Critics: Texas Abortion Law Hurts Poor, Latina Women

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Senator Wendy Davis garnered national attention after an 11-hour filibuster helped defeat, temporarily, a controversial anti-abortion bill in Texas. (Faith Robbins/flickr)

Last month, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a contentious bill into law that is one of the most stringent anti-abortion measures in the country.

The measure that passed the Texas legislature bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. It also requires that abortions only be performed at facilities that have so-called surgical-center standards.

Opponents of the law say few abortion clinics in Texas meet these standards, and that the law disproportionately affects poor women, especially Latinas.

Lillian Ortiz, a board member of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, explains how medical treatment and care will become even harder to access for many women because of this bill.

But Texas State Representative Jason Villalba, a Republican from Dallas, supported the anti-abortion measure and voted in favor of the bill last month when it was debate in the Texas legislature.

He says there is no basis behind the argument that Texas' law disproportionately affects poor women, and particularly those of color.

Both Ortiz and Villalba join us today to discuss both sides of this issue.



Lillian Ortiz and Jason Villalbla

Produced by:

Tyler Adams and Ibby Caputo

Comments [10]

Learn from Texas

I was stunned the interviewer did not bother to follow up when Mr. Villaba claimed that women would not be inconvenienced becase a clinic would only be "100 or 200 miles away..." Followed by, "no statistical evidence that this would cause inconvenience"

Either he is truly clueless or completely disengenuous (or both). That statement assumes they have transportation, they can take the time off, and since a "waiting" period is required, the funds to sustain this over several days. All of this is easy to show statistically when you eliminate so many accessible clinics (not that any statistics would really matter to Mr. Villaba) Moreover he claims it is a contentious issue among his constituents, so apparently the certainty of his views ignores many of those he is supposed to represent.

Clearly womens health is not the goal of the legislation.

Interviewers do not have to take sides, but they should attempt to provide insight by asking meaningful questions.

Aug. 06 2013 04:57 PM
K. Moore from NJ

Please do your homework, a fetus is NOT viable at 20 or 21 weeks as your guest from Texas legislature stated. Please stop continuing with inaccurate and incorrect information. And everyone should read the editorial in last week's NYT sunday review section on extreme neonates and their suffering. An extremely young neonate is not a usual infant in any way, whether it has all fingers, toes or face.

Aug. 06 2013 03:28 PM
Harlan Bloom from St. Paul, MN

The replublican "speaking" does not understand that back alley abortions will become the norm AGAIN, as they were before Roe v. Wade!!! And of course, once the baby is born, republicans completely blame the mother/parents for not taking "proper" care of their kids. The republicans do not believe in providing care for the babies they says must be born once the baby is actually born!

Aug. 06 2013 02:20 PM
Pam Albee from Montana

I would find the TX Representative Villalba's concern for the unborn much more credible if that concern extended to those who actually ARE born as a result of the unavailability of abortion. Has the Rep. introduced legislation to provide free daycare to these children? Is he fighting to give them a first class preschool experience? Adequate housing and nutrition? Exceptional schools? Job training for their moms?
I doubt it....

Aug. 06 2013 12:28 PM
Hanna from Laredo, TX

Jason Villalba--all I can do is role my eyes and throw up in my mouth a little. You are NOT a woman. You are NOT a Latina. You are NOT economically disadvantaged. You are, however, too oblivious and dogmatic to realize any of the reasons why you do not speak for your constituents, and therefore cannot act in the best interest of Texas women.
Is that clear enough for you?

Aug. 06 2013 12:21 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Actually this law is just a reasonable response to the recent situations of Gosnell and the findings of fetal pain. I don't know if it will stand up to a constitutional challenge in regard to Roe though.

Aug. 06 2013 09:57 AM

Are pro-abortion supporters and Democratic Party operatives "emotionally distorted" when it comes to this issue or is that just a question for pro-life supporters?

Has this program done any coverage on the Philadelphia doctor trial when it was happening?

Aug. 06 2013 09:19 AM
Ed from Larchmont

How can NARAL be pro-family when they support abortion?

Aug. 06 2013 09:14 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Don't be confused, NARAL is concerned about abortions by which money is made, not about women's health or preventative testing.

Aug. 06 2013 09:11 AM
Ed from Larchmont

It's kind of like saying heroin should be legal because rich people can afford it on the black market and the poor can't. But heroin is bad for you, and so is abortion.

Aug. 06 2013 09:02 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.