Federal Judge Strikes Down Key Texas Abortion Limits

The issue of abortion grabs the spotlight yet again, when just one day before a new abortion law was scheduled to take effect in Texas, a federal judge has struck it down. The law would have required physicians to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic at which they're providing abortion services, and also controlled usage of RU486, a drug that induces abortions.

When handing down his decision on the 30-mile rule, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel said, "It places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus and is thus an undue burden to her."

I'm happy, yet amazed Roe v. Wade hasn't been overturned. It's proof that there are so many people who believe in a woman's right to choose but are only brave enough to admit it when it's law. I don't blame people for being afraid, because taking any social position in America that goes against the religious right can cost you your job, friends, and even family. Religious extremists are a mob you don't want to cross. At least gangs don't pretend to exhibit "Christ-like" behavior.

The delusional thinking is that a fetus is a human being. A fetus is only a fetus and it cannot survive without its mother's body, which makes critical thinking on abortion simple: we own our bodies, and neither the government nor the church has any jurisdiction or say in what we do with it. Once it's breathing independently outside the mother's womb it has rights, but until a fetus becomes a human being it is part of its mother's body.

The problem with people who argue against this is they are thinking through emotion instead of logic. Abortion is a sad but sometimes necessary event, but the mother should be free to choose what happens inside her own body. The fact is that the advent of contraception and legalized abortion has done more to liberate women than any two events in history, and the all-boys club of "women should be kept barefoot and pregnant" is none too pleased. Women have been controlled, bullied, and abused by men since the beginning of time, and maintaining control of their reproductive rights is one of the methods men have used to keep them from rising up in the world.

As long as a woman had to be home raising kids, she couldn't go out in the world and stake her own claim or make her own money. Men not only had a physical strength advantage over women, but they enjoyed absolute monetary power as well. It's hard to have equal rights with empty pockets, and unplanned pregnancy was the catalyst of inequality.

Birth control and abortion changed all that, and in the past 40 years we have witnessed the greatest emancipation of women in American history. Women now have the power to forge their own destiny, earn unlimited amounts of money, and challenge men for political power. This evolution would never have taken place in America without legalized abortion. Overturning Roe v. Wade has never been about saving babies. It's about controlling women, and the religious extremists will continue masking this hidden agenda until they are exposed. All a critical thinker has to do is read what the Bible says about women, which treats them as the property of men with about the same status as cattle. It baffles me that any woman of even modest education can embrace a book that demeans them to this degree, yet this is the power of delusional thinking.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said, "The ruling marks an important victory for Texas women and sends a clear message to lawmakers: it is unconstitutional for politicians to pass laws that take personal, private decisions away from women and their doctors."

To Richards' point, fortunately millions of strong independent women refused to be subjected to the tyranny of ancient religious dogma and puritanical societal norms and are boldly creating their own futures. As women continue to gain more political power, social status and financial equality, they will make America a stronger, more prosperous country. It's a great victory for women in Texas, but we must keep pushing forward to always guarantee a woman's right to choose.