Clear eyes, full heart, can’t stop advocating for abortion

Last night, reporters were very excited to tweet extensively about an abortion filibuster going on in Texas.

While reporters struggled and struggled and struggled to find any reason at all to cover abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell’s trial, there was no struggle at all to give extensive coverage to Texas Sen. Wendy Davis’ filibustering of a bill that would protect unborn children who had made it to 20 weeks’ gestation, would require abortion clinics to meet the standards of other ambulatory surgery centers and would require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

A sample from Sarah “local crime” Kliff, health policy reporter at the Washington Post:

This legislation is happening in the context of increased national awareness of serious problems at abortion clinics around the country, including Gosnell’s “house of horrors” and a Texas clinic run by Douglas Karpen that is accused of being even worse than Gosnell’s, if you can imagine that.

None of that context has made it into stories, near as I can tell. I asked for examples of any reporters tying this abortion debate to any of these other stories that the media have suppressed or downplayed and Texas Monthly reporter Erica Grieder (pictured here, with the big smile on the left, with Planned Parenthood honcho Cecile Richards and another Texas Monthly staffer Sonia Smith) responded “Republicans have made that argument & we’ve covered it.” The link goes to a story that says:

The bill’s sponsor, Katy Republican Glenn Hegar, said that it “raises the standard of care” for women seeking abortions and protects the lives of the unborn. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, who had repeatedly called for Governor Rick Perry to add abortion to the special session’s agenda, had frequently invoked the genuinely horrific case of Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia-based doctor who was recently convicted of murder after killing a baby who was born alive.

Oh how quickly we forget last month’s trial that the media only covered reluctantly at best! Gosnell, of course, was convicted of killing three babies and one woman, although by all accounts he was responsible for the deaths of untold numbers of babies born alive and at least one other mother.

Grieder said she’d correct the story (written by Sonia Smith). She also offered her version of the “Gosnell is just a local crime story” explanation by saying that the Texas legislature doesn’t oversee Gosnell and that covering the legislature is a “super-full-time task.”

I suggested the omission of mentions of Douglas Karpen might be more significant. She argued that the context of the bill had nothing to do with problems reported at abortion clinics since previous incarnations of this bill predated Karpen. Perhaps reporters might consider why this bill went further than previous bills that attempted to accomplish the same thing and if the context of Gosnell or Karpen might play a role there.

But, as Grieder notes, she literally just wrote a book about putting Texas in context. Perhaps people with opinions on abortion in Texas are very different from people with opinions on abortion elsewhere. And since the Texas AP reporters are all on vacation right now, we have to trust the folks who have stayed to report.

Although I must say that Grieder and Smith’s interview of Richards doesn’t give much reason for confidence. All of the hard-hitting questions she was forced to answer:

Texas Monthly: Do you think the national Republican party took any lessons from the discussion surrounding abortion and women’s health issues from 2012 election cycle?

TM: Have you seen any bills similar to SB5 that come bundled with funding? Something where legislators say ‘We’re going to make the restrictions on facilities tighter, but we’re also going to help you fund it.’

TM: Why do you think the 2013 edition of this debate is different from the 2011 one? We saw, as you mentioned,the defunding of Planned Parenthood in the state, and the sonogram bill that went through. But we didn’t see this much—

TM: Your decision to come down here this week, when was that decision made, and what really pushed you to come?

TM: There was that one very striking image of a little girl looking up at your mother’s portrait …

TM: Do you think Senator Davis could win the governorship in 2014?

Unfair! Each of those questions is so tough! So brutal! I mean, I know journalists are supposed to be tenacious, but this is too much! All those questions forcing her to explain the difference between second trimester abortions and what Gosnell did! Man, there was no wiggle room for Richards!

I trust that we all agree that whatever happened there was not journalism.

And speaking of the lack of journalism, I also find it just fascinating how reporters avoid the reality of public opinion on abortion restrictions in the second and third trimester. The way the media presents this is as if all women support unlimited abortion on demand and that mean old Republican men don’t.

In reality, women are more likely to think abortion should be illegal in all or most situations than legal in all or most. Texans overwhelmingly support the right to life for unborn children of 20 weeks or more. And 71 percent of Americans say that abortion should be flat-out generally illegal after 12 weeks and 86 percent of Americans say it should be illegal after 28 weeks. As Ben Domenech notes:

Those who favor on-demand, limitless abortion access are extreme and out of step. But you wouldn’t think that from media coverage.

Usually when 71% and 86% of Americans think something, it gets reported occasionally. Y’know.

These numbers are fairly consistent over time and yet people who are in that 14% who disagree are almost never asked tough questions about their views. Even if they’re extremely prominent politicians or activists, such as Cecile Richards, pictured above with happy reporters.

Of all the religion-ghost-haunted social issues stories out there, abortion has the longest history of mainstream media problems. Our credibility when it comes to reporting on abortion has taken a rather serious hit this year. Gushing about an abortion filibuster, neglecting to provide important national context, and failing to ask tough questions of activists on one side isn’t exactly helping the journalism situation.

