March is National Women’s History Month in America. Women’s history is the culmination of the struggle for recognition of women in America that actually began with the Woman’s Suffrage Movement and Susan B. Anthony in 1837 when she asked for equal pay for women teachers and then was later tried for illegally voting. In a mighty effort that spanned almost 200 years, it took till 1981 for the U.S. Congress to establish March as a month to recognize these women among many and their contribution to this great nation of ours.
It’s unbelievable that Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas GOP legislators chose to celebrate this month by letting the first house bill to be heard on the floor to be HB 15, the sonogram bill.
The sonogram bill, one of five given “emergency” status directives by Perry in order to speed consideration by lawmakers, requires doctors to perform sonograms on women before performing abortions, to explain in detail the results of the sonograms, and to offer video and audio from the sonograms to the woman affected by the choice to terminate a pregnancy.
In a sneaky tactic, the State Affairs Committee decided not to take testimony on the bill itself, but to hear from witnesses about the general ideas of the bill. The State Affairs Committee bypassed the traditional way of using formal written testimony for a bill and brought up the bill themselves. Why? Because that’s a way of taking testimony without risking a record filled with incorrect witness forms. No mistakes, no points of order, no debate on the floor and the bill is voted on.
Importantly, the GOP backed down and the traditional way of hearing testimony, with witness forms, potential mistakes and all, became the rules of the new game. When asked about why he agreed to hear it in committee the traditional way, Rep. Bryon Cook, the Corsicana Republican who chairs the State Affairs panel, said he was just trying to be efficient with the testimony and wasn’t trying to pull a fast one. Asked about it a day later, he was being judicious by saying, “This is a place where tradition is very important.”
So I guess Texas leaders forgot about the tradition of women and the rights they fought for here in America. So much for women suffrage! In addition, children in Texas are having to overcome a less than average education, no healthcare and less food to eat so I’m only left to assume that with the current state congress, life begins at conception and ends at birth.
So what does Texas have in mind to celebrate National Women’s History Month next?