Several weeks ago, I published a blog post entitled "Ram It Through: On Republican Abortion Bills." There, I briefly discussed the recidivistic anti-abortion bills Rick Perry and the Republican-dominated Texas legislature were attempting to put through. While these measures were problematic enough, a just-published blog from Ms. Magazine reveals that the governor may soon submit more legislation that makes it difficult for women (and especially low-income women) to access abortion services. In "What's Next In Texas?," Amelia Rosch notes that House Bill 59-which would ban abortions after six weeks-may soon be on the table for discussion. However, if the bill were to pass, it would only go into effect in the event that Roe vs. Wade were overturned. Hmm.
Patriarchal power has a certain inalienable and importunate portent about it. Ostensibly omnipotent, its maneuvers are akin to a surreptitious cat which-in being perpetually observant and intrusive-stands ready to pounce upon its prey at any moment. And the prey-as it must be in a world that operates according to androcentric interpretations of the universe-is women. Although thinking citizens that reverence life can and should engage in perpetual debates regarding whether or not having an abortion constitutes a moral decision or amounts to murder, the fact that delegalizing it will have a profoundly negative effect on women-especially poor women-is clear. Why Republican legislators continue creating bills that can compromise women's health and freedom, on the other hand, is not. (Unless one posits that the act is motivated by attempting to arouse the approval of a perpetually shrinking conservative base who views the advancement of its pro-life agenda as a manifestation of propriety or some vaguely defined and perhaps superfluous sort of purity.)
I hope this bill doesn't move forward for many reasons, including the fact that it could catalyze conservative Christians and other like-minded right-wing groups to pursue a new era of political atavism with new rigor, vim. I envision this era as one that is eerily similar to the anti-ERA movement that conservative Republican Phyllis Schlafly and others exacted in the 70s and 80s. Although I had hoped that type of ideological regression would now be deemed anachronistic and absurd, it seems that Rick Perry has the power to usher in a brand new season of arrant, unabashedly sexist legal maneuvers. And that's a scary, stifling shame.