  • MollieZHemingway

    As if to make my point, I see that the Washington Post company’s Slate just tweeted out (https://twitter.com/Slate/status/349735900974026752):

    “Wendy Davis is going to be remembered as a hero of women across the country.”

    Why? Because she’s doing something to fight against the views of most of them?

    As someone on Twitter put it:

    “Nowhere is media bias more evident than in the Convention Wisdom that it is the Rs, not Ds, that are extreme on abortion.”

    Actually, many Democrats are also pro-life, particularly in Texas, but the point is regarding the political leadership, territory more hostile to the pro-life viewpoint.

    This conventional wisdom that extreme pro-choice views on abortion are the norm is seriously wrong. Reporters need to check their biases against some polling data and be sure to correct that perception problem that they present in their stories.

    • Dave

      When they say “women across the country”, they mean “my circle of friends and fellow journalists.”

    • Jeff Minch

      She’s “going to be a hero” because the left & the MSM (BIRM) believe the Marxist theory of “False Consciousness.” They believe that women (and the rest of us) have no idea what is in our best interest and must be led to the truth kicking & screaming by those who know better.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_consciousness

    • JavierKaKa

      …—goo.gl/R27H5 (Home more)

    • Papa Mincho

      Hi, Mollie!

      Why do you still pretend in your article that you don’t know the difference between what Gosnell did and late-term abortion? Pennsylvania outlawed late-term abortion, thus making women who didn’t want to have babies in the first place seek out illegal services from a legal provider. The lack of regulation in the illegal facility was horrendous, and could have easily been corrected if late-term abortion was legal.

      You never mention that Gosnell was an illegal abortion provider. The Texas case you cite above is no different than the hundreds of other fraudulent claims the terrorist Operation Rescue organization (the people responsible for Dr. George Tiller’s assassination) files against abortion providers year-in and year-out. To conflate the two is an outright lie.

      It seems like you’re trying to mislead the public more than inform it.

      • introvert_prof

        So tell me, why does passage out of the womb magically make it wrong to kill the fetus?

    • John Pack Lambert

      Because somehow letting women continue to be exposed to sub-standard doctors who endanger their lives and kill them is heroic. I guess the WP thinks if you tell a lie often enough it will be so.

  • MollieZHemingway

    Erica Grieder just tweeted (https://twitter.com/EricaGrieder/status/349752069642665984) something that puts the rest of her journalism in context, I guess. This is in reference to attempts by pro-choice activists to thwart a vote on the bill protecting unborn children after 20 weeks’ gestation, etc.:

    Keep cheering guys…down with decorum, up with Texas! #txlege #SB5 #pride

  • Sari

    And yet there’s been little to no media coverage of the brilliant statements made by Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, one of the Texas bill’s sponsors. Apparently, she’s on record stating that women who are raped won’t get pregnant, because the rape kit includes a D&C.

    http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2013/jun/24/jodie-laubenberg/jodie-laubenberg-says-texas-rape-kit-dilation-and-/

    And no coverage here of the recent, excellent NYT magazine article which presented current research comparing women denied abortions after 20 weeks, many of whom did not realize they were pregnant, with women who went through with the procedure. The paper copy had an atrocious headline, but the article was well-written and devoid of the usual bias.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/16/magazine/study-women-denied-abortions.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    • cvg

      Sari, thanks for links to excellent articles. Like most abortion pieces, the NYT article, while very good, misses the boat by not introducing adoption into the equation. I’m not quite sure why this is consistently missed in abortion stories?

      • James

        Because it’s better for a baby’s own mother to kill it than for it to be loved and cared for by someone who is not blood.

      • Sari

        There was a passing reference to adoption (reread S’s story), but that was, imo, outside the scope of the story, which compared sets of women who did/did not abort their fetuses post-20 weeks. Longitudinal studies such as this one are rare. What I liked was that this was not, other than the awful, biased headline, an advocacy piece.

        • FW Ken

          It wasn’t advocacy to allow S her own voice saying how much she loved her baby, then bring in an “expert” to say that women tell themselves that to feel better? Talk about demeaning women!

          • Sari

            FW Ken. I thought it important to read the whole article and what was said in context. Otherwise, we become like people who string together bits of Bible verses without looking at what was actually said.

            The point of longitudinal studies is to see effects over time. It’s one of the big things in autism research right now: tracking children from birth over a period of years to see how many develop spectrum disorders and what behaviors/environments/environmental factors/genetics set them apart from their more normally developing peers.In that light, it’s not surprising that women would say one thing at one stage and feel differently as time passed. Data is data.

          • FW Ken

            I did read the entire story. In context, the author demeans women in her crusade for abortion. The notion that people say different things, feel differently, at different times is more or less like saying that water is wet. It’s true for all of us. Anyway, it’s not what the article said.
            And data from an unsound study design is bad data. The study has too many confounding variables, studies a limited comparison – women who wanted a late term abortion and got it vs. women who wanted a late term abortion and didn’t get it, and come to conclusions that outcomes aren’t all that different, except the mothers have a harder time financially. Families have financial struggles. Single families have serious financial struggles. This is not news.
            While I’m at it, the final straw in the article was the purported social benefits of abortion, primarily decreased crime. In the first place, crime is correlated to age, and the decline of baby boomers in the high-risk age range tracked with the drop in crime. You can also see an increase in crime as the “echo boom” went through the high-risk age. But really, the reporter is advocating eugenics, which is evil. One can almost hear Oliver Wendell Holmes: three generations of criminals (imbeciles) is enough! My first work out of college was at the Austin State School, where I know women forcibly sterilized during the golden age of eugenics. God forbid we go back to that.

