The national debate over reproductive rights took yet another unexpected turn as a Texas abortion clinic was re-closed for the 47th time since its opening in 2011. Texas is known for its rejection of the Roe v. Wade ruling, causing its official count of operational abortion clinics to alternate between nine and one on any given day. A recent addition to that legacy has been Texas’ HB 2, known as the “Omnibus Abortion Bill,” which was struck down by the Supreme Court of the United States for being unconstitutional.
This August, in an attempt to uphold their inspiring state motto of “Perseverance in Insisting We’re Right to the Point of Absurdity,” the Texas legislature has drawn up a new bill, HB 3. Nicknamed “Cruise Ship Abortion Bill,” HB 3 requires doctors performing any part of their job at a women’s health clinic to have admitting privileges at a country club within 10 miles of the clinic. It further outlines that clinic hallways must be nine feet wide — wide enough for 2.25 gurneys to pass by each other — and have two five-star restaurants (with gluten-free and vegan options), as well as a hotel with room service for visitors and patients. These, among other restrictions, have been defended by the bill’s backers as “necessary to ensure women’s health,” “a vital protection to the safety of women and their children,” and “totally not targeting abortion clinics and those bastards at Planned Parenthood.”
Texas senator and former presidential nominee Ted Cruz is one such backer, and in fact is one of the authors of the bill; he claims to have made the “most important contribution” of naming the bill. Political analyst Gloria Davidson suggests that this move might be an attempt to recoup his losses from the 2016 presidential campaign. Cruz denied this, stating, “This is just a post-presidential dropout sad thing that’s happening in my mid-forties and coincides with the purchase of a sweet red convertible — oh God, it’s a midlife crisis.”
Katelyn Lee, the Planned Parenthood clinic director of Waco, indicated that the stress of constantly closing and reopening her clinic was overwhelming. “Yesterday I had a job, but since it was to close the clinic again, today I don’t. I think I have to reopen the clinic tomorrow, or maybe it’s the day after that? Either way we’re scheduled for another closure next week.”
Lee expressed dismay at the new regulations proposed by HB 3, stating that “My professors never taught me the intricacies of building regulations during the four years I spent at nursing school! Probably because it has nothing to with providing health care, but what do I know about that?” However, Lee was excited for one component of the new law, saying that she is prepared for her new duties as a room service provider. “I have a sexy maid costume from Halloween that I’ve been dying to try out.”
Waco community member and nominee for Best Picketer in Waco for the second year in a row, Blake Underwood, agreed wholeheartedly with the new regulations. “The day that the Supreme Court overturned HB 2, a law that had a direct effect on me, was the worst day of my life. But now that we have HB 3, women’s health and safety can be protected through the distribution of five-star meals and quality service.”
When confronted with statistics demonstrating that legal abortion is safer than childbirth, Underwood pulled a picket sign out of his jacket that read “God Hates __” and promptly filled in the blank space with the word “facts.”
Written by: Summer Davis and Jen WOndsor, publicity editor and MQ cool aunt