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A young woman holding a no wire hangers sign at a protest against a Senate Bill that would strictly regulate abortion in the state of Texas. July 1, 2013.
Texas Republicans continue their push to sharply limit access to abortion in the state by banning abortion after 20 weeks, closing most clinics by requiring them to meet standards for ambulatory surgical centers, requiring providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, making it more difficult to get a medical abortion, and more. More than 3,800 people showed up to testify or register their opinions at a state Senate committee hearing on Monday, supporters and opponents of the bill held dueling rallies, but regardless, Republican legislators are pushing forward.

In the state House Tuesday, state Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, the bill's author, rejected the possibility of amendments. And indeed, the Republican-controlled House defeated an amendment providing exceptions for rape or incest. Advocating for that amendment,

[State Rep. Senfronia] Thompson and others who accompanied her on the floor brandished several props including wire coat hangers, knitting needles, feathers and turpentine. She charged that without rape and incest exceptions extended beyond the first five months of gestation, sexual assault victims would use those tools to obtain abortions.

“Forced rape, forced incest and then you gonna force them to have their child, force them to do that against their will?” she said toward the conclusion of a highly graphic speech. At one point, she asked, “Why would you want to force them to drink turpentine or to use a knitting needle in order” to achieve an abortion.

Those are actually the stakes. We know—we know by looking at abortion rates in countries where it's illegal and through American history—that banning legal abortion doesn't stop abortion. It just makes it less safe, especially for poor and vulnerable women. That's what this law will do: make women unsafe, not prevent them from having abortions.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 12:42 PM PDT.

Also republished by Pro Choice, Abortion, Sluts, and Daily Kos.

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