The bill is only nine pages, which, in plain English, is the equivalent of about a paragraph. Here is my summary:
- Abortion clinics must have a licensed physician with admitting privileges to a hospital with ob/gyn services within 30 miles.
- Abortion clinics must let women use the phone.
- Abortion-inducing drugs ("medical abortions") must be prescribed and administered by doctors.
- Abortion clinics will be subject to the same standards and regulations as Ambulatory Surgical Centers.
That's it. Seriously. Read it for yourself.*
Now, I'm not exactly sure how requiring clinics to have a qualified doctor amounts to an attack on women's health. I'm still waiting for an explanation of that one.
I also can't figure out how requiring that doctor to have admitting privileges at a hospital (in case of complications) is at all controversial.
Maybe the bill's opponents are unaware that complications can occur? I guess they are just anti-science.
You may have heard some of the shrill critics of the bill suggesting that it will "shut down most of the abortion clinics in Texas." If that is true, those clinics must be shabby, back alley providers. Maybe they ought to be shut down. Maybe this is one of the lessons we should have learned from Kermit Gosnell, who was enabled by lax regulators to continue his horrifying practice.
You may be thinking, "wait a minute - the same regulations as a surgery center?!"
The sorts of "surgeries" performed at Ambulatory Surgical Centers include tonsillectomies, endoscopies, bunion removals and D&Cs. Haven't abortion proponents for years compared the procedure to tonsillectomies?
Another common procedure performed in an "Ambulatory Surgery Center" is a colonoscopy. Yet somehow, Texas men (and women) are able to get their bowels scoped despite these onerous regulations. Why would the same regulations "shut down" abortion clinics?
To be honest, I can only think of one reason to oppose this bill: because you think a man's bowels are more valuable than a woman's uterus.
* This is the "engrossed" version, meaning the one they were voting on for final passage, incorporating all adopted amendments. You will note that the provision restricting abortions after 20 weeks was removed by an amendment adopted a week prior to Sen. Davis' "heroic" filibuster. Regardless of the merits of that provision, it is not discussed here, because it was not part of the bill the mob shouted down. The only thing those opponents had left to oppose is requiring clinic sanitation and medical qualifications.