Thursday, June 27, 2013

A timely reminder

Yesterday we saw amazing scenes in the Texas state Senate, as a 13-hour filibuster then a (Speaker-incited) riot in the gallery prevented the passage of a bill which would have effectively banned abortion in much of the state. Its the sort of thing which causes smugness about living in a sane country. But as Coley Tangerina reminds us, we shouldn't pretend that Texas is the place with the abortion problem. Abortion isn't a crime in Texas, but it is here. We have serious access problems too. And we too have harassment and intimidation (though no murders - yet). The upshot:

We are fighting to maintain what is not even a legal right. I can’t state that strongly enough – it is a battle just to maintain a status quo which sees abortion as illegal.

It’s not just because the opposition are relentless, senseless bullies. It’s not just because conservative organisations hold far too much monetary and perceived voter influence over our democratic representatives. It’s because the majority of the moderate people in power would rather avoid the subject all together.

So next time you think Texas, or the United States, are the ones with the problem with abortion, I suggest you think again. At least in Texas there was someone willing to stand for 13 hours to challenge the attack on abortion access.

In New Zealand, we’re just ignoring it.

Its a timely reminder of how far we have to go, and how chickenshit our politicians are on the topic.