Mad Scientist of the Laboratories of Democracy: Loon Star State Edition


If you’re anything like me you probably avoid any deep dives into political news coming out of The Loon Star State.  Indeed, the original source of that advice to me was a Texan.  But sometimes, “needs must when the devil drives” . . .

So it is that in today’s special edition of Mad Scientists of the Laboratories of Democracy, I’ll be doing a group profile because there’s a lot of madness in the Texas state legislature.  The ladies above are the Republican contingent of the Texas Assembly who support the assault on Texan women’s right to choose an abortion.

The bill, touted by supporters as an effort to raise the standard of health care for women seeking an abortion, actually proposes wide-ranging restrictions that would effectively shut down most existing abortion clinics in Texas, making it difficult, if not impossible for Texans to obtain a safe, medically supervised abortion.

The bill would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, limit abortions to surgical centers and stipulate doctors must monitor even non-surgical abortions.

Because Texas’ population comes in at 26 million, the bill, if signed into law, would be the toughest anti-abortion law in the nation affecting the largest number of people.  And a lot of those people are not pleased. 

Assembly Democrats were able to stall the legislative process with the help of hundreds of pro-choice demonstrators who have been packing the capitol rotunda, filling the gallery and carrying out a “citizen’s filibuster” that dragged debate into the early morning hours of Sunday before a vote could be held.  Inevitably, the bill passed the Republican majority controlled assembly easily.

One of the highlights of that session was provided by the genius responsible for the bill, Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, who explained that there was no need to include exceptions for rape victims in the bill because . . . RAPE KITS!

In Rep. Laubenberg’s “own private Texas” rape kits are what ER staff use to “clean out” rape victims so they don’t get pregnant.  Little mini-abortions, as it were, and I guess Texas forensic specialists and law enforcement should be happy that Laubenberg is going to allow the use of rape kit “abortions” to continue . . . for now.

[One might reasonably ask how can someone that deluded actually write legislation? easy.  Rep. Laubenberg chairs the Texas chapter of ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council).  ALEC is the outfit helping to enshrine the Stupid, throughout America, via legislative boilerplate designed to make partisan extremists look sane.]

The whole business in Texas is so chock full of madness, it’s actually hard to choose highlights.  First a 30 day “special session” was added to the usual legislative calendar to ram this abortion bill through.  Democrats have been fairly adept at dragging the process out so that the legislation would be consigned to limbo until the regular calendar kicks back in.

Republicans have done everything possible to suspend the rule requiring that the bill sit for 24 hours before being taken up by the Senate for a vote.  A Democrat actually had to drop planning her father’s funeral and speed back to the State House to prevent that, yesterday.

As of 11 AM (CST) today, there will be exactly 13 hours left in the special session and one heroic Democrat, Sen. Wendy Davis, plans to talk her way through a filibuster to time out the special session. Barring any Republican “secret weapons,” Davis’ filibuster to run out the clock is eminently doable.

Godspeed, Sen. Davis.

Just for fun . . . here’s Doc Maddow’s colorful take on the issue:

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Posted by Bette Noir on 06/25/13 at 08:14 AM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsBedwettersWar On Women

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And chaos reigns at the end. 177,000 views on Youtube and I guess twitter is burning up. Wow.

This will look bad for the Repubs down there no matter what happens.

A lot of lawyers just got rich.

I guess I’ve never heard of a dangerous filibuster before, but that one might be.  Good luck to Wendy Davis.

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