Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

When people chant, “Hail Satan,” they’re at a ritual, not a political protest. So all Hell broke loose (pun intended) when Texas Governor Rick Perry called a special session to pass the pro-life bill previously filibustered the other week by State Senator Wendy Davis.  But while Senator Davis and the countless other protestors claimed it was a “war on women,” the Texas House Representatives were casting a vote that could potentially save the lives of future women seeking an abortion.

The Texas abortion bill, known as the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” includes multiple medical provisions geared toward the health and safety of those seeking an abortion before twenty weeks.  It’s no big secret that abortion clinics are held at a different standard than other medical-treatment facilities.  But shouldn’t the patients at abortion clinics receive the same degree of care as required of other medical clinics? Texas thought so, and so they passed the Fetal Pain Bill, which requires abortion doctors have admitting privileges to a local hospital within thirty miles.  Doctors and their staff are also required to give patients their contact information.  Physicians are further required to report any complications or issues that arise from abortifacients to the FDA.  This will allow the FDA to evaluate the negative effects from the abortifacients and decide whether or not to keep it on the market.

As the protesters stood on the steps and chanted, “Hail Satan,” they forgot a major point in the bill they were protesting. Even though the bill limits abortion after twenty weeks, it also focuses on a legitimate concern for the well-being of women.  The “attack on women” they aggressively fought was a measure to raise the standards at which abortion clinics are held, and thus help keep women safe, not strip away their rights.  Despite the fight, the Texas abortion bill was a major step in the pro-life movement across the nation.