Depressing and regressive legislation is nothing new in Texas. But the recent “emergency legislation” on mandatory sonograms for women seeking an abortion caught my eye. Here are some infuriating thoughts that immediately come to mind:
- Someone always pays, so who will pay for mandatory sonograms? The state is $25 billion in the red already, and will likely pass a 10% cut to Medicare and Medicaid this year. Somehow I don’t see free sonograms as the cherry on top of that sundae.
- If the state does not pay for the sonograms, it will be up to the pregnant woman to foot the bill. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that the burden will fall most heavily on the poor, who will be more likely to be deterred by such a tax (especially during such difficult economic times). I’m sure Governor Perry would consider this a victory for the pro-life camp. Unfortunately, judging from his wanton desire to cut the throat of social services, it doesn’t appear that his “pro-life” argument applies to the newborn who will have to be raised by a poor single mother in a state with disappearing CHIP, Medicaid, and education programming. Say hello to the cycle of poverty.
- Finally, let’s talk hypocrisy (especially if pregnant women foot the bill for sonograms): While the current assault on “Obamacare” has adopted a distinctly economic ring (“Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act”), freedom (or the loss of freedom) rests at the core of the criticisms. Some say it is unconstitutional. Others quiver at the thought of effectively forcing Americans to purchase health insurance under penalty of hefty fines. Perhaps these criticisms are legitimate. But, if this is your platform (Mr. Perry), how is it possible for you to then turn around and support a sonogram tax on pregnant women (or society)? Keep the government out of my life, unless of course it fits with my agenda - sounds like the kind of hypocrisy that gets you somewhere in American politics these days.
Oh, and I also can’t forgive Perry for pushing this as one of his “emergency legislation” items on the high-priority fast track. What other items are on this list? 2 laws to oust illegal immigrants. Thank you Gov. Perry, for showing us that your priorities during such difficult financial times are where they should be.