The Abortion Bill - We're Arguing it Wrong

Edmund ValtmanAbortion. Possibly the most controversial issue of our time. An issue we are told to avoid. Why? You can argue your point until you are blue in the face but the result is always just that, blue faces. You either believe it is a life or not. Unless you can convince your opposition that what you believe is correct, you are wasting your breathe.

If your news comes from browsing through news articles and headlines, 10 second sound bites, social media or catching a few minutes of the nightly news, you heard the following story: "the Texas GOP has launched a war on women, the Abortion Bill was anti-choice and thousands of activists were expelled from the capitol for exercising their First Amendment rights." Let us address these compelling arguments against the bill that we have heard from "pro-choice" activists sporting orange-shirts. It takes away a woman’s right