Texas Politics

Birth control logic?



OK, let’s get a few things straight. First, we’re going to limit the school instruction to our kids about sex and birth control to – nothing. Just say no. Despite all those hormones running around in their bodies, we’re only going to preach – uh, teach – abstinence.

Then, if our teenage girls somehow failed to adequately get the message, and turn up pregnant, we’ll do everything we can to make them carry the pregnancy to term.

To help insure that they do, we’re going to outlaw spending Medicaid money in Texas on Planned Parenthood.

The grounds are that, while the large majority of care that that organization provides has to do with things like breast and pelvic exams, the fact that there are some Planned Parenthood facilities that provide abortions disqualifies all their services. That is despite the fact that by law, no federal or state money is spent on abortions. (This attempt to essentially outlaw Planned Parenthood is being legally challenged.)

If a pregnant teenager should succeed in being able to get an abortion, she must first, at least 24 hours before, submit to a sonogram of the fetus. (This requirement is also being legally challenged.)

If the pregnant teenager indeed does have a child, good luck, Mom. You’re on your own. We’re going to spend as few tax dollars as possible taking care of your child’s health, and education.

Does this make sense to you?

• • •

In advance of the state party political conventions in early June, the Texas Democratic Party is trying to get in some licks early. It is going into detail about what calling for the repeal of “Obamacare,” the health care initiative that President Barack Obama managed to get through Congress, really means.

In its 2010 platform, the Republican Party of Texas included this goal:

“We urge the Congress to defund, repeal, and reject the national healthcare takeover, also known as ‘ObamaCare’ or any similar legislation.”

Breaking the health care act down into its several different provisions, Texas Democratic Party spokesperson Rebecca Acuna points out that in wanting to undo the health care act, actions the Republicans advocate include:

• Repealing the ability of parents to insure children up to age 26 on the parents’ insurance policies;

• Removing the ban on insurance companies denying coverage for preexisting conditions;

• Turning Medicaid into a voucher program;

• Repealing sweeping small business tax credits;

• Removing the ban on insurance companies being able to drop people from their health insurance if they get a catastrophic illness;

• Repealing tax breaks for Americans to help them with purchase of health insurance;

• Repealing the closure of Medicare’s so-called drug “donut hole,” that made seniors pay high prices under the Medicare Part D plan;

• Repealing the expansion of health insurance to uninsured Americans, including 4 million Texans.

“Republicans are attacking the right of everyday families to access quality health care,” Acuña said. “They’ve tried to kick children off the health care rolls and are involved in a lawsuit to keep women from choosing their doctors.

“Every family deserves health care they can count on and the peace of mind they won’t go broke if someone gets sick.”

The state GOP is almost certain to include the health care law repeal goal in its 2012 platform.

The Republican stance is also embraced by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who has made the repeal of the Obama health care law a major issue in his campaign to be Texas’ next United States senator.

In case you’re curious, both parties will hold their conventions June 7-9. The Republicans will be in Fort Worth, and the Democrats in Houston.

• • •

Remembering The “Fat Lady” . . . . Ernestine Glossbrenner, the ardent Democratic state representative from Alice, was buried in the Texas State Cemetery May 25, “surrounded by good fellow Democrats,” according to her obituary.

A hefty woman with a dry wit, Glossbrenner amused her legislative colleagues at the close of a few legislative sessions with the declaration that “It’s not over until the fat lady sings.”

And then the fat lady would sing, and the session would end.

She died May 20 in Corpus Christi’s Christus Spohn Shoreline Hospital. She was 79.

Glossbrenner, who taught math in Alice for 22 years before her election to the House in 1976, chaired the House Committee on Public Education for the six years before her retirement in 1993. She was a strong advocate for increasing public education funding, and for women’s rights and social justice.

She was a founding member of the Texas Women’s Political Caucus, and served in the 1990s as state president of the Texas Chapter of the National Woman’s Political Caucus.

DAVE McNEELY is political columnist. You may contact him at davemcneely111@gmail.com or (512)458-2963.

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