Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Orange shirts, blue shirts--and change in the wind

 It will come as no surprise to most readers of this blog that I am terribly upset by the goings on in the legislature in Austin, where they are about to pass the so-called abortion bill, which really isn’t about abortion at all—it’s about women’s health care, particularly reproductive health care. I don’t have hard and fast statistics but it would close down all but a few clinics now serving women throughout Texas, particularly poor and rural women, many of whom will now have to drive hundreds of miles for health care—and may not be able to do it. I have seen predictions that the number of abortions will go up, not down, because women will be denied access to counseling, family planning, and contraception knowledge. And there will be more illegal abortions—remember coat hangers! The way to prevent more abortions is to prevent more unwanted pregnancies—and that comes through counseling and education.

The thing I resented most that I recently read concerned those few clinics who meet the new tough health care standards. Guess who owns one such clinic (I think there are five in the state)—Governor Perry’s sister! He talks anti-abortion out of one side of his mouth and gives a huge business advantage to his sister out of the other side. No comment.

It was a pleasure tonight to go to a fundraiser/birthday party for Representative Lon Burnam, one of the most outspoken and loud voices in the House in defense of women’s rights.  Lon has served in the legislature for many years now and sometimes been the lonely only liberal voice, but he brings a much-needed balance to the scene. I hope he continues his service for many years, and it was cheering to see the great number who turned out to celebrate with him. Who ever thought Lon would turn 60?

I am also proud that Senator Wendy Davis, who has led the charge and is still leading it, is from my home district. Her statewide bus tour was in Fort Worth tonight, but I couldn’t be both places and missed it.

I sense a seismic-and overdue change in the Texas political landscape. I think this controversial bill has galvanized more people to take a stand than any issue that’s come up for years. It’s the beginning of a political movement that just might sweep the state, if not the country. I liked Bud Kennedy’s column this morning that suggested that the leading names in state politics will shortly be George P. Bush and Wendy Davis. I don’t know enough about the young Bush’s agenda, but I sure like the way Wendy Davis thinks. And I would never ever underestimate her. A change in leadership would be so welcome, both on the state and nation al level.

To all those pro-life blue-shirted protestors, I wish you could understand that this nasty piece of politics is not about preserving the life of those unborn children you are so ardent about—it’s about women’s health. And children’s health care. Politicians righteously proclaim every life deserves a chance—but once that life is here, they are totally unconcerned about health care, insurance, education, etc.

Got to get myself an orange T-shirt. Wonder why those chose such an unflattering color?

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