Less than a week after the Texas House of Representatives passed an unreasonably onerous bill restricting safe and legal access to abortion, the Texas Senate has followed suit, passing the abortion restrictions by a vote of 19 to 11. In other words, if the Texas abortion debate were a superhero movie, Gov. Rick Perry and his evil Republican minions would have triumphed even after Wendy Davis flew around the Earth and reversed its rotation in order to turn back time. Who wants to see that kind of movie?
For starters, Rick Santorum (the newest head of Christian movie studio EchoLight) probably does, which is why he showed up in Austin with his wire-tight jaw and sweater-vest sheathed torso. Indeed, the Senate’s decision on Friday was the culmination of a week-long debate in both the media and around Austin about the restrictive new bill, which, according to CNN,
bans abortions past 20 weeks of gestation, mandates abortion clinics become ambulatory surgical centers, tightens usage guidelines for the drug RU486 and requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic at which they're providing such services.
The Senate took every precaution this time around to make sure its proceedings wouldn’t be delayed or interrupted, going so far as to (temporarily) ban tampons and maxi pads during Friday’s final vote on anti-abortion bills HB2 and SB1, apparently fearing that menstruating women who’d come to the lawmaking factory to see their rights be stripped away might throw uterine-lining missiles at lawmakers. No such tomfoolery happened, of course, and, after a plea from Democratic Sen. Kirk Watson for Republicans to, “Take this chance to stop, take this chance to think, take this chance to stop listening to the partisans and failed presidential candidates,” the Senate passed the restrictions on abortion.
All Rick Perry has to do now is remember how to wield a pen and the new bill restricting legal access to safe abortions in Texas will become law. Don’t despair, though — Perry, as his presidential campaign stumblings proved, could totally fuck this up somehow by, for instance, mistaking his pen for a corndog and eating it before he can sign the bill.
Image via AP, Eric Gay