Over at Vanity Fair, contributing editor Kurt Eichenwald and his wife Theresa have decided to open up their personal lives to focus attention on what the Texas forced birthers have done with the new laws attacking abortion rights in that state.
In a powerful article, the Eichenwalds reveal that Theresa has breast cancer, recently diagnosed, and how that has fed their anger at the Texas legislature that is limiting women's options for treatment of breast cancer if they are poor.
The piece, which I STRONGLY urge you to read if you care about this topic, sets aside the debate about limiting abortions to 20 weeks (although the Eichenwalds do call the idea "scientific nonsense) and instead focuses on the impact this will have on poor women. Because the law will cause the shutdown of some of the few remaining clinics that offer free diagnostic and treatment to women, they will be left out in the cold.
In explaining the reason for revealing Theresa's cancer, the piece says:
There is no question that, in their obsession with zygotes, embryos, and non-viable fetuses as part of their supposed pro-life stance, (Republicans) are effectively murdering real, walking, talking women—mothers and daughters, grandmothers and sisters, all sacrificed on an altar of Pecksniffian hypocrisy and contemptible disregard by people who have the insurance, connections, and available health care to feel certain their politics won’t kill their loved ones. Perhaps Theresa and I are re-directing our anger from the cancer, but so be it; our rage has focused on the financially comfortable, morally blind, and arrogantly self-righteous who tyrannically conspire to rob poor women of years of life they might otherwise have. It is for this reason that Theresa is willing to disclose her condition, in hopes that, in doing so, we will help highlight how politicians are blithely choosing to kill women who are not as fortunate as she is.The piece goes on to explain what the law does, how it will work, and how it will block poor women from having access to breast care. Then, the Eichenwalds describe in brutal detail how the sponsors of the Texas law (primarily Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, the bill’s author) not only don't understand the meaning of some of the terms in the legislation, but don't even know what's in it. The piece then goes into full attack mode.
Since you don’t understand the issue beyond your desire to limit abortions, Rep. Laubenberg, let me put the meaning of what you have done in clear terms: through your ignorance or incompetence or general lack of interest in the well-being of people who don’t look like you or have your size bank account, you will be responsible for the deaths of untold numbers of Texas women. You, Rep. Laubenberg, will be a murderer, no different than some street punk who shoots up a liquor store. His weapon is a gun; yours, a smug satisfaction with your limited understanding of health policy. If Theresa and I were among the rural poor, she would now almost certainly be one the many people you would kill as a result of her inability to gain access to breast screenings. And for that, you deserve not only our contempt, but the contempt of every decent human being with the humility and intelligence to recognize the impact of the legislation you have “written,” yet aren’t bright enough to understand.The piece goes on to cite chapter and verse on this impact, and even quotes the Eichenwald's own cancer pathologist as she complains that, while she and her colleagues are part of a network that provides free breast care, the Texas forced birth law will now block poor people from finding them.
It is a powerful and important piece. Everyone should read it.