’t find some woman to implant this into, are we then committing murder?

    In reality, there is no “right to life”. That is actually a positive right, a parasitic one that obligates someone else to sustain your life. There is only a negative right–a property right–over your body.

    Therefore, just as there is no right to obligate someone else to sustain your life outside the womb, there is no right to obligate someone else to sustain you from within the womb, or sustain you from conception in a petri dish.

    If you respect property rights and self-ownership, then you must conclude that a person has the right to evict another unwanted entity from the property of ones body, just as one can evict a trespasser or unwanted guest from one’s non-body property.

    1. You’re entitled to your pound of flesh, as long as you spill no blood in taking it.

      1. If a trespasser comes in and attaches his body to my property, regardless of intention or awareness, and there is no other way to evict him, then I certainly do have the right to take some act such as cutting limbs or attachments, that would result in “spilling blood”

        1. Come back when you understand the reference.

        2. What trespasser? You opened the front door, and invited the little guy in.

          1. And I have the right to kick him out.

            However, there are also cases where it is unwanted from the beginning, like say where a condom fails.

            1. like say where a condom fails.

              You locked the windows, but he managed to jimmy one open. That means he gets to squat at your place and eat your food for 9 months. If you don’t like, some men with guns will come and make you like it.

              1. More like you installed a bad window, then tossed the little guy through the window. In the case of late term abortion, he was then allowed to set up shop on the couch for a while.

                1. I like how you call it a “little guy” as though it more than a collection of cells.

                  1. Depends on the stage of development. I thought that this conversation was about the Texas law to ban abortion after 20 weeks, at which point it’s much more than just a collection of cells.

                    1. It’s a general abortion debate. There are plenty in here who would see the entire procedure outlawed.

                  2. You are not more than a collection of cells.

    2. Having sex means you are volunteering for 9 month of slavery. Never have sex.

      1. Unless you’re a man, then you don’t have that bargain.

        Instead having sex means agreeing to pay for the raising of a child for 18 years. Under current law the female can decide to bail you out…or she can decide not to. Don’t misunderstand that to mean women have more power than men though, doing so means you’re a misogynist.

        1. It goes back to never having sex. Sex leads to slavery. And that’s a good thing. We can’t have people enjoying themselves.

        2. Yes Tim,

          Being free means being responsible for the consequences of your actions. You chose to have sex and one of the risks of having sex is producing a child. If you don’t like that risk, don’t have sex or get yourself sterilized.

          1. Thanks John, I appreciate that lesson.

            I have my 10 month old baby staring at me, so I think I’m well aware of how all that works.

            Why don’t you expound upon the surveillance state you’d like to put in place to have any effective enforcement of your host-enslavement laws?

    3. You created that life. It didn’t just float out of the air. And we all have personal sovereignty. But that doesn’t give us the right to murder each other. If a sick person stumbles onto your lawn, your property rights don’t extend to being able to murder them.

      And if you have the child, you are required by law to take care of the child. It is difficult to see how a new born baby is any less of a parasite than one in the womb. If anything the one in the womb costs less money. If the standard is you can kill anything that takes your resources, then parents should be able to kill their children.

      1. If a sick person stumbles onto your lawn, your property rights don’t extend to being able to murder them.

        Uh, under absolute property rights, I’ve seen plenty argue that it in fact does extend to that. Especially if that person is unwilling to leave.

      2. When you think about it, that is actually the antithesis of libertarianism. Just by being conceived or just “being”, you’ve now placed a positive obligation on someone else? How can such an enslavement be if we’re all sovereign?

        There was no asking for it for someone who did not want it. Sex does not necessarily lead to successful fertilization of an egg. But to say creation of life is also misleading since the egg and sperm itself is also very much alive.

        But again, what happens then in the case of conception outside in a dish? What then? Are you going forcibly take some woman off the street and implant it in her?

        Furthermore, when does the positive obligation end? Why 18? Why not 16? or 15? A couple centuries ago, that was the norm. Why not longer? What makes such a positive obligation end? Why not forever?

        Also, fiat or positive laws (99%+ of our laws) are not relevant in my point since I am speaking from a first principles perspective. I should’ve made clear, but eviction does not imply killing. If one can evict without killing, then that it the most justified route according to proportionality of aggression from the invader or trespasser. However, death from the eviction may be an unintended result if there are no viable alternatives.

        So no, the same logic does not imply parents can kill the child, BUT it does imply they can evict the child. If this sounds cold, remember this is allowed already at 18 or 16 in some other countries

        1. I am speaking from a first principles perspective.

          Make sure you keep it that way, John really hates having to defend what becomes of a modern society that seriously enforces a ban on abortion.

        2. Well the embryo, fetus, baby, or child (depending on stage of development) didn’t just walk out of the fucking ocean handing out swords and declaring people king.

      3. If a sick person stumbles onto your lawn, your property rights don’t extend to being able to murder them.

        The fuck it doesn’t. Especially if that motherfucker is contagious.

        Guess John would invite the zombies in for tea and crumpets.

  13. And the GOP hands Hilary another rallying point for voting women. Get a few of the retards in the midwest to talk about rape and nominate some sweatered dipshit like Santorum and the circle will be complete.

  14. ITT:

    John engages in changing the words people said so that they can better fit his rebuttal.

  15. That embryo, if it survives, is going to be a child. It’s not like it has the chance to become a cheetah or a fruit fly.

    And children are pesky little parasites too.

    1. No one said they’re “pesky little parasites.”

      Embryos ARE biological parasites in a way that children are not.

      You’ve have a much stronger case when you say that bringing a baby to term and giving birth to it binds you in responsibility to the welfare of a child. Saying every time you have sex does the same thing is much shakier ground.

      1. The parasite comment was tongue-in-cheek.

        Nearly every time you have sex, especially unprotected sex, you are taking that crap shoot that you can get pregnant.

        Just to be clear, I oppose abortion because of the fact that you are taking that chance. I do not, however, support the idea that abortion should be outlawed.

      2. You don’t know or don’t care what the definition of “parasite” is.

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