Not Pretending Anymore #2

These days, I’m sorry to say, very little surprises me–and I’m especially unsurprised by the increasingly insane and inhumane positions being taken by Republican officeholders. (I live, after all, in a state that has elected culture warrior zealots like Banks and Braun…) But I will admit that Ken Paxton, the slimy AG of Texas, has managed to both shock and appall me.

With, I might add, the assistance of the Texas Supreme Court.

I’ll let Jennifer Rubin explain:

As the Texas Tribune aptly put it, “For the first time in at least 50 years, a judge has intervened to allow an adult woman to terminate her pregnancy.” The woman, Kate Cox, was forced to seek relief because Texas’s six-week ban makes an exception only to save the life of the mother. “At 20 weeks pregnant, Cox learned her fetus had full trisomy 18, a chromosomal abnormality that is almost always fatal before birth or soon after,” the Tribune reported. “Cox and her husband desperately wanted to have this baby, but her doctors said continuing the nonviable pregnancy posed a risk to her health and future fertility, according to a historic lawsuit filed Tuesday.”

The judge, confronted with a real person and a specific medical trauma that defied the ideological straitjacket right-wing lawmakers constructed, sided with Cox on Thursday. “The idea that Ms. Cox wants desperately to be a parent, and this law might actually cause her to lose that ability is shocking and would be a genuine miscarriage of justice,” Travis County District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble held. On Friday night, however, the Texas Supreme Court stepped in to order a stay of Gamble’s ruling, throwing Cox into limbo again.

Yesterday, that Court ruled for Paxton and overruled the lower court. Cox is leaving Texas in order to have the procedure she needs.

Calling Paxton’s position–and the Court’s agreement with it– “pro life” is ridiculous. The fetus has been diagnosed with a condition that is terminal, probably while it is still in the womb and certainly shortly after birth. Preventing this abortion will not “save” an “unborn child.” And Paxton (and the Court) clearly care nothing for the life or health or future fertility of the mother, all of which this pregnancy is threatening.

As Rubin accurately points out, this is what happens when lawmakers presume to overrule medical providers. As she says, there are multiple situations involving “fact-specific medical complications for a pregnant woman” that don’t fall neatly into the either-or construct of these laws.

These cannot, without violating our fundamental sense of justice and decency, be predetermined by a bunch of politicians (mostly White, mostly male and many medically illiterate) without regard to the wishes of the woman involved.

This deeply offensive effort to prevent an abortion that the judge of the lower court found to be required by the interests of “justice and simple humanity” should dispel any confusion about the motives of these so-called “pro life” Republicans. They care not one whit about the lives of women or “unborn babies.” They are interested only in protecting legal and cultural paternalism. They are telling all the women in Texas– and if the GOP regains Congress and/or the White House, all women in the United States–that those White, male, medically illiterate men will continue to control women’s bodies.

Rubin notes that Republicans are still in denial about the overwhelming unpopularity of their position, and the likelihood that it will burden their candidates in 2024 “in virtually every race up and down the ballot.”

Yesterday, I argued that the upcoming elections–unlike most past contests–will not be issue or candidate driven; instead, it will present voters with a choice between fundamentally incompatible world-views. Texas Republicans’ inexplicably cruel–and politically clueless–effort to prevent a medically-necessary abortion is a vivid example.

As Rubin writes:

As abortion rights activists predicted, Republicans remained trapped in a dilemma of their own making. Having catered to extreme antiabortion forces and backed extreme and unworkable abortion bans in a slew of states and nationally, they cannot retreat from their stance without infuriating their base. Seeing the political wreckage in the wake of Dobbs, they are unable to step away from a policy that is wildly out of step with a large majority of Americans. They should prepare to reap the political whirlwind in 2024.

The 2024 elections will be decided by the millions of women and men who oppose not just this cruel effort to control women but the rest of a Christian Nationalist agenda fervently supported by these latter-day, profoundly un-American Puritans. Republicans will be defeated–assuming those men and women turn out to vote. 

On that assumption rests nothing less than a continuation of the American experiment…


  1. Texas proving once again, for sure, without a shed of decency and doubt, that it is not about Pro-life issues, it’s about overruling medical doctors without a medical license. They don’t understand women, or their bodies or their pro-life responsibilities to all humans in their state or on the planet. I hope she sues them all to kingdom come. I hope they pay her millions and millions of dollars for risking her life. I hope they suffer the biggest defeat in 2024 and beyond. Don’t mess with women. Period.

    I told you before, pregnant women have less rights than a corpse.

