Texas is likely to join Wisconsin and Ohio as the latest states to place new restrictions on women’s access to reproductive care, and as one provider said on Saturday’s Melissa Harris-Perry, this will have serious effects on the most vulnerable residents of the state.
Out of more than 40 clinics, only five would be able to remain open if the bills passed, all of which would be located in urban areas, and as guest Amy Hagstrom Miller, president and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, an organization that runs five women’s clinics in Texas, pointed out, “Texas already has some of the most onerous regulations for abortion facilities in the country.”
Hagstrom Miller described the potential effects of the bills as devastating. “This will disproportionately affect women of color,” she said. No matter what conservatives argue, abortion is “mainstream medicine and is very necessary for the health and safety of women in Texas.”
Fellow panel member Cristina Beltran, associate professor of social and cultural analysis at NYU, said that this focus on denying essential care to women will end up hurting the Republican Party. “For a lot of young women, if the Republicans hadn’t kept playing this card so heavily, this would have become a backseat issue in places that are more middle class, more affluent, who feel like they have fairly decent health care on this issue.” Beltran continued, “it’s creating a sense of collective threat among women, and it’s politicizing women around reproductive rights.”
Read Geoffrey Cowley’s report on Republicans’ escalating “war on women” now on the “Up w/ Steve Kornacki” page.