Ah, the Republican party. The party of “personal freedom.” The party that wants to get government out of your wallet, out of your church, and into your body — if you are a woman, that is.
In 2013, Texas passed a ban on abortions after the twentieth week of pregnancy. The current law permits exceptions to that 20-week cutoff, in cases where continuing the pregnancy would cause serious health problems for the mother, or in cases of severe fetal abnormalities.
Tea Party Republican Matt Schaefer, who represents an east Texas district that includes the city of Tyler, offered an amendment to a bill reauthorizing the state’s Department of Health Services, that would remove the fetal abnormalities exception from the law. Schaefer’s amendment would require a woman to carry her pregnancy to term, even if it was known that the baby would only live for a short time after birth.
Schaefer’s Facebook page contains the following, amazingly callous statement:
Fetal abnormalities should not justify taking the life of unborn babies. Unfortunately, Texas law allows that. Today we tried to end the practice of aborting babies with disabilities.
Most, but not all, Republicans support Schaefer’s amendment.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Republican representative Stuart Spitzer, speaking in favor of the amendment, told of a mother who decided to carry her baby to term even after she was told it would not survive. Spitzer said, “She was able to hold her child. I want parents to be able to have that child and have that experience, not destroy it and chop it up.”
Since one woman felt that continuing her pregnancy was the right thing for her; since she made that choice, Spitzer wants to force the same choice on all other women.
The Dallas Morning News says the amendment has even caused concerns among some Republicans. Representative, J.D. Sheffield, who is a family practice physician, said that forcing women to carry unviable pregnancies to term was unethical. “Why should the heavy hand of government come into that most heart-rending decision?” he said.
A valid question, especially for members of a party that claims it stands for “limited government.”
Schaefer had an answer for Sheffield, and of course that answer was, because “God.” According to RH Reality Check, during debate on the amendment, Schaefer said that suffering is “part of the human condition, since sin entered the world.”
Schaefer tells Breitbart.com:
I came to Austin to do the right thing, to do things that matter. This is important. If we are not going to get the chance to have our bills heard in committee or get to a hearing, then we will use the procedural mechanisms that are available for us, including amendments. We have to value what God values.
Breitbart features a photo of Schaefer, who is a naval reservist and an Afghanistan veteran, in his uniform, holding an assault rifle. I can’t help but wonder whether he took his extreme “pro-life” views to war with him, and refused to shoot anyone, or whether killing Afghanis was what God would want him to do. You know, we have to “value what God values.” And, as every Tea Party Republican will tell you, Americans are the most valuable people in the universe.
Schaefer’s amendment passed the Texas House of Representatives by a margin of 82-49. But, the bill it was attached to was pulled by its sponsor and sent back to committee, after Democrats raised procedural objections that threatened to kill the entire piece of legislation.
Democratic representative Jessica Farrar, said that Schaefer wouldn’t even discuss the amendment with her. According to RH Reality Check, she says that this year’s legislature is the most anti-woman in her 21 years as a representative. Matt Schaefer would probably say that God wants it that way.
Featured image via Facebook