How the Texas anti-abortion movement helped pass an almost complete ban

At the time, the anti-abortion cause was mainly championed by Catholics, and it was strongest in northern states with large Catholic popu...


At the time, the anti-abortion cause was mainly championed by Catholics, and it was strongest in northern states with large Catholic populations.

Evangelicals, dominant in the South, were largely moderate on the issue, generally opposing “on-demand” abortion, but open to various exceptions. A 1969 poll by the Baptist Standard found that 90 percent of Texas Baptists thought the state’s abortion laws were too restrictive. WA Criswell, a prominent Southern Baptist pastor in Dallas and past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, said in reaction to Roe v. Wade: “I always thought it was only after the birth of a child and his life apart from his mother. that he has become an individual person. (In the late 1970s, however, Mr. Criswell opposed the right to abortion.)

Over the decades, Texans continued to elect senators supporting the right to abortion until the turn of the 21st century. But by then the anti-abortion movement had grown into a powerful force in evangelical culture.

And the state, once firmly in Democratic hands, came under Republican control in the mid-1990s. Since 2003, Republicans have held a majority in both houses of the state legislature and in the governor’s office. It is also covered by a conservative federal appeals court, the Fifth Circuit in Louisiana.

Like many other states in the South and Midwest, Texas has steadily curtailed legal and convenient access to abortion for decades, including requiring pregnant women to have an ultrasound – by the same doctor who will perform it. abortion – at least 24 hours before the procedure. Other measures, such as the Alternatives to Abortion program, have helped fund pregnancy centers like Prestonwood, which was founded three decades ago as a ministry of Prestonwood Baptist Church, a nearby evangelical mega-church. .

In contrast, there are roughly 24 abortion clinics in Texas, up from 40 less than a decade ago, an imbalance compared to dozens of pregnancy centers like Prestonwood which is testament to the cultural and political success of the anti-abortion movement. even as the state the bigger and bluer cities become bigger and more progressive. The number of abortion clinics will certainly decline further, abortion rights advocates have said, as many will be forced to close if the new law remains in force.

In an emergency demand asking the United States Supreme Court to intervene, a coalition of abortion providers warned that the law – which prohibits abortions at the time heart activity is detected, typically around six weeks , when many women do not yet know they are pregnant – “would immediately and catastrophically reduce access to abortion in Texas”. Clinics have been rushing to see clients until the minute the law went into effect last week.

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Newsrust - US Top News: How the Texas anti-abortion movement helped pass an almost complete ban
How the Texas anti-abortion movement helped pass an almost complete ban
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