Is Texas Ready to be the New Wisconsin?
This week's battle at the Texas Capitol left progressives elated and the Obama administration feeling very empowered. Their "Wisconsin-like" thug gallery proved successful in postponing the will of the people in Texas. Needless to say, Wendy and Crew energized the base and they are ready to take on the special session called for by Gov. Perry.
In this afternoon's email, MoveOn.org is encouraging their Texas followers to use another "Wisconsin-like" tactic to further thwart the will of the people:
The Texas Constitution requires 100 representatives—two-thirds of the 150-member House—to conduct business in the lower chamber. There are only 95 Republicans in the House and 19 Republican Senators. Without the participation of Democratic lawmakers, neither chamber of the legislature would have the quorum necessary to do business.
A special session can run for as long as 30 days, so there is no chance of a filibuster or parliamentary delay to prevent the passage of a draconian anti-choice bill that would severely limit women's reproductive health options in Texas.
This legislation would close 37 of the 42 clinics that offer abortion services in Texas, and outlaw abortion at 20 weeks, even though federal law allows for abortions until 28 weeks. Passage of legislation of this kind will not result in a decrease in the number of abortions but rather will reduce the number of safe options that a woman has by putting the legislature between her and her doctor in regards to her reproductive health and future.
Knowing what they have in store and knowing how their tactics were used in Wisconsin, there is no reason for Texas lawmakers to come into the new session unprepared. Seems like they might want to spend their 4th of July holiday studying the events and tactics used in Wisconsin and start preparing now. The good people of Texas are counting on it.
Note: Despite what you may have heard elsewhere, the majority of Texans support "fetal pain" legislation according to poll results published in March:
Most Texans favor a so-called fetal pain proposal to outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.