      • tmatt

        Here at GR, we debated whether or not that NYTs MAGAZINE — it was an essay really — was a news piece or not. It’s hard to read essays of that kind and hold them to news standards.

        • Sari

          It should have been held to a news standard, since it adhered well to those of adopted by scientific journals for laypeople. The point of science is to go where the data leads, irrespective of whether or not it contradicts the initial hypothesis. The researcher said as much at the end of the article.

          I didn’t see it as an advocacy essay. YMMV, of course.

    • James Janda

      sari – NOTHING the NYT writes is devoid of bias. Quit trying to make it appear otherwise. Intelligent people already know, and either don’t buy the rag or buy it only for the sports section.

      • Sari

        Little that ANYONE writes is devoid of bias. The words we choose and how we phrase them, the way we triage data, all speak to who we are. But it is possible to sift through what’s said to find little grains of truth. The problem arises when truth contradicts opinion, something of which all sides are guilty.

        I think, too, that those who live outside of Texas should read up on the history of this bill, how it came into being (hint: not how it’s been represented here) -and- how pro-life forces, both outside and inside Texas government, have used the A-word to defund women’s health programs, especially in rural areas. The desperate woman will have her abortion. The women who choose to go to term have been left with little in the way of obstetrical resources; women who desire contraception to prevent pregnancy will conceive and give birth to unplanned children. *Their* children will suffer as a result. Intended or unintended consequences–hard to say, but definitely a blow to women’s and children’s health by failing to replace PP, a major provider to poor women, with any sort of meaningful health system.

    • Corky214

      Get a grip. Have you ever been pregnant? Didn’t know in the fifth month? There is probably some example of a normal woman somewhere not knowing at that time. Denial or stupid as a rock.
      What a crock…and I’m pro-choice for the first trimester. The immorality of these attempts to let abortion be any old time are staggering.

      • Sari

        My circumstances are irrelevant to this conversation. Do some women realize they’re pregnant well after the fact? Yes. Yes, they do. Saw it in college and continue to see it today, mainly because many parents feel uncomfortable teaching sex ed and many schools have been hampered by parents and legislators who insist on abstinence only programs. Factor in denial and the fact that many women are irregular at least into their late teens, et voila!, women who are unaware ’til they’re really showing.

        Because of my child’s developmental delays, our district provided the teacher packets so that we could deliver the sex ed program at home rather than in a school setting. I was appalled at the content; the program contradicted both the science -and- our religious teaching, misrepresenting the efficacy of all birth control methods, placing nearly all the responsibility for abstinence on girls, and presenting sex as dirty and bad.

        Coincidentally, Texas has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the country and *the* highest rate of repeat teen pregnancy.

        So, yeah, plenty of normal women (females of normal IQ or above with functional ovaries) realize they’re pregnant late in the game.

        • Corky214

          So what if Texas has a high rate? How does that help/change anything.
          If you didn’t know you were pregnant until after five months when you had engaged in activity allowing that possibility…and you are of normal functioning intelligence, then something else inhibits your knowledge.
          If you were “horrified” at the packets provided by your school (assumptively in Texas), why didn’t you teach your kids yourself?

          What might wander down the road of what is a young/middle teen doing having sex, but that is probably too much moral judgment for you. What that young teen girl would be better off doing is enjoying the last of her childhood years, working at school to go further, etc. NOT GETTING PREGNANT.

          If your child, on the other hand, is active sexually or girls are at that age, responsibility falls to the parents if you don’t think the school does an adequate job of explanation.

          Doesn’t it? Or is EVERYTHING to be in the hands of an institution ….and if you don’t like what they say, you blame them…try being responsible either way on the issue.

          None of that changes the following reality: an abortion at later than 20 weeks is potentially or two close in time to taking the life of a child or causing hardship to that child or mother.

          There are so many better solutions that it is lazy and callous not to work to use them.

          Options:
          a) abstain
          b) use birth control of one type or another
          c) if an abortion is in your plan, do it early, before 20 weeks

          Alternative:

          Have the child now being carried and give it up for adoption
          Have the child being carried and care for it.

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          • Sari

            corky214–You missed the point. This has nothing to do with me or my children (with whom we’d already covered most of the bases at home; the packet was so that my autistic child could track with the class without being present). This is not personal. What I said answered *your* question as to *why* and *how* a subset of fecund women manage to get pregnant but not realize they are so until well after the fact.

            Teen pregnancy rates track with socioeconomic status–not money per se, but the parents’ level of education and the education they impart to their children. And there are reasons why some women don’t get it–that sex can lead to pregnancy, that certain signs indicate pregnancy, what to do if pregnant.

            In plain English, parents and social institutions fail to impart sex ed in a way that demonstrably reduces the incidence of pregnancy in Texas.

