In March, Heather Busby of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas complained about these regulations in The Texas Observer. “It’s ridiculous,” she said, “to argue that ‘Oh, abortion clinics can just simply comply with the regulations’ when we know those regulations are costly.” This is a quite astonishing thing to hear. Have we finally found the one thing that progressives do not wish to regulate? If so, what are we to make of that one thing’s being the buildings in which unborn children are murdered? If “safe, legal, and rare” is more than just another rhetorical dodge, now is the time to show it.
Unlike the chanting members of Tuesday evening’s zeitgeist, I do not stand with Wendy and, unless you wish to be an extremist, nor should you. Gallup records that 80 percent of Americans think that abortion should be illegal in the third trimester, and 64 percent think that it should be illegal in the second trimester. Americans in general favor Texas’s bill by 48 percent to 44 percent, with women supporting the measure in greater numbers than men. Sixty-two percent of Texans support “prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks.” It is not the friends of Texas’s bill that are out on a limb, but its enemies.
As a rule, people winning wider political battles do not invade their legislatures and scream. On Tuesday night, demonstrating a combination of genuine media savvy and animalistic frustration at not getting their own way, the diehards in the crowd shouted loudly enough to kill a bill that the majority wants. They will not prevail for long.