May 16, 2005
Speaking of sneaky tricks

Remember how I talked about crunch time and the odious things that can get snuck into otherwise innocuous bills as amendments? This is a good example of what I'm talking about.

Will Hartnett gets our first Sneaky Legislator Award.


[R]elating to the continuation and functions of the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners, Texas State Board of Physician Assistant Examiners, and Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners and the regulation of health care professions regulated by those state agencies; providing administrative penalties.

He's attached an amendment being debated right now to ban late-term abortions. Texas already bans third trimester abortions and would put current code language in conflict with this language.

What does that bill have to do with abortion? Not a damn thing, but the amendment appears to have been accepted anyway. Hey, it's not like the House has anything better to do in the two weeks it has left, right? See In the Pink and Rep. Aaron Pena for more.

UPDATE: The news just gets better and better. An amendment to include the guts of HB1212, the parental-consent bill, was also tacked on. Both were passed by depressingly large margins, too. Some days it's hard to stay positive, you know?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 16, 2005 to That's our Lege | TrackBack

I thought the third trimester amendment got tabled by a fairly wide margin?

Posted by: Brock Batsell on May 16, 2005 10:18 PM

What the linked article says:

One amendment, passed 117-19, would change state law that now requires parental notification for minors who seek abortions. An attempt last week to pass a similar House bill failed when opponents raised a technicality.

Gov. Rick Perry has said he would sign consent legislation.

The House also voted, 118-16, to allow the board to strip a physician's license if he or she performs a third-trimester abortion on any woman unless a doctor has found that the procedure is necessary to save the woman's life or that carrying the child to term would cause severe paralysis or mental damage.

So, unfortunately, no.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on May 17, 2005 5:46 AM

Those large majorities passing their amendments in democratic regimes is scandalous, eh?! :)

Posted by: kevin whited on May 17, 2005 8:37 AM

The wording sounds facially invalid under Roe v. Wade, which protects the right to abortion if necessary to protect a woman's health. The Lege can't pick and choose which health risks are acceptable reasons for abortion and which aren't. (Of course the Lege is probably counting on Bush fixing that through non-filibusterable Supreme Court appointments, which makes it odd that they left "mental damage" in as a valid reason for a late-term abortion. And while I'm at it, what kind of "paralysis" is there that isn't "severe?")

And let's face it - abortions at this stage simply aren't performed on viable fetuses. "Protecting" the "life" of a fetus who is doomed to die anyway gives the lie to the claim of abortion opponents to be "pro-life," but it lets the pols beat up on the nonexistent bogeyman of the woman who endures 8 months of pregnancy, then decides on a whim she doesn't want a baby after all. Yeah, right.

Posted by: Mathwiz on May 23, 2005 2:56 PM