Greg Abbott & Dan Patrick: Similar Extreme Positions on Women, Health, and Access to Care

It’s been said that everything is bigger in Texas. And if you’re a woman in Texas, nothing is bigger than the government. And with politicians like Dan Patrick in charge, it’s so big that it’s involved in your most personal, private medical decisions — even mandating that you receive an ultrasound if you want a safe and legal abortion. After authoring and passing the law requiring women seeking an abortion to undergo this invasive procedure, Dan Patrick said,

“There’s nothing that I’ll ever pass that will be more important.”

Patrick is running to be lieutenant governor of Texas. And his partner at the top of the Texas ticket is Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general now running to replace Rick Perry in the governor’s mansion. A Corpus Christi Caller-Times editorial described Patrick’s sonogram law as one “that would force physicians to say what they might not want to say, and their patients to listen to what they might not want to hear, [which] never did sound very Texan. It sounded more like something from the east side of a wall in Germany that no longer exists.” When a judge overturned the provision, Abbott appealed.

Both men want to completely outlaw all abortions with no, or very limited, exceptions. “If you really are pro-life, you are thinking about the life of the child,” Abbott said, “and once you start putting exceptions into that, you’re saying that there are certain children who really are not worthy of life.” Patrick’s first bill in the state legislature in 2007 was to trigger an abortion ban if Roe v. Wade were overturned. The only exception was to prevent the death of the woman.

Patrick wants to turn the clock back for women’s health by forcing physicians to follow an inferior, outdated, and less effective protocol to provide medication abortion. Who do you think is most qualified to create medical standards—medical experts, or a radio host?

Not to be outdone, Greg Abbott wants bosses to be able to decide whether women who work for them can get no co-pay birth control as part of health care coverage.

Texas has the highest rate of uninsured of any state — 6.2 million people or one in four are without health coverage. There are more uninsured Texans than there are people living in Missouri. So what do these two men spend their time on?

As the Austin American-Statesman puts it:

“Patrick, a conservative radio host from Houston who joined the Texas Senate in 2007, has focused heavily on bills expanding abortion restrictions as well as on efforts to reduce property and business taxes.”

So lets get this straight: For business, they want laissez-faire — but women they want big (even bigger in Texas) government? This isn’t going to fly with Texas women — if there’s one thing they showed the world last summer, it’s that they won’t tolerate politicians who talk about freedom and then try to force their personal agenda on all Texas women.

This blog was originally posted May 29, 2014 on Women Are Watching. 

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