To: Rush Limbaugh
From: Eddie Griffin
Why do you call my state senator Wendy Davis “Abortion Barbie”? Is it the color of her hair, or because she filibustered an amendment to the Texas Abortion Law? Or, is it both?
I consider your usage of term “Abortion Barbie” a slur, not against Wendy Davis but the Barbie doll, and against the little girls that grew up adoring her. It is reminiscent of the days of Goldie Hawn on Laugh In when she was typecast as the “dumb blond”. Beauty without a brain was a typical locker room joke among boys about blonds back in the day. Not only was this blond stereotype perceived being not very smart, but she was also portrayed on the movie screen as the poor helpless maiden who always fainted at the first hint of danger, or the girl tied to the railroad track screaming for help from some chauvinist hero. Do you remember?
So what are you saying? Are you insinuating that Wendy Davis is a dumb blond, fearful and weak and a helpless maiden in a man’s world, just because she does not wave around her Texas six-shooter as a macho posture in the gun rights debate?
Really, I beg your pardon, sir. Wendy Davis did not get into her position as a leader of our community for any of the above reasons. She is proven. She has defied the odds and been victorious in battle.
As a constituent of Texas Senate District 10 and a friend of Wendy Davis, let me not lose sight of the fact that a slur against her is a slight against all her constituents, who voted for her, and love and adore her for her courage.
SECONDLY: As for the Abortion Issue, it seems to me that FOX News and other you other outside media come into our state in the 9th inning and want to coach the rest of the ball game. It only goes to show your ignorance of the fight in Texas over abortion, which has been going on for a long time before you Johnny-come-lately got here. Start with the fact that Texas already has an abortion law. Are you surprise? It is authorized under the state’s Health and Safety Code, which was enacted in 2003, and amended in 2011 and 2013.
Sec. 171.003 reads: An abortion may be performed only by a physician licensed to practice medicine in this state.
Like it or not, the first five words say it all: An abortion may be performed. The law dictates the terms and conditions under which a doctor can administer an abortion in Texas. For example, in a situation where the life and health of a pregnant mother hangs in the balance and a decision has to made whether to save the unborn child or the mother, who should make the call as to which one lives and which one dies? I do not believe politicians are equipped to make that decision. It is a decision to be made only by a woman, her husband, and her doctor. Spiritual counseling helps.
If there is a starting point in this abortion debate, it would begin with the Texas 78th Legislature and a bill signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry. All of this Pro-Life versus Pro-Abortion juxtaposing is nothing but a false dichotomy created by the media for political entertainment. The real problem arises, not between pro and con factions, but the wording of the law as it is written.
For example: In the 2013 amendment SB 5, Sec. 171.061(9), the law defines an “Unborn child” to mean “an offspring of human beings from conception until birth.” Under the 2003 law, Sec. 171.061(4) defines the “Gestational age” to mean “the amount of time that has elapsed since the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period.” Sec. 171.016(a) speaks of “gestational increments” measured “from the time when a woman can be known to be pregnant to full term.” Moreover, Sec. 171.041, which is cited as “Preborn Pain Act”, in subsection (1), Post-fertilization age means “the age of the unborn child as calculated from the fusion of a human spermatozoon with a human ovum.” In other words, for the purpose of the law, pregnancy begins when the sperm fertilizes the ovary egg.
Most women do not know that they are pregnant after missing one menstrual cycle. Some delay until after the second missed cycle. But by then she is legally pregnant, which means that provisions and restrictions of the law kick in. The so-called morning-after pill RU-486 then falls under the strict regulations of state law, though it is approved for distribution by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Those who believe that the life of an unborn child begins at the fertilization of an egg are counting their chickens before they hatch. And, for those who believe in the bible, they should know that life begins before biological conception. As God told Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1:5). In other words, God knows each of us before we are born. However, we do not become a “living soul” until God breaths into us the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). If life is meant to be, God will make it happen. Otherwise, man is in error if he thinks that he can will life into existence.
