According to a report in the San Antonio Express News, Texas lawmakers have launched multiple attacks on women’s health, with every single anti-abortion bill proposed in Texas this year successfully blocked before it reached the House or Senate floor.
“Democrats stuck together very well this session and made strong arguments and strong advocacy on behalf of a woman’s right to choose,” Texas Democratic Senator Kirk Watson told the Express-News. “Just this week, I’ve had pressure from leadership pushing to bring up bills in an almost threatening way, and we have stood up to that. […] Now we’re at the end of the session, and they’re dead.”
Texas Democrats explained that anti-abortion lawmakers suffered a significant backlash during the 2012 elections, in what many in the state saw as the GOP’s “War on Women.” Republicans suffered huge losses in that election, and the power balance in the legislature shifted. After Texas voters continued to express their disapproval over the new legislation that seemingly attacked women’s health, GOP lawmakers began to surrender. They even agreed to work to reverse some of the cuts in family planning.
The failed anti-abortion legislation included a “fetal pain” measure that would have made abortion services after the 20th week of pregnancy a criminal affair, as well as several bills intended to force abortion clinics in the state to close their doors.
Not all states were successful in defeating anti-choice initiatives. In the first quarter of 2013, state lawmakers proposed a staggering 694 provisions, including the most stringent abortion bans this country has seen since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion over 40 years ago, became law this year.