View from Inside the Orange Microscope Slide - part 1

View from Inside the Orange Microscope Slide - part 1

This is part 1, my philosphical musings about the abortion debate in general and the results of  three weeks of protest.

 --TexBetsy from Relaxed Politics and The Head On Radio Network

 I'm an Austin resident, and a sometimes blogger over at Relaxed Politics, a blog that has fallen from its glory into a definite relaxed state.  Texas, on the other hand, is NOT a relaxed state. Not when it comes to women's reproductive rights. Over the three weeks of abortion rights hearings and legislative sessions, I think I spent most or all of seven days wearing orange and protesting at the capitol. Three of those days went late into the night.  I saw parts of Wendy Davis's filibuster live and in person.  I stormed the rotunda that night and screamed myself hoarse at least four times. Here are a few of my reflections.

I got discouraged a few times over the course of the protests, especially during the second special session, as it became obvious that the bill would pass in spite of our best efforts.  So why continue? What was the point?  Why wake up early, dress again in a color that makes my skin look like I'm related to Boehner, pack up an electronics bag, snacks, and take the bus down to the capitol; the results are a foregone conclusion with the party line votes and the supermajority in both chambers?

As I am sure you know, this is NOT a debate about women's health or about life, at least not in the sense that the republicans are framing it.  If it were any of these things, the legislators would have adopted the amendments that might actually keep women and babies healthy, or prevent unwanted pregnancies to begin with. A  truly “pro-life” cause does not reject federal medicaid money, cut WIC benefits, or deny TANF to pregnant women. Pro-life must be pro-Quality Of Life for all those involved. This is something more than pro-existence.

I am a professional in what a friend refers to as "the religion industry" and my religious beliefs inform my politics and most aspects of my life. (In my case, my religion teaches that the life and health of the mother take precedence over the developing fetus in all cases.) As important as it is to me, religion should not inform public policy, and no lawmaker has the constitutional right to devote his or her floor speeches to how the legislation under consideration aligns with the Baptist Convention. No legislator speaks for God, and I resent that even the pro-choice democrats feel the need to talk about and name their savior while opposing a bill. Is this a theocracy?

So why continue to protest when we had no chance of winning in the second session? The effort matters because the world is watching.  Our orange marches and protests and screaming matches focused the eyes of the world onto the abortion politics and the insanity in this country.  Our Twitter feeds and Facebook pictures and YouTube posts showed the rest of the world exactly how corrupt and conniving the pro-birth politicians are, not just here in Texas but all over the country.