            Very easy to understand. The local media has covered this–repeatedly, but not in the context of abortion.

        • Corky214

          As to how the information was presented…dirty…etc. Bull. I live in Texas also.

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    • http://WiredPen.com/ kegill

      And why isn’t anyone here – even in this thread – talking about Laudenberg’s implication that a rape kit is like a D&C? After all, she’s the prime sponsor of the companion house bill.

      There is no “apparently” involved – that’s what the woman said. I heard it with my own ears.

      • FW Ken

        I noted elsewhere that I’m not reading anywhere except blog comments that she said that. And I don’t doubt your word. I think it’s just part of a media bias to downplay the role of pro-life women. The media theme is the noble Wendy vs. the Republican men.
        Any way, what she apparently said was that a rape kit includes a D&C. That’s not correct (I guess), but if you are looking for Akin Moment, I don’t see the relevance. Anyway, it’s a strawman argument.
        The real question is why a raped woman carries the child for five months then decides it’s too traumatic to go four more? How often does this happen? What about women who bear the child: how do they feel about it a year later? Or how do they feel it the baby is adopted out?

        • Sari

          “I noted elsewhere that I’m not reading anywhere except blog comments that she (Laubenberg) said that.”

          Mine was the first response to this thread and included a link to the Politifact article run in the Austin American Statesman. I also noted that Laubenberg’s comment was largely ignored by the press and the bloggers at GR.

          Her comments are relevant and should have been covered, because she is one of the bill’s lead sponsors. If one is going to base decisions on science, then one should get the science right. Rape kits document rape through the collection of samples (tissue, clothing, etc.), photographs, medical examinations, and statements made by the victim, nothing more. A D&C is a surgical procedure in which the cervix is dilated and the uterus cleaned out, usually under anesthesia.

          One job of the press should be to inform the public of the competency of their congresscritters, using officials’ own words. For all the allegations of partisanship, the media failed on this one–gave a pass to a woman that, according to y’all, they should hate. The public failed, too. Given the popularity of such shows as L&O:SVU and CSI, her comment should’ve rung bells, but it didn’t.

          • FW Ken

            Not “hate”. She just doesn’t fit the narrative.

  • http://Culture11.com Joe Carter

    ***I trust that we all agree that whatever happened there was not journalism.***

    In fairness to Texas Monthly, they stopped being an outlet for journalism about a decade ago. The publication has become a glossy, regional version of The New Republic, only with BBQ reviews.

    It’s a shame that a once great magazine has become something most Texans (including expats like me) are embarrassed to admit they still read.

    • tmatt

      Well, it’s sort of the Rolling Stone of Austin culture. It’s an advocacy journalism publication, not a publication that believes in editorial balance or fairness to the stakeholders in major stories.

      • Unwound

        You’ve obviously never read any of Paul Burka’s columns.

    • FW Ken

      It’s not that I’m ashamed to read it, I just didn’t realize it was still publishing. But then, I never was one of the Kool Kids, even when I lived in Austin.
      The BBQ reviews would be worthwhile, though.

      • pabarge

        No, the BBQ reviews are not worthwhile. The reviews are basically “let’s hop in the Prius, drive about Texas, eat some meat and make fun of the people of Texas”.

        • FW Ken

          I don’t drive a Prius, love to drive around Texas, want to know where the good meat is, and OF COURSE I make fun of Texans. I am one. We are crazy. I love us!

  • FW Ken

    To claim that religion motivates opposition to late term abortions is a useful tactic, I suppose, but France has a 12 week limit, after which at least two doctors must certify that the woman will suffer serious harm or the baby is unlikely to survive. Sweden limits abortion on demand on demand to 18 weeks. These are highly secularized cultures.

    • NavyBlues05

      France also goes out of their way to provide qualified medical care and childcare for infants and children. Something practically non-existent in rural Texas and if you happen to be poor.

      • Sari

        Yes. That’s what many here miss. For whatever reason, Texas’ poor are bereft of services. Other states provide a safety net, and so do most developed countries. PP provided women’s health services that have not been replaced in any meaningful way.

        Reading mollie’s blog post and the heated responses, many of which were personal and uncivil,what exactly are y’all’s expectations for the media when covering the topic of abortion? mollie gives the impression that *any* coverage is biased if it doesn’t present abortion as a procedure which should once again be illegal. Would an article that dispassionately presents 2+ sides of the argument be considered unbiased?

        What’s not covered, here or in the media, are the religious ramifications of allowing one group or another to dictate the country’s morality and or how allowing one group to do so will impinge on those with different beliefs. It is simply not true that all religious belief systems subscribe to the pro-life position. For all the talk about government impinging on one’s right to practice one’s religion outside of worship services, this is the proverbial elephant in the room. This site describes itself as one devoted to how the media portrays religion—that’s what should be under discussion.

        • FW Ken

          And what does any of that have to do with denying women services in a clean, relatively safe environment?

          • Sari

            I dunno. I’m obviously under the mistaken impression that this site exists to critique the media, not bills presented by Texas legislators.

        • John Pack Lambert

          Stop buying the lies Sari. Planned Parenthood kills womens children and endangers their health. They do not provide screening for breast cancer or the other things they lie about.

