Letter to the editor
We are writing in response to The Spectrum’s editorial “Texas’s misogyny is an undue burden on us all: State’s attempts to limit abortion are deceptive, backwards and fortunately illegal – for now” published on Oct. 17.
We would like to thank the Spectrum’s editors for their transparent position on abortion rights – being pro-abortion is an ugly thing, but integrity allows for conversation.
The Spectrum’s editorial discusses Texas’ HB2 law. This piece of legislation has been temporarily frozen, allowing 13 of Texas’ abortion clinics to reopen despite their noncompliance with the law. Complaints that HB2 would require clinics to “adhere to exceedingly strict medical standards” were strongly voiced in this editorial.
But are these standards really so excessive and unfair? Let’s read the bill and find out.
Section 4 of HB2 requires that “the minimum standards for an abortion facility must be equivalent to the minimum standards adopted under Section 243.010 [of separate document, “Health and Safety Code”] for ambulatory surgical centers.”
So far, so good; after all, abortion is classified as a surgery, and many women suffer reproductive complications, injuries, and even death after botched abortions (Google Jennifer Leigh Morbelli or Tonya Reaves).
Let’s now turn to the Health and Safety Code and read what exactly these minimum standards require.
Section 242.010(a) puts forth five minimum standards to which all ambulatory surgical centers must comply in order to legally operate. We will quote them here, and determine whether they are “excessive” or not as we go.
The first standard put forth by the Health and Safety Code requires all ambulatory surgical centers to make sure the “construction and design, including plumbing, heating, lighting and ventilation” of their building “ensure the health and safety of patients.”
Pretty minimal. Let’s read on.
The second standard requires that all professional staff and other personnel are qualified (note: the Texas Board of Health is not responsible for deciding what these qualifications entail). The third requires that the center contain all equipment essential to the health and welfare of its patients.
Again, this is basic.
The fourth standard states that “the sanitary and hygienic conditions within the center and its surroundings” must meet the minimum standards of the Texas Board of Health. We’d hope this would be obvious. Let’s continue.
The fifth standard requires that all centers provide a “quality assurance program for patient care.”
Part B of the Health and Safety Code states that none of Texas’ minimum standards for ambulatory surgical centers may exceed those put forth by Title XVIII of the Social Security Act.
Part C states that centers may not “permit a person to provide health care services who is not authorized to provide those services under another state law.”
Now that we’ve done our research, let’s decide whether these minimum standards are “excessive.”
First, consider the history of abortion. The reason many citizens were against back alley abortions is because they were worried about the health of women. They worried that a woman who found herself in a crisis pregnancy situation would turn to a “doctor” with zero medical standards who would hurt or even kill her in her desperation for an abortion. So our country legalized abortion, in the hope that it would become safer – that is, cleaner, more regulated, and performed by licensed professionals.
HB2 simply asks abortionists to adhere to minimum medical standards. Since Texas’ abortionists are refusing to uphold these minimum medical standards, they are clearly admitting that all legal abortion has done is move abortions from the back alley to the clinic.
It is ludicrous for abortionists to say, “We’re not going to update our standards because we care about women.”
If they cared about women, why are minimum health and safety standards a problem for the 13 facilities that have not complied with Texas’s HB2 law? Why are we making access to abortions a priority over the health and safety of women at these abortion-providing facilities?
If we deem access to abortion a higher priority than the safety of women seeking it, then we are merely creating legal back alley abortions. The location of the “procedure,” inside four walls or between two buildings, does not change the squalor in which it is performed.
Texas’s law aims to lift abortion standards from those of the alleyway to those of basic surgeries. It is not the fault of the lawmakers that these 13 abortion facilities have closed. This result has come from the choices made by the clinics themselves.
Put simply, the abortionists have either decided that providing access to abortions is not worth the expense of updating their clinics (in which case, it’s about the money, not women) or they have found it too difficult to maintain the most basic standards asked of ambulatory surgical centers nationwide (in which case, we should be horrified).
To sympathize with either of these excuses is unquestionably pro-abortion and for big business abortionists. It is not pro-choice, and it is certainly not pro-woman.
Our advice to you is this: take umbrage with the utter failure of the staff of the 13 clinics in question, not lawmakers.
And we urge you to take note of the fact that a “clean abortion” is an inherent contradiction. Abortion kills a pre-born child and therefore will always mean violent death. Abortionists will always have blood on their hands.
The stale clamor for “safe and legal” abortions ignores the truth that evil cannot be made safe. It can only become shaded and more sinister because it is hidden.
A few weeks ago, we wrote a letter to the editor explaining to readers what, exactly, abortion is, and who, exactly, it targets. The letter can be found on The Spectrum’s website, and we encourage editors and students to read it.
We urge all Spectrum editors and all students to read pieces of legislation before passing judgment on them. Texas’ HB2 law can be found at the online database of the state’s legislature, and the Texas’ Health and Safety Code is available on the state’s database of statutes.
More importantly, readers should watch a filmed surgical abortion before deciding that it is, in any sense of the word, “safe.” Knowing what you support may change your mind. You may view one here: http://www.herestheblood.com/.
UB Students for Life Board
Anne Mulrooney, President
Christine Schaefer, Vice President,
Matt Ramsey, Treasurer,
Jessica Mershimer, Secretary
Cristina Lauria, Marketing Director