As the Texas House of Representatives considered extreme anti-abortion legislation on Sunday, orange-clad opponents packed the House gallery and Capitol rotunda to demand that politicians stay out of women’s private medical decisions. They far outnumbered blue-wearing anti-abortion activists at the Capitol, a fact that bothered state Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Houston, one of the Legislature’s most extreme religious-righters. Riddle wrote this vicious Facebook post around 7:30 p.m.:

“This is a tough fight – the Gallery is full of orange shirts – very few blue – orange are the ones I call Pro-death. I am Pro-life – so they must be Pro-death. A human is a human prior to birth just as it is human after it is born. We have killed 50 million babies after Roe v Wade. Hitler killed 6 million people.”

We wonder if Riddle also thinks the folks at the Texas Medical Association, the Texas Hospital Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists are “pro-death” because of their opposition to Sunday’s legislation. Medical professionals rightly get upset when they see politicians interfering in the patient-doctor relationship.

Perhaps one reason to oppose such interference is that politicians often don’t know what in the world they’re… Read More

Oklahoma state Rep. Doug Cox, a physician who has delivered more than 800 babies, is frustrated with his Republican colleagues who want legislation limiting women’s access to both abortion and contraception. In a column in The Oklahoman newspaper, Cox asks with dismay:

“What happened to the Republican Party that I joined? The party where conservative presidential candidate Barry Goldwater felt women should have the right to control their own destiny? The party where President Ronald Reagan said a poor person showing up in the emergency room deserved needed treatment regardless of ability to pay? What happened to the Republican Party that felt government should not overregulate people until (as we say in Oklahoma) ‘you have walked a mile in their moccasins’?

What happened to the Republican Party that felt that the government has no business being in an exam room, standing between me and my patient? Where did the party go that felt some decisions in a woman’s life should be made not by legislators and government, but rather by the women, her conscience, her doctor and her God?”

We couldn’t agree more. We’ve watched politicians launch a war on women’s health and access to… Read More

On Monday, the very day we launched our new campaign to get politicians out Texans’ private lives, the state attorney general issued an opinion that shows why our efforts are so important. In a formal opinion, Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote that school districts and city and county governments offering access to health insurance for the domestic partners of their employees are violating the state Constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Let’s put this in perspective. According the pro-marriage equality group Freedom to Marry, same-sex marriage is legal in nine states plus the District of Columbia. Ten other states offer varying degrees of legal recognition for same-sex couples, including full civil unions in some cases. New Zealand and France are just the latest countries to legalize same-sex marriage. And the U.S. Supreme Court could rule in coming weeks that the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally bars the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal.

But Texas politicians are troubled by local governments simply offering health insurance to the domestic partners of their employees. Even health insurance that employees or their domestic partners, not taxpayers, would… Read More