      • FW Ken

        Oddly enough, I know a bit about rural Texas and poor people, having spent a fair amount of my professional and personal life involved with both. To start with, rural areas lack lots of services, but most, at least have access to health care through agreements with regional health centers. In my community, at least “the poor” have access to an excellent system of care that is, in many ways superior to my own insurance benefits.

        Texas’ poor are bereft of services.

        No they are not. I’ve been in various social services for pushing 40 years and know what I’m talking about.

  • Martha O’Keeffe

    My Tumblr dash this morning is full of reactions to this, and to a one (I literally have not seen any dissenting view) it’s all praise of Senator Davis for standing up for women’s rights; the opposition is presented as old white males and/or Republicans (apparently they’re one and the same); and the “people’s voice” is invoked about how the legislature broke their own rules when stopping the filibuster(?) and the assembled public booed and protested.
    I still have no idea if this bill passed or not, but I am definitely not seeing anything about this making abortion providers offer safer facilities. The story seems to be that this is all about stopping abortion and taking women’s basic human rights away from them – so I’d say that the journalists are fairly representative of how this is being presented.
    It may not be all sides of the story, but it does seem to be shaping up as “Brave woman stands up to patriarchy for human rights”.

    • FW Ken

      Wendy Davis is my state senator, and the real question is whether she will retain her senate seat, not whether she will be governor. Her last election took a run-off and I’m telling you, it was the ugliest campaign I’ve ever seen. Both sides slung mud like the pros they are. Born and bred Texan, I can tell you it could go either way. We like tough women around here (think: Ann Richards), and she has now achieved “Tough Woman” status. But we are also anti-abortion once you get out of the little hot house of my district, which sent her to the city council before the state legislature and then replaced her with a partnered gay man.

  • Kat Carney

    double sorrow today b/c of the defeat of this bill and the destruction of the DOMA

  • William Pate

    While I understand many of you may not live in Texas or actually follow Texas politics, but had you been watching the process longer than just the last 24 hours — especially the course this legislation has taken from being named an emergency item during the regular session to being added to a special session call as one of three bills — you would have noticed the numerous tweets and statements made by these bills’ proponents (including the Lt. Gov.) stating their goal to end abortion completely — not to provide safe conditions for woman or the child prior to 20 weeks.

    And we won’t even go into the sanitation conditions of having abortions in rural counties with no clinics nearby.

    • FW Ken

      Mr. Pate: I live in Texas, although I’ve not been able to follow politics lately. Are you saying that the proponents of the bill don’t care about women being safe while undergoing a surgical procedure? And in what way is an abortion facility “safe” for any child (your word) at any stage of pregnancy? As to rural areas, I know places that don’t have a grocery store larger than an Alsups (if that) or any sort of medical facility. What does that have to do with abortion?
      Of course, I don’t expect partisans, including the news industry, to note that those opposed to any abortions are willing to engage in compromise to further the safety of women.

    • pabarge

      Speaking of things “we wont’ go into”, Mr Pate, how about we go into the horrid reality of Gosnell and Douglas Karpen, shall we? “Tweets and statements”? Srsly? Got a link or two?

  • Shelly Murphy

    Respect all life, EXCEPT the mother’s. Let’s make sure all unplanned pregnancies are brought to term for desperate infertiles to covet and possess. The mother’s life afterwards; her’s means nothing to any of them, including her own child’s. Yes, PRO life my ass. Stupid hypocrites.

    • athelstane

      It’s not an either/or choice. Both lives must be respected.

      • Shelly Murphy

        but when a woman loses her child to adoption after she is brainwashed to believe it was the “best thing” (most notably fraudulent open adoptions), her life is NOT respected. She is dehumanized, demonized and degraded. Not shown one ounce of “respect” or dignity while the adopters are treated as saints. Spare me the PRO life bit. Both lives are NOT respected. Only the child and the adoptive side is. That is PRO adoptive families lives, not PRO biological families lives. The people who conned me out of my child treated myself and my whole family despicably when they made off with the goods, then hail themselves to be such good “christians”. Please spare me.

        • athelstane

          But do you respect the child?

          • Shelly Murphy

            Do any of them respect me? Like you said, it goes both ways but we know who in the triangle gets “respect”. Not the natural mother/ family. After I met him when I tracked him down when he was of age I discovered I cannot stand him- he is so cold, hateful and hypocritical, just like the people who raised him. I loved the baby I created, carried and gave life to that I so foolishly left in the hospital to be raised by genetic strangers. I abhor the man he has become.

          • Martha O’Keeffe

            What about the other provisions that abortion clinics should adhere to standards of hygiene and fitness for practice? That there should be a guarantee that if any complication occurs during the procedure, the woman can be admitted to a hospital? Those mean nothing?
            Shelly, I’m sorry you didn’t find the relationship you were looking for with your son, but are you really saying it would have been better to have aborted him than to let him be adopted?

          • JamesJ

            It sounds like your bitterness comes from personal experience. But fear not, only women have the right to kill.

  • nobama1267

    More abortions= less liberals.

