Oh, Texas…

Texas appears to be gearing up for the election season, which seems a tad early given that it’s still mid-February.  I am aware that primary races are held early in the year, but that’s not what I’m referring to.  What I am talking about is the Republican party’s proposed ballot propositions.

More on that, including a rundown of the propositions,

Ballot Proposition #1: Photo ID-The Texas legislature should make it a priority to protect the integrity of our election process by enacting legislation that requires voters to provide valid photo identification in order to cast a ballot in any and all elections conducted in the State of Texas.  YES OR NO

This could be an issue, but isn’t the current process to show your voting ID card?  Last I checked, or at least in the two states where I’ve been registered to vote, you needed a photo ID to get a voter’s ID.  Ergo, since it’s required that you provide photo ID to get it, it should work as an extension of your ID, if only for voting.

Ballot Proposition #2: Controlling Government Growth-Every government body in Texas should be required to limit any annual increase in its budget and spending to the combined increase of population and inflation unless it first gets voter approval to exceed the allowed annual growth or in the case of an official emergency.  YES OR NO

I don’t know enough about economics and government budgeting/accounting to comment on this one.

Ballot Proposition #3: Cutting Federal Income Taxes-In addition to aggressively eliminating irresponsible federal spending, Congress should empowerAmerican citizens to stimulate the economy by Congress cutting federal income taxes for all federal taxpayers, rather than spending hundreds of billions of dollars on so-called “federal economic stimulus”.  YES OR NO

Okay, first of all, how is a Texan bill going to force the Federal Congress to do their bidding?  I … don’t think government works quite like that.

Second, how do they propose to fund their pet programs [like wars] without income?

Ballot Proposition #4: Public Acknowledgement of God-The use of the word “God”, prayers, and the Ten Commandments should be allowed at public gatherings and public educational institutions, as well as be permitted on government buildings and propoerty.  YES OR NO

We are not a Christian nation, and people should not act like Christianity is the only allowable religion in this nation.

And now we come to the big one, the real reason I’m talking about Texas today.

Ballot Proposition #5: Sonograms-The Texas Legislature should enact legislation requiring a sonogram to be performed and shown to each mother about to undergo a medically unnecessary, elective abortion.  YES OR NO

Ah, yes, my absolute favorite way of changing the legality of abortion: SLUT SHAMING.  That’s all this proposition really is, because what other reason would there be to force a woman to view the clump of cells she wants removed?

While there may be some women, particularly younger women who are unsure of themselves and not used to standing up for their rights, who will be swayed by seeing a clump of cells on a black and white screen, many others [including myself] would look at it, shrug, and ask when the abortion is scheduled for.  It is incongruous to expect that seeing a sonogram [something that is notoriously difficult to interpret, especially if you’re looking at a 6w fetus] will change someone’s mind automatically, just as it is incongruous to expect that all women will be depressed after an abortion.

Really though, this is just the latest in a long line of a] presuming that women don’t know what they want, b] that women aren’t able to take care of their own affairs, and c] that anyone but the woman herself has any right to control her body.  It’s like saying that a woman can’t possibly take care of her own accounts, and she should get married right away so that Her Man™ can do all the hard work for her.  And even considering how far women’s rights have come since the beginning of the 20th Century, it’s disgusting that men [and some women!] think that a woman can’t possibly know what she wants.

One thing I don’t see addressed in the proposition is the question of payment.  Who will be paying for these sonograms, the state or the woman wanting an abortion?  I would assume that since it is not mentioned in the ballot that it is “assumed” the state will have no part in paying for it.  Sonograms, without insurance, can run anywhere from $100 to $500, and that on top of the cost of an abortion [anywhere from $250-900] it can ruin someone.  Which, honestly, is probably why they did it – so that poor women will be forced to carry their pregnancies to term.

The problem with that line of thinking, however, is summed up by the phrase “life begins at conception and ends at birth.”  They don’t care about supporting women, single mothers, children born into poverty.  They don’t care that women who have children because they can’t afford the abortion will either go on “welfare” [thus prompting the cries of “welfare queen/mother!”] or will abandon them, causing even more strain on the system needed to support foster and homeless children. All they care about is their fetus fetish, and let anything else drop.

Another issue is that this is a blatant prod at Roe v Wade, and if this stands, it’s just another law on the way to removing a legal procedure.  For years proponents of women’s rights have been crying that people will try to overturn that fateful decision, and yet instead of speaking out against these small attacks, they run around like Chicken Little at the thought of an overturn.  How about this – try and uphold the right for legal abortion on a state level, not just a federal level.

I look at this list of propositions and I just shake my head.  I’ve seen far too many things in this world to be shocked that people will try to do things like this.  I’m just sad that instead of trying to make it blatantly illegal, EG a full abortion ban, they attack the women taking advantage of a legal procedure, try to shame them out of it instead of offering help at the most basic level.

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