Texas Republican lawmaker Matt Schaefer, representing the 7th District, proposed an amendment last week that would make it illegal to have an abortion after 20 weeks. According to some of his Republican colleagues, this amendment proposal caused a massive outrage within the party. They claimed the proposal was outrageous.
Schaefer’s amendment would impose restrictions that would not allow for an abortion even if the woman’s fetus, “has a severe and irreversible abnormality.” This would create trouble with families that have an unsustainable quality of living if their child is brought into the world. It could possibly create a lifetime of constant medical care for the child. Moreover, it would essentially allow the government to regulate the terminations of fetuses against the advice of doctors and against the expecting mother’s wishes.
Other possibly major medical problems can happen to an expectant mother. if Schaefer’s amendment is passed. An expecting mother could have a medical problem with the unborn child that could not allow it survive, making the mother suffer from sepsis by carrying a nonviable fetus. Although this would add much more emotional, possibly physical, pain on the mother and the family, Schaefer said that, “suffering is part of the human condition, since sin entered the world.” The lawmaker has been convincing his party faithful that a more religous stance should be taken in regards to abortion laws and the rights of a fetus.
Jessica Farrar, the Democratic representative of the city of Houston, vehemently opposes the new abortion amendment proposal. She claimed that, “this is the most misogynistic piece of legislation she’s seen during her 21 years in office.” Even though many are outraged by Schaefer’s outrageous abortion amendment proposal, the new amendment proposal passed, but he removed it from being voted on officially after Trey Martinez, a House Democrat from the city of San Antonio, filed a legislative point of order against the abortion proposal. the point of order was filed by Martinez due to the fact that the thought the rules were broken by his proposal
Some pro-choice activists claim that lawmakers have a negative impression about women and that they do not have any moral sense or sympathy to a unborn child. Molly Ivns, a frequent commentator on the abortion legislation and the rights of women and fetuses, stated that late-term abortions will lead to a possible situation when, “the mother is going to die, the child is going to die, or both are going to die.
After Schaefer made his proposal, Republican lawmakers were apparently disgusted by his rhetoric. His Republican colleagues stated that the proposal is a, “cruel and unnecessary intrusion,” into the rights of women and the lives of grieving families. Republican lawmaker J.D. Sheffield, representing Gatesville, Texas, said, “Why should the heavy, blunt hand of the government come into that mot heartrending decision?”
Opposers of more abortion restrictions have stated that there seems to be a constant effort by Republican lawmakers to control the rights of women and what they can do with their own bodies. Though, there have been nonstop efforts by pro-choice activists in the public and in legislative halls fighting for the right that a women can control what happens to her body. Activists claim that if Schaefer’s amendment passes in the Texas legislature, then women seeking abortions will turn to the route of illegal abortions, often dangerous and painful for the mother and fetus. They stated that the pro-choice fight will not be solved in lifetime of the current generation, but they have hope that it will end in the lifetimes of their children.
By Alex Lemieux
Photo by Stuart Seeger – Creativecommons Flickr License