  • nobama1267

    It’s too bad the mother’s of these women didn’t have the choice to abort them.

  • James Janda

    None of these antics by liberal congresswomen matter diddly to the 20+ week living child about to get killed, painfully.
    So whoop it up all you want, you despicable infanticide lovers, but your whole charade is being exposed slowly, but surely, and the next generation is on to the BS you’ve been peddling for the past 30 years, and they don’t like it one bit. Just look at the polls and you will see that the abortion lovers are losing the battle badly. And rightfully so.

  • JINNASH

    Baby killers

  • Jeff Minch

    Of course, Democrats and members of the MSM denounced Gosnell repeatedly (when forced to) and said that what he was doing was horribly wrong…they just couldn’t say specifically why.

  • nobama1267

    They all better pray there is no God.

    • Timothy Lane

      Oh, they quite happily believe in a god — Moloch.

  • pabarge

    1. It’s Austin. It’s not Texas
    2. Texas Monthly is a notorious left-wing magazine with a barely-restrained penchant for bashing everyone else in the state who is not Liberal.
    3. Cecile Richards? The word “ghoul” comes to mind.

  • MollieZHemingway

    Friends, just a reminder to adhere to our commenting rules. Most importantly, don’t debate personal views — keep comments focused on mainstream media coverage.

  • Florin S.

    June 26th, From what I understand this bill would have protected women…enabled them to receive good medical care if anything went wrong, etc…so the filibuster was to prevent good care being given to a woman. Pregnancy Resource Centers are over regulated while for years abortion facilities were not – and are not – regulated which is why we have the ‘Gosnells’ (he is not a rarity)…and how does anyone have the audacity to tell a woman that having her tiny baby cut to pieces inside her – feeling excruciaating pain – is good for the woman???? These women need to go and watch the baby being dismembered and the tiny hands and feet sucked out of the womb and counted…all the parts of the mother’s baby laid out on a table…and let’s not forget that Planned Parenthood at the behest of their founder Margaret Sanger targets blacks and Hispanics which is why they place their abortuaries in poor neighborhoods…how have we descended into such barbarism that we kill our young. Pelosi has more respect for the life of a fish than for the life of a human…

  • BoSplosion

    What would the Washington Post be writing if NRA members shouted down and disrupted the certain passage of a gun control bill? Would the word “heroes” be used? Hell no. It would be “nazis”, “fascists” and “thugs.”

    To be a hero in the American media today, you need tears and hysterics to advocate for the elective killing of the unborn.

  • Corky214

    How, oh how, can any thinking person believe that abortion after 20 weeks is a) a moral good and b) an assault on women’s rights? Medical exception due to the life of mother or baby with physical development problems causing that baby to be unviable, fine. Rare..but fine.
    Other than that…
    a) How can so many woman be so stupid as to not prevent pregnancy;
    b) How can a woman not address her pregnancy for five months if she has determined she will not have the baby;
    c) And how callous, cold, and immoral a society are we to call the desire to protect a baby late second quarter as an assault on women’s rights? It is an insult to any moral person…any thinking person…and that includes most women.
    A pro-choice woman disgusted, truly disgusted at this extreme view of women’s rights.
    What about the child?

    • naxet1

      I read that Governor Perry is calling for a second special session of the Legislature to address abortion issues and legislation. Thankfully, he is standing up to the “mob” of disruptive “guests” in the gallery who prevented a final vote on the Senate Bill. So the expense of this unnecessary session should be paid for by the Democratic Party of TX who orchestrated the loud rebellion thereby preventing the business of the Senate. It is amazing to me that these ProChoice people care more for animals that humans. These babies are created in the image of God. the Creator and He will NOT be mocked. His judgement will fall upon a society than condones, encourages and has legalized the slaughter of billions of innocent babies over the last fifty years.

      • NavyBlues05

        What about a Muslim woman living in Texas who is now probably unable to find affordable prenatal care? Bet you think she should be forced to convert at a theocratic CPC after they provide the only thing they “might” be able to provide… an ultrasound by non-medical personnel. Emperor Perry’s misguided attempts at banning abortion tossed thousands of women and families to the “Christian Wolves” who are merely searching for God Points. Fetus first, infant second… so called conservative women are merely incubators and submissive tools in Texas.

        • naxet1

          You need to read the Bill and not just the leftist headlines and sound bytes in the media. All women need to have access to free prenatal care and it is available in Texas faith based medical clinics and government run clinics, but going to abortion mills is not the place to find it. A culture of free abortions “on demand” and throw away babies is inhumane and ungodly. Your superior attitude reflected in your critical slurs and prejudicial words only shows ignorance and hate.

        • FW Ken

          Bet you think…

          Bet you’d lose the bet.

          I worked for Catholic Services with Buddhists, Muslims, and non-Catholic Christians, serving pretty much all of those groups without discrimination.

          Here’s an article on how Catholics actually do inter-religious social services:

          http://www.sun-sentinel.com/florida-jewish-journal/news/broward-county-news/fl-jjbs-hospice-0627-20130625,0,648753.story

        • Corky214

          You are nuts. You also need to read the bill. There is nothing in that bill that prevents necessary medical checks or treatment. Abortion is also still legal…up to 20 weeks.
          What Christian wolves? Are you suggesting that Muslims, Jews, and atheists want to abort after 20 weeks? Hardly. Get your facts straight. You sound like a fool.

