Tag Archives: Dawnna Dukes

Texoblogosphere: Week of September 29th

The Texas Progressive Alliance hopes everyone read at least one banned book last week as it brings you this weeks’ roundup.

Off the Kuff presents interviews with two of the many dynamic and well-qualified Democratic women running for legislative offices this year, Rita Lucido in SD17 and Susan Criss in HD23.

Libby Shaw writing for Texas Kaos and Daily Kos laments the dire consequences of voting Republican or of not voting at all. Oh come on Texas, surely we can do better than THIS?

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. Abbott’s transportation TV ad is full of dissembling, Abbott’s Fundamentally Dishonest Transportation Ad.

Eric Holder was certainly not as bad as Alberto Gonzales, but his tenure as US attorney general still did not merit a passing grade, at least according to PDiddie at Brains and Eggs.

Neil at All People Have Value said there is no inherent conflict between involvement in traditional politics, while at the same time looking for non-conventional protests and movements as a way also to move society in a better direction. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

Though the new routes are far from being finalized,Texas Leftist shares that Houston METRO has now fully committed to the System Reimagining Plan. After this week’s vote by the METRO board, there’s no turning back.


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

SciGuy gives us a look at Russia’s astronaut training facility.

Newsdesk reports on Rep. Dawnna Dukes’ abortion disclosure.

The Great God Pan Is Dead argues for the elimination of art fairs.

Texas Clean Air Matters cheers Austin and San Antonio’s leadership in clean energy.

Andre Grimes points and laughs at Breitbart Texas.

The Bloggess encourages you to support your local no-kill animal shelter.

The TSTA blog calls out Greg Abbott for lying about his authority as AG to settle the school finance lawsuit.

The Current has more reporting on the shady practices and uninformed advice at crisis pregnancy centers.

Scott Braddock tells the tale of a wingnut catfight.


This week features pictures of Beaumont, Texas…










Myth EXPOSED: How Texas Democrats Nailed GOP on Abortion

For forcing a Special Session and protecting Women’s Rights, State Senator Wendy Davis is now a bonafide Texas hero. But as the bright spotlight has focused most of the attention on her, another huge part of the story has been overshadowed. As we head into a second Special Session, it’s critical to get this part of the story out to the world. And for this, you have to go over to the Texas House of Representatives, and their proceedings leading up to the bill’s arrival in the Senate. This is truly where the most important part of the fight happened, and it’s where to watch as the next round begins.

A big portion of these issues that’s getting muddled up in the national media coverage? These bills are not about a 20-week abortion ban. They are about closing health facilities. That’s why they set impossible goals for the facilities and doctors to meet. A Doctor’s office is not a hospital. If you have a cold or the flu (assuming you have health insurance), the first place that you go to is NOT going to be the ER. We have these places as separate facilities for a reason. But under the guise of HB60 and other TRAP laws, all facilities where a Doctor would give basic women’s health care have to be upgraded to “ER” status, Ambulatory Surgical Centers. This leaves Doctors with a nearly impossible choice… either spend Hundreds of Thousands of dollars to turn their small clinic into a full-fledged, fully staffed hospital, or close up shop.

Here’s an excerpt from an ABC News article, written by Emily DeRuy…

Republican Gov. Rick Perry says he’s fighting to protect the lives of unborn children, but he stands to hurt living, breathing Texans in the process.

Both men and women, particularly low-income minorities who are more likely to lack health insurance and medical-care options, rely on the “abortion clinics” for services like contraception, STD testing and even cancer screenings. One in four women in the state are uninsured.

“That is part of the concern that’s getting drowned out in the abortions versus pro-life soundbite,” Texas Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D) said during a Monday phone interview.

Right now, Texas has more than 40 clinics that not only perform abortions but also offer birth control and condoms. All but a handful will be prohibited from operating under the proposed bill. Those that could remain open are in a few urban areas, which would leave rural women with few options.

The restrictions “would represent a significant step backward for the health status of Texas women,” Dr. Lisa Hollier, chairwoman of the Texas District American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, wrote in testimony before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

Lawmakers in the Lone Star state barred Planned Parenthood from the state’s Women’s Health Program several years ago because the organization funds abortion clinics. The organization estimates that 130,000 women in Texas now go without preventive health care due to the state’s 2011 cuts to women’s health care funding.

Abortions make up just three percent of Planned Parenthood services in Texas, according to a spokeswoman for the organization. Thousands of women visit the organization’s clinics all over the state to receive STD treatments and other services. The organization also runs education programs to teach men and women how to avoid HIV and unwanted pregnancies.

Clinics not affiliated with Planned Parenthood provide similar services. The proposed law could force them to shutter their doors: In addition to banning abortions later than 20 weeks into a pregnancy, the bill requires abortion clinics to meet unusually high surgical standards and mandates that doctors who perform abortions must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic.

Many of the clinics don’t currently meet such standards and would have to either remodel, relocate, or shut down if they perform more than several dozen abortions in a year. This is despite the fact that few people suffer complications from abortions in current clinics.

So even after being opposed by Texas ACOG, Republicans have continued to push the omnibus bill. Thankfully, House Democrats had plan to at least expose the lie that the bill has anything to do with women’s health or safety. The Democratic caucus submitted a slew of amendments to weaken the bill. But in the process, they forced the House to vote on each issue, instead of just rushing the whole thing through. Take a look at some of the amendments…

Rep Naomi Gonzalez offered this amendment to strike “medical evidence” and substitute “evidence, defined as the great preponderance of published peer-reviewed and scientifically based medical literature, knowing that the science surrounding fetal pain in support of the bill is inaccurate.