There was just such case in Wendy Davis’ district which proved the fallacy of man’s thinking that God’s will is for every conception to come to life. The case centered on Erick Muñoz and his late wife Marlise, who died during the earliest stage of her pregnancy. The man fought for the right to lay his wife to rest and have some closure for his grief. But the Texas abortion law prevented it. Therefore, the woman’s corpse was kept on life support for two agonizing months, while political opportunists championed a misguided cause for a right-to-life for an embryo that was still at the developmental stage of a tadpole. Why? Because the law defined an unborn child at the point of conception, doctors were forbidden from terminating the pregnancy.
As Marlise Muñoz’s corpse decayed, the more deformed the fetus. Eventually, God prevailed. But it would seem that under Sec. 171.002(3) and Sec. 171.0124(c) of the law that the doctors could have terminated the pregnancy on the basis of “medical emergency” provisions. But the punitive sanctions in the law would put the doctors at risk of being charged with a misdemeanor under Sec. 171.018 and fined $10,000 and possibly losing their license to practice medicine, insofar as the Texas Medical Board was given the police power to enforce this law (Sec. 171.062).
Nevertheless, we have found that once a law is on the books, it is rarely abolished. Rather, it is eroded over time by new amendments. Likewise, the Abortion of Law of Texas has been changed quite a bit since its 2003 origin.
Another example: The law alludes to the victims of rape and incest, but makes no exceptions to its strictures except under Sec. 171.046 (a) where the life and health of the mother is jeopardized, and Sec. 171.046 (c) where an abortion can be performed “on an unborn child who has a severe fetal abnormality”.
The law does not forbid any woman from getting an abortion, as long as it complies with the aforementioned constrictions upon doctors. But the only specific provision for victims of rape or incest is Sec. 171.012(2) (C), which says:
… (2) the physician who performs the abortion or the physician’s agent informs the pregnant woman that: (C) public and private agencies provide pregnancy prevention counseling and medical referrals for obtaining pregnancy prevention medications or devices, including emergency contraception for victims of rape and incest.
What need does a victim of rape and incest have for “emergency contraception”? To insure that she does not get pregnant the next time she is violated?
The big deal with the outside media has been focused on Wendy Davis’ filibuster against the 20-weeks Post-Fertilization prohibition in Subchapter C. If people had ears to hear, instead of their preconceived ideas, they would have heard Wendy herself say that the 20-week restriction was the least of the problems with the law. In fact, in an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “She has said she would have backed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy if parts of the law had been different.”
This list above is only a few of the flaws. Again: The severability clause in Sec. 171.048 provides that if any part of the law is found to be unconstitutional by the federal court, all other portions of the law remains in effect. And if the court “declines to impose the saving construction described by this subsection, the Supreme Court of Texas shall provide an authoritative construction of the objectionable statutory provisions that avoids the constitutional problems while enforcing the statute's restrictions to the maximum possible extent.” In other words, if any part of the law is deemed unconstitutional by some lawsuit, the state of Texas will fix the discrepancy itself, no thanks to any outside interference from the courts and the federal government. Nothing changes in the intent of the law.
The 2003 law originally provided for the publication and distribution of information “designed to inform the pregnant woman of public and private agencies and services that “are available to assist a woman through pregnancy, childbirth, and the child’s dependency”, according to Sec. 171.015(1) (A). This indexed list would have included agencies like Planned Parenthood which provided a full range of healthcare services for poor women, including cancer screening, mammograms, and counseling, besides making medical referrals for abortions. But the 2010 amendment narrowed the list to only adoption agencies and excluded all agencies that made referrals for abortion, no matter how medically necessary- See Sec. 171.015(1) (B-C). Moreover, in anticipation of future mass closings of Planned Parenthood facilities, the law provided certain waivers for expectant mothers who had to travel more than 100 miles to receive the same medical services that they previously had been receiving at their neighborhood clinics.
No, Texas does not prohibit abortions as many outsiders think. Instead, it concentrates abortion-related services into the hands of fewer medical practices, in certain geographical areas of the state, and only for those who can afford to travel back and forth over a great distances to receive it.