    • http://WiredPen.com/ kegill

      20 weeks != 5 months pregnant. It’s 4.5 months.
      This bill – opposed by doctors, not written by physicians – redefines how pregnancy is measured: 20 weeks from gestation instead of from the last day of a woman’s last menstrual cycle.

      • Corky214

        So, is your point? That abortion is okay then?

  • landru

    What Republicans need to do is point out repeatedly that what they are proposing is essentially no different from current law in most European countries. The UK has a 24 week limit for elective abortions-a fairly recent vote to reduce it to 22 was only defeated by a 3-2 margin. One can make arguments about the difference between 24 and 20 weeks, but on the whole, what they are proposing is the norm in what the ‘progressives’ repeatedly point to as a model. They need to start making this case to blunt the accusations of being extremists and start pointing the arrow at who are really the extremists here.

    • FW Ken

      Sweden has an 18 week limit and France 12 weeks. Both allow panels of doctors to make exceptions to that limit. Oddly enough, I haven’t seen such comparisons in news coverage I’ve read. Only claims like that below that pro-lifers willing to compromise to 20 weeks are ” rabid social conservatives”. Reading coverage and commentary this week (I’m interested partly because Davis is my state senator), I’m glad this particular media narrative, bolstered by extensive commentary, is in the public domain.

  • rraider1961

    Folks let’s all be more objective here. The primary issue for the protesters and those against SB5 is that the parameters of the bill would virtually eliminate access to any abortions within the state of Texas. SB5 is an attempt by the rabid social conservatives in charge of Texas politics to subvert federal law and make access to abortions non-existent. As a purely political move it is brilliant; they get what they want and can hide behind being concerned about the health of women. But make no mistake, their goal is not to end abortion after 20 weeks–it is to end all access.

    • Jz Jz

      Why can’t they raise their standard of care? There is not reason they have to shut down.

    • NavyBlues05

      Raising standards is one thing, pricing clinics out of providing health services to women is another. Emperor Perry’s first attempt at banning abortion tossed thousands of women in rural communities out of affordable care. Under SB5, west Texas will be subjected to NO affordable access to abortion services, let alone prenatal care, well baby check ups, pap smears, breast cancer screenings. The obvious Theocratic Texas agenda is to protect the fetus but condemn the women carrying them. What does Emperor Perry expect low income families to do for health care, pray? His kingdom is going to come crashing down around his well groomed but empty head should he keep marginalizing the poor.

      • FW Ken

        pricing clinics out of providing health services to women is another.

        Abortion is a lucrative business. Pricing includes the owners’ profits. Why do you oppose women’s safety so abortionists can get richer?

      • Corky214

        You are wrong in your facts. But…consider the following approach…just a thought. How about women using some birth control? There is a condom availble on virtually every corner. There are clinics with FREE birth control in every county.
        Just a thought.

    • j011254

      Considering the majority of abortions in this country are done by Planned Parenthood, a hundreds of millions of dollars a year company, there should be no reason for Planned Parenthood clinics not to meet industry standards as other hospitals and clinics must do.

    • John Pack Lambert

      No, we should judge a bill by its words, not lies like you are spreading. If all the clinic in Texas do not live up to basic standards of decency, than the should all be closed.

  • subframer

    first of all, kliff is a staggering idiot. second, you’ll find no greater champion of the double standard than middle aged “progressive” female reporters. blinded by toxic ideology, they simply fail to do their jobs, over and over again. whether it’s properly vetting obama, reporting with an even hand on abortion, whatever, these shrill hacks are middling political ops masquerading as journalists. they should be regarded as the loathsome bottom feeders that they are.

  • tv22

    We have friends who have remarkable daughters born around the 20 week mark. They are fine young women today. Funny how some people will fight to give a baby a life and others just want to kill them.

    • http://WiredPen.com/ kegill

      I have to call bull on this claim:

      World’s most premature baby, born at 21 weeks and five days, goes home to her delighted parents
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1380282/Earliest-surviving-premature-baby-goes-home-parents.html

      • tv22

        “around the 20 week mark”. I may have been off by a couple of weeks. Baby 1 was a less than 2 pounds, you could almost hold her in the palm of your hands if you could have held her. She spent months in neo-natal care. Maybe it was 24, it was definitely around 5 months.

        Either way, your post validates that killing the baby at that time is killing a viable soul that could survive with proper medical attention. This time is only going to get earlier as medical advances occur. It is hardly draconian to put such a limit on it. 20 weeks is plenty of time to decide if you want murder the baby you created.

  • Darian G. Burns

    What Wendy and her team of protesters were trying to do was block a bill that would have made it illegal to deliberately kill an unborn child after 20 weeks of pregnancy. And that is a disgrace.

  • karentownsend

    Here are the tweets Greider posted as the filibuster raged on: http://ponderingpenguin.blogspot.com/2013/06/governor-perry-calls-second-special.html

  • Kevin

    What often gets lost in the debate is the state of the “fetus” when these abortions occur. I have no problem with ending the pregnancy when the fetus is first forming but they develop alpha brain waves at about 6-8 weeks. At that point it would be killing a sentient life to abort. That just doesn’t sound like something anyone should do.

