Friday, April 15, 2005

High Hopes

Some pro-choice activists have high hopes that anti-abortion legislation heard in the marathon State Affairs Committee meeting Wednesday, April 13th, will be rejected. According to Kae McLaughlin, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, even the Republican supporters of anti-abortion and anti-choice legislation “were holding their noses before it was all over!”

One of many testimonies heard Wednesday highlighted HB 16's (by Corte) discrepancies. NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Political Director Sarah Wheat took the mike and reminded the panel that if in fact Corte's bill was only to allow pharmacists to exempt themselves from abortion, and his legislation had no intention of ever denying a woman birth control or emergency contraception, then there was no need for his bill.

Wheat explained that Texas already has a law that limits abortion to physicians only. According to the Texas Health & Safety Code ( § 245.010(b) Enacted 1985; Last Amended 1997), only a physician licensed by the state may perform an abortion. Rep. Villarreal reasserted Wheat’s claim by saying, "so, if a pharmacist did perform an abortion, they'd be committing a felony offense, right?" McLaughlin believes that inconsistencies like this one will kill the bill before it makes it out of committee. Until then we can only wait and see.