From the Texas Tribune:
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony Tuesday on legislation that would tighten abortion restrictions.
Senate Bill 97 requires physicians to personally administer the two-drug cocktail that induces a medical abortion, which must be taken 24 hours apart, and to see the patient for a follow-up appointment within 14 days. The bill also requires physicians performing abortions to put existing verbal agreements with back-up physicians into written contracts, so that the state can track the names of doctors with hospital privileges that are willing to treat abortion patients in emergency situations.
It is not my intention to debate the merits of this bill. My interest in it comes from a different direction. My question is this: Have the Republicans forgotten that there was an election last November? This bill is a dagger to the heart—of Patrick's own party. It is anathema to one of the constituencies that is a crucial part of the Democratic coalition that won the election: college-educated women. Has Senator Patrick forgotten the name of Todd Akin? Of Robert Mourdock? Of Sandra Fluke?
This bill is a case study of why Republicans are losing national elections. They do not have a clue about the nature of the coalition that defeated them. If one reflects on what the Legislature has done over the past four years, beginning with 2009, the main thrust of its efforts has not been to improve the lives of ordinary Texans. It has been to harm and harass the constituencies that threaten them. Hence the Legislature has passed Voter I.D. legislation, gerrymandered redistricting maps, restrictions on the conduct of elections, huge cuts in public education, a dismembered women's health program, the burden of all of which fall on the constituencies that make up the Democratic coalition. The irony is that Republicans are doing their part to turn Texas blue.
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