It just got harder for women under the age of 18 to get an abortion in Texas. Governor Rick Perry has signed into law the following measures: parents must provide written consent for unmarried girls under 18 to have an abortion, and doctors are restricted from performing abortions past 26 weeks unless having the baby would jeopardize the woman's life or the baby has serious brain damage.
Pro-life and pro-choice advocates in Lubbock are both finding flaws with the move. Both sides say the bill will be ineffective, but they think so for very different reasons. Tony Thornton, President and CEO of Lubbock's Planned Parenthood says, "We don't want to go back to where women were getting unsafe abortions and dying from them." Pro-Life advocate, Judy Kreller, says, "I don't feel it will ever be enough until they reverse Roe Vs. Wade."
Kreller and Thornton have two very different views on abortion, but both are unimpressed with the abortion legislation. Thornton hopes teens will talk to their parents about abortion, but he disagrees with a law that would require it. He explains, "The bad part of the deal is if women can't talk to their parents for whatever reason, it's the father's child, or if it's stepfather's child, or someone else's in family, that makes it difficult to go to parents.
Kreller, a Pro-Life advocate that's been protesting abortions outside Aaron Women's Clinic for 13 years, says parental consent is a good idea, but she fears doctors and patients will find loopholes. She says, "I'm hoping that will work, but we've found the abortion industry really doesn't care."
Kreller knows the pain an abortion can cause a family and she won't stop until abortion is illegal, no matter how many weeks into the term." She says "Unless we get rid of the rules allowing abortion, 26 weeks, I've seen babies born and survive at that."
Thornton has no problem with the 26 week limit. He says most doctors will not perform an abortion that late anyway. His concern comes back to parental consent and the fact that a judge is the only one who can make an exception to the rule. He explains, "He will not only be concerned about woman in front of him. He's going to be concerned with constituents opinion of his rulings and when they become public, some conservative people would not re-elect him as judge."
One thing both Thornton and Kreller can agree on is this legislation does nothing to address prevention. They say more education is needed, so unwanted pregnancies don't occur to begin with.
If you're wondering about laws in neighboring states, New Mexico, Colorado and Oklahoma have limits on how far along you can be and still have an abortion. However, parental consent is not required in New Mexico or Colorado. It is required in Oklahoma.
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