  • Pat Geary

    Great article.

  • Erica Grieder

    Thanks for taking an interest in the Texas legislature. Here’s my full recap of what happened Tuesday/Wednesday morning: http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/bill-killed-star-born

  • dlei

    The mainstream media in America has absolutely no fairness and no balance about it. They dont even pretend, although many journalists continue to delude themselves in thinking they present both sides of the story.

    Doesn’t happen. Period.

    They are nothing but empty cheerleaders for everything liberal. Convinced they are right and condescending in their perceived superiority.

    • http://WiredPen.com/ kegill

      The MSM in this country did not cover the floor debate or filibuster. They ignored it.

      • DearbornGuy

        kegill – you clearly don’t understand what MSM is. One look at Google News that day and you could have seen live coverage of the filibuster from anywhere in this country.

  • dlei

    But, if you think about it, journalists CAN’T be fair. If they actually reported what was happening, they would have to acknowledge that a 20-week old fetus is a viable, living entity.

    Abortion kills that fetus.

  • Lucian

    It’s not cheering for abortion, it’s cheering that yet another Christian Imam revolution has been put down.

  • FW Ken

    Thank you for spiking comments on this thread, including a couple of mine. I know I got into the issue rather than the journalism, and offer my apologies to mollie and the others.
    But I do have a journalism question. Is there any good analysis of the actual events the other night? I did find a delightfully biased editorial in the Economist that purports to analyze procedural violations, at least on the Republican side.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/06/democracy-texas

    By way of reparations for my sins, may I offer this article from the Dallas Morning News. I thought it was pretty good although it didn’t answer my fundamental question. Were rules broken by Lt. Gov Dewhurst? By Wendy Davis? By the shouting mob? By Senate Democrats who egged them on?
    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/headlines/20130625-chaos-erupts-in-texas-senate-after-filibuster-over-abortion-measure.ece

    • http://WiredPen.com/ kegill

      Thank you for the link to The Economist. I find it amusing that you read it as “delightfully biased”. As analysts noted in real time, the decision to identify a comment as germane can be made within very wide (aka gray) parameters. In other words, “germane” is in the eye of the beholder – and if the beholder who is holding the gavel decides it’s not germane, well there is no opportunity for argument.

      • FW Ken

        I enjoy blatant bias, which the editorial was. I’m was always a fan of Bill Moyer, because I knew what I was getting. His shows were also interesting and thoughtful, not just the same old tedious leftist nonsense. Unfortunately, most political commentary, left and right, is tedious and mindless.
        Of course, in a gray area, Dewhurst will come down on his side, as a Democrat in that position would come down on his side. This is where unabiased reporting comes in handy: were Dewhurst’s actions actual violations? Did he unfairly shut down Davis? Why would he do that, knowing the governor would just call another session anyway?

    • http://WiredPen.com/ kegill

      But clearly the decision to ignore Sen Leticia Van de Putte in favor of a Republican colleague was a partisan one. Was it a violation of the Senate’s own rules? I don’t know, but have a procedural vote after the clock struck 12 and then calling for the vote on the bill after that … well, that was (a) a violation of rules and (b) intentional. As was changing the official vote record to a time before midnight. The Economist didn’t even talk about that infraction in its coverage.

  • j011254

    One would do well if they were to look with skepticism at what so-called journalists write. It is no wonder that Richards was tossed softballs, the journalism class is basically in her hip pocket anyway. You don’t bite the hand that feeds. We can not expect journalists to actually do what everyone claims they do, be the watchdog on government excess. They are to embedded with government to ever do more than bark occasionally.

  • Erica Grieder

    Thank you, Mollie, for correcting your startling, though no doubt unintentional, misrepresentation of what Americans believe. 71% of Americans, according to the Gallup poll taken two years ago that is embedded in this post (although not linked, and not corresponding to the link you provide) think second-trimester abortions are “generally illegal.” That is, indeed, meaningfully different from your previous assertion that 71% of Americans think abortions after 12 weeks should be “flat-out illegal,” and I am sure that many of your fellow Americans can appreciate the difference.

    I still think your personal attack on me is ludicrous and lacks intellectual integrity, but bless your heart.

    • Rol_Texas

      I would think you would have been so ashamed of those softball interview questions that you wouldn’t have commented here. Reads like PR Newswire…

  • Unwound

    For those of you who are bismirching TxMonthly’s information or integrity, you’ve obviously never read Paul Burka’s blog.

  • http://WiredPen.com/ kegill

    Funny how everyone here is focusing on the 20-week limit. This is a WHOLE lot of angst to shut the door on less than 2% of all the abortions in the country. But that’s because 20 weeks is the red herring here. The goal of the bill is to make any abortion extremely hard to get because the bill closes 37 of 42 facilities in the 2nd largest state (in square miles) in the country. That’s the real goal of the bill, not the 22 weeks pregnant part.

  • John Pack Lambert

    Journalism on this issue has become a sham.


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