This amendment caused bill Sponsor Jodie Laubenberg to openly question studies from both the American Medical Association and Harvard Law Review regarding fetal development. The one study she produced to counter the claim had already been debunked. Voted DOWN by the GOP

Rep Senfronia Thompson submitted an amendment to create an exemption to the 20-week ban for victims of rape and incest. Given how emotionally traumatic the situation, a woman may need more time to make a very difficult choice. Voted DOWN by the GOP

Rep Mary Gonzalez offered an amendment to exempt abortion facilities that are located more than 50 miles away from the next nearest provider. Given how large of a state Texas is, and how few options currently exist for comprehensive care, this helps to protect the rights of women in rural Texas, and actually anyone living West of San Antonio. If a woman is going to seek an abortion, surely the GOP legislators would want her to have at least one safe option near her, correct? Why discriminate against women and make them travel up to 500 miles just because you don’t agree with their decision? Yep, you guessed it… Voted DOWN by the GOP

Rep Donna Howard offered several amendments to change the strict codes regarding upgrades to an Ambulatory Surgical Center, citing that state law already requires any abortion performed after 16 weeks to be done in an ASC. She asked to create exemptions to the space and height requirements, and exorbitant construction costs. Voted DOWN by the GOP

Rep Eddie Rodriguez offered several amendments to give clinics, at the very least, six more months to adjust to a slew of expensive new regulations. The bill, if signed by Governor Perry, would be effective immediately. That means any clinic not already in compliance has to shut its doors. Even the most ardent supporter of the bill would have to assume that any business needs time to transition, right? Voted DOWN by the GOP

The other amendments and record of the full vote are available here.

All throughout the amendment process, House Reps Jessica Farrar, Dawnna Dukes, Trey Martinez-Fischer and others debated GOP members on why changes to the bill were needed. So there you have it… the GOP caucus doesn’t truly care about what’s best for Texas women, and they proved it through their votes. They don’t care how many Doctors have to get put out of business, or how many people lose critical reproductive care. If so, then they would have passed any of several amendments to make the legislation more realistic. The above affirms that for the GOP, this bill is all about ratcheting up the religious Right flank so they can stay in office. Be on the lookout for more amendments in the next round.

Also important to note… What was formerly HB60 and SB5 in the first Special Session have been renamed HB2 and SB9 for this session.

SB5 Falls: Wendy Davis, Texas Women Still Standing

American politics is a living, breathing thing. And it is constantly changing. Those changes occur in very small increments… A new people moving to an area, people talking at work, or learning about new neighbors. It’s difficult to actually see that change happening until we take a “snapshot” of it through an election.

But this week in the great state of Texas, we’ve gotten to witness a true political turning point. Like any real movement, it wasn’t cooked up by a couple of money big-wigs, but borne from the concerns of everyday Texans. Texans that were tired of living under the oppression of Perrystan and his minions in the lege. Texans have had enough.

On Thursday night, hundreds of Texans went to the Capitol and staged a Citizen’s Filibuster to slow down the GOP- Dominated House hearing on omnibus anti-abortion bills. After pushing the hearing long into the night, true Republican intransigence prevailed, as Committee Chairman Byron Cook decided that the testimony of his constituents was “too repetitive” and simply shut down the hearing, illegally blocking hundreds of protesters.

That fact was not lost on Texas state House Democrats however. As the Anti-Abortion bills moved to the House floor, Democrats lodged a true fight of their own, challenging Republicans at every turn with amendments to weaken the legislation (and get it caught in Conference. Reps Jessica Farrar, Senfronia Thompson, Dawnna Dukes and others fought valiantly to stall the legislation by keeping the House in session for nearly 15 hours. But true Republican intransigence prevailed, and the bills were finally passed Monday morning and moved to the Senate.

And that’s where this story took an epic turn.

State Senator Wendy Davis, a Ft. Worth Democrat who successfully defended her seat in a majority Republican district, had already proven herself a fighter, and a good politician. But she decided to take up the fight, and defend the rights of all Texas Women by staging a filibuster of the anti-abortion bill… SB5.

And with millions of Texas Women on her shoulders, Wendy Davis took to the Senate floor (in pink tennis shoes), and began one of the most significant 13-hour stands in Texas History. As the last line of defense, she held the floor, reading the testimonies of hundreds of women, including some of those that were originally shut out from that first House hearing. She stood and endured the grueling rules of Texas filibuster, which doesn’t all you to sit or even lean on your desk, and talked all the while. But of course, Republican intransigence once again prevailed, and just after 10pm, they effectively “killed” the filibuster. But with less than two hours to go, Senate Democrats rallied to slow revocation through a slew of Parliamentary Inquiry and Points of Order. As midnight approached, the crowd in the Senate Gallery began to roar with all their might, running down the clock before a vote could be cast. Republicans tried to lie and say that the vote occurred in time, but it was kind of hard to do with the whole world watching. Thanks to the bravery of Davis, Senate Democrats and others in the Chamber, Lt. Governor Dewhurst confirmed this morning… SB5 died.

Thanks to the incessant short-sighted nature of the Texas GOP, that sleeping giant that Democrats have so long predicted in Texas is now awake. Who knows what the next election will hold, but today we celebrate a new political landscape in Texas. Hopefully, as Senator Davis takes a look at that landscape, she’ll want to be sure her next career moves play a prominent role.