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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wrong on Davis--and Texas Bill

Melinda Henneberger has written plenty of fine pieces over the years, but in her Wash Post column she is so anxious to declare Wendy Davis "wrong"--she even declares, "I have to stand with the cheaters"--in her filibuster that she reveals she is mainly ignorant of what was actually in the Texas abortion bill.  Yes, it limits later-term abortions, and yes there is much public support for such limits.  But she ignores the other two key aspects of the bill: it requires, as the The New York Times summarizes, "abortion clinics to meet the same standards as hospital-style surgical centers and mandate that a doctor who performs abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital."  This would probably shut down 90% of the clinics in the state, leaving five, super-stressed.  And you know what that leads women to do.

She then compounds her errors by citing meaningless polls that allegedly take issue with Davis's stand--since those polled also had no idea of the full extent of the Texas bill.  She also wrongly says such limits exist all over Europe--again, ignoring the provisions in the Texas bill that go beyond the "term limits."

UPDATE   A couple of comments from "friends" responding to her piece on Facebook.
Sherry Sereboff:  I have a novel idea! Why not report the facts? SB 5 would have imposed the toughest abortion restrictions in the nation. The bill would have required physicians to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of an abortion facility. Required abortions--even drug-induced ones-- would have to be performed in ambulatory surgical centers and required doctors to administer those drugs in person. When was the last time you drove 1000 miles Melinda Henneberger? The Lone Star State is a big ole place, and SB 5 would have shut all but a few clinics in the entire state, forcing girls and women--including those who were pregnant due to rape and incest--to drive over 1000 miles to have access to a medical procedure that is constitutionally guaranteed. Yep, facts are always a good place to start. I'm surprised your editors at the Washington Post don't agree.
Thomas Dewar: You cannot be serious. First of all, women favor reproductive choice by a solid margin, which is one of the primary reasons the GOP consistently faces a gender gap each cycle. And yes, there are deranged, homicidal people in our society, just as your church unleashes predators upon children. I bet most reasonable people can agree, however, that the issue in such cases is the deranged mind of the perp, and not theology or reproductive choice or homosexuality, any more than Jeffrey Dahmer's issue was not being a vegetarian. It's irresponsible, hamfisted, and intellectually dishonest to pretend otherwise.   I look at polling and work on campaigns all over this country for a living, for one. For another, you cannot out of one side of your mouth imply those who disagree with you somehow make common cause with the likes of Gosnell and out of the other indulge your martyr complex about being "vilified." Respect is a two-way street, sister.

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