  2. Here in Indiana we will probably never see statistics regarding the deaths of pregnant girls and women forced, against the odds of their own survival, to carry a fetus to term. I doubt statistics are being kept on that issue because of the two deaths resulting from Pence’s “Pro Life” laws. My granddaughter chose to try to carry her baby to term even though her seizure condition was possibly fatal in itself; those forced to continue their pregnancy are just as dead as she and her daughter are.

    There are many legal loopholes protecting those of the criminal ilk; look at Trump and his cronies remaining above all laws of the land by stalling out his convictions. Where are the legal loopholes protecting innocent girls and women from possible death sentences due to forced pregnancies?

  3. Paxton claimed that allowing this abortion would “open the floodgates” for others seeking abortions, thus it had to be prevented at all costs. Furthermore, under Texas’ cruel and inhumane law, anyone assisting Ms. Cox in leaving the state for her procedure is liable for lawsuits resulting in massive fines and/or prison time—and it’s well known that out of state anti abortion groups are more than happy to jump on that bandwagon. These smug bastards like Paxton and his ilk must drift off to sleep at night satisfied with the knowledge that they’ve owned the b*tches and shown them who’s boss. My rage is boundless. VOTE BLUE!!

  4. As I understand it, the Texas law nominally includes an exception for medical reasons, requiring a statement by a doctor verifying such medical necessity. Ms Cox’s physician made such a determination, but the criminally-indicted Ken Paxton decided that because the doctors medical judgement disagreed with his political objective, that part of the law didn’t count.

    Now that Ms. Cox has fled the state for the sake of her health, the Texas courts and the criminally-indicted Mr Paxton can safely dismiss the case as moot and continue threatening and prosecuting doctors and hospitals as before. The criminally-indicted attorney general has burnished his image among the anti-abortion fanatics, and distracted public attention from his recent impeachment trial, so … Mission Accomplished.

    Nota bene, those who think that medical exceptions to laws of this kind will ever actually be allowed, even when explicitly written into the law. It’s all kayfabe to deceive the gullible.

  5. Now that the woman has left Texas for the medical treatment that state denied her, I wonder if the law that the Texas legislature passed a few years ago will be invoked – the one that lets a private citizen sue a woman who leaves the state for an abortion.

  6. Here’s one of the things that hanging around for many decades teaches—Tempus fugits (Latin is one of the many foreign languages I don’t know). Time marches on relentlessly, leaving the past longer for us individuals but the future shorter. However, Home Sapiens and Earth have a much longer extended warranty than we individuals do because, as a species and a planet, they are expected to last longer than any individual life.

    Why do I prattle on so? (I love old English.)

    Republicans and older adults love the past because in it, we were young, and progress was in its infancy. I fully understand that. However, my grandchildren and theirs won’t live in the past. They have their good and bad to adapt to.

    Refrain from hamstringing them with laws designed in/by/for the past. Aren’t we glad our founders did not when they wrote the Constitution?

  7. Guess I was still thinking of the situation as of yesterday, before the Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of the criminally-indicted attorney general instead of just stalling until Ms Cox left the state and then declaring the case moot (which I thought they might do). I guess that level of subtlety doesn’t serve their objective.

    Good article and background at the NYT:

  8. As we’ve all mostly stated on this blog, Republicans are fundamentally corrupt, not very smart and are backward-thinking beyond all understanding.

    In this case, analyzing Paxton and the Republican-appointed Texas Supreme Court is not worth anything more than this: “Texas Republicans’ inexplicably cruel–and politically clueless–effort to prevent a medically-necessary abortion is a vivid example.”

    With Abbott, Paxton and their disgusting cronies, the cruelty is the point. They revel in their own soup of vileness. It makes them feel like real men when they are actually sniveling little boys. I’m sure Ian will have an opposite take on all this… for the same reasons.

  9. Paxton and Abbott are nought but sniveling, nose running, bullies without a clue about how to be the good Xtians they claim to be. Their only concern, I’m sure, is remaining in power, regardless of how many people they have to hurt along the way. They are certainly not the Puritans they would like to be taken for.

  10. What is most concerning to me is the fact that the majority of Texas voters favor this horror show. Individual people, not a party, but individual people voted FOR this cruelty and ignorance.

  11. I hear people saying that this is being done by religious people.


    This is being done by career crooks who have become politicians, who now dominate the Authoritarian Party née Republican Party, specifically to exert more control over the population in general by dominating women, and religion’s role is to train the ignorant masses to swallow anything (figuratively and literally). Religion is just the brainwashing technique utilized to implement their Cult of Cruelty.

