Wayne Christian lets the truth slip in an interview with the Texas Tribune:

Of course it’s a war on birth control, abortion, everything — that’s what family planning is supposed to be about.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9gS1gYyozs&feature=player_embedded]

This wasn’t a momentary slip of the tongue. Christian is just saying out loud what many Texas lawmakers believe — and many more supported with their votes this session. The ideology underlying all the attacks on abortion and Planned Parenthood is fundamentally anti-birth control and anti-family planning. And as so many others have pointed out, it is ultimately self-defeating, as depriving Texas women of birth control is one sure-fire way to increase the number of abortions in this state.… Read More

State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, had the following to say today as Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed into law his bill requiring women seeking an abortion to have a sonogram of the fetus at least 24 hours before the procedure. Sen. Patrick was responding to remarks by someone in the audience talking about women who have abortions being guilty of killing their children. Patrick said:

“The good news is through the blood of Jesus Christ he forgives, and women who have aborted children need to know that message … I believe this can be the beginning of the end of 75,000 abortions we have every year in Texas.”

Here’s video from the Texas Tribune:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TZVAsmqdhc&w=450&h=284]

Sen. Patrick also told listeners just before that comment:

“Standing for life isn’t a partisan issue. It’s a God issue.”

The Dallas Morning News has more here about Sen. Patrick’s comments.

Patrick made similar comments earlier in the legislative session when the sonogram bill was debated on the Senate floor.

Here’s video from earlier in the session:… Read More

For everyone who thought the culture warriors on the religious right would take a back seat at the Texas Legislature during this once-a-generation budget crisis, ladies and gentlemen, we give you exhibit A:

During last week’s debate in the Texas Senate over the “sonogram bill” — legislation that would require a doctor show a sonogram and play the heartbeat of the fetus to women seeking an abortion — Senator Dan Patrick, R-Houston, offered a little nugget that makes it clear that his bill has less to do with “empowering women” with information (as he has claimed) than imposing his personal religious beliefs on women in the state.

While responding to a question from another senator, Patrick was briefly interrupted by a crying baby in the audience. Here’s what he said:

You know, so often in life we try to do things on our timing — there’s the hand of God right there, with the cry of a baby who says, ‘vote for this bill, let’s get it moving. Let’s get the 24 suspended, 21 votes suspended. But life is about God’s timing not our timing. This bill wasn’t right in 2007 and it obviously wasn’t right in 2009.… Read More

Both the Texas House and Senate have now released initial budgets intended to cover a massive state fiscal deficit that experts have placed as high as $27 billion. Cuts outlined in those budgets could mean the loss of tens of thousands of jobs in education -- one lawmaker describes the effect on public schools as "Armageddon." The budgets also include drastic cuts in critical state services, such as health care, public safety and criminal justice. And that's only part of the terrible fiscal bloodbath facing the state. But Gov. Rick Perry has spent the last few weeks declaring as "emergencies" a long list of divisive issues that appeal to his base of hard-right supporters. Legislators will be able to take those issues up quickly because of the "emergency" declaration. And what are those supposed "emergencies"? Voter ID. Outlawing "sanctuary" cities. Passing a symbolic resolution calling for a federal balanced budget amendment. And forcing women seeking an abortion to have a sonogram first. Read More

by Dan Quinn

The shooting this morning of an Arizona congresswoman (who at this writing is in critical condition) is a chilling moment in American history. It appears that six people were killed, including a young child and a federal judge.

Some have already noted that Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was featured last year in a map created by Sarah Palin’s Political Action Committee. The map used crosshairs to identify 20 members of Congress who supported health care reform legislation.

Just as stunning is the language we continue to hear and see from extremist right-wing groups, including in Texas. This morning, in fact, the Houston-based Life & Liberty Political Action Committee sent out an e-mail accusing the Obama administration and congressional supporters of “death-dealing” health care reform of using tax dollars to murder babies through abortion and subject the sick and elderly to “death panels.” Then we read this passage:

“Politicians’ home offices are staffed by locals… locals who do not want to look their neighbors in the face and lie. These Congress Critters LIVE in these areas and when they come home on breaks and to campaign (continuously) they are no longer sheltered by taxpayer-paid Capitol Hill… Read More