  12. It doesn’t take a medical degree or a law degree to understand that if a part of the body is dying or dead, the dead/dying tissue should be removed. We do it for toes, fingers, arms, or legs. You have to remove it from the rest of the body. This is simply common sense. Ken Paxton and his supreme ilk have twisted this into something even the pro-birth folks would not recognize. This is not about celebrating life, this is a blatant exercise in control and cruelty.

  13. Theresa’s point is one I think about a lot. Sociopaths get elected by people willing to put them in office, no matter their lack of experience, character, morals, integrity or compassion. None of them run to serve the common good. They are political ideologues who care only for themselves and the power election grants them. The voters who put them in office or those who don’t vote at all insure that the future will be ruled by those who are willing to follow the leader, no matter the consequences.

    History is littered with so many examples of the rise of ruthless, murderous dictators who control a murderous, ruthless cohort willing to follow orders without question. Those people, each one an individual who is “just following orders”, execute those orders, often enthusiastically. However they rationalize their choices, it is an individual one with individual responsibility for the results.
    In a country built on the myth of individualism, this demonstrated lack of individual responsibility for criminal, violent, passive or active intentional cruelty is strikingly ironic. We witnessed perfect examples of the behavior on 1/6.

    If, in the worst possible outcome, tfg gets back into office, there will be very few in the government who will be allowed to keep their jobs, sworn to protect the Constitution, and act as a brake on him. Even if there are those who might get into office with the same ideology as him, without him in power, we are still at real risk, especially women and POC. TX is a perfect example of things to come if that scenario proves true in other local/state elections.

  14. First, it would be an utter disaster for Trump to win, not just for the US but for the world. Like many outside the US, I _care_.

    The GOP handling (and blindness of the political ramifications) of the abortion debate will be detrimental to their 2024 results. This is a tiny silver lining around an otherwise massive stormcloud of awfulness.

    But, I’d argue that Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war could be viewed similarly. The veto by the US of the recent UN call for a ceasefire was reprehensible (in my view, at least, which is based on the obvious fact that innocent people dying is terrible, so it should be stopped). Young people are largely pro-ceasefire. They condemn Hamas, of course, but they also condemn the ceaseless, merciless displacement and slaughter of innocent civilians (including _many_ children) in Gaza. There is no silver lining here. It’s a horrific act–a war crime, absolutely–happening right now. As a cherry of $#!+ on top, the political repercussions are surely awful, too; it seems likely to me that it’ll hurt Biden’s re-election chances.

  15. Approximately 20 years ago a married relative in her thirties lost her baby in utero of natural causes at about 7 months. The way the laws were/are in Indiana her doctors couldn’t remove the dead baby from her body. She had to carry the baby’s corpse in her body until it deteriorated enough to cause a toxic labor. Her mental, emotional and physical health suffered while she waited quite a period of time for that to occur. It’s not about the life of the baby, it’s about politicians domineering and controlling women.

  16. The Texas Supreme Court and Ken Paxton have shown, in reality, there are no exceptions to the abortion ban, and there were never meant to be any exceptions. Not when there are justices like John Devine, who once gleefully bragged to a Fort Worth crowd how anti-abortion he was when he was arrested 37 times for protesting at abortion clinics. The fix was in.

  17. “In honor of the 50th anniversary of Robert Kennedy’s assassination, we’ve pulled together some of his most valuable words of wisdom that are just as relevant today as they were when he first said them. From advice on how to achieve success to his perspective on diversity and its importance to American culture, Bobby Kennedy had an abundance of thought-provoking words to share.”

    “Some men see things as they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not.”

    Is there a better explanation for what motivates liberal politics? What could it possibly be?

    We build for the future, not the past, which is gone forever.

  18. The Texas Supreme Court are elected statewide. If the people of Texas aren’t appalled by this decision and moved to make changes, then we might just want to encourage them to secede. The level of cruelty displayed in this and in the cases of the twenty two women in the class action suit filed a couple of months ago, indicates a true lack of concern for the lives of pregnant women..

  19. If these do-gooders in texas say killing the fetus is a crime, what is it when the mother dies because she couldn’t abort the dead baby from inside her body? I think killing the mother is a crime. So who gets charged, the already dead baby? Or the government of texas ?

  20. JoAnne;
    Am I the only one that noticed that today you spoke of your daughter in the past tense when just a day or so ago you were talking of the efforts to save her life? My most sincere sympathy for your double loss.

  21. Texas is trash!

    We all have a responsibility to make sure that every woman that we know is as outraged by the misogynist attitude of the Republican Party throughout the United States. And while we are at it, make sure that the men who truly love and respect their women support any politicians who are brave enough to oppose the misogynists.

    As a father of daughters I stand for women’s right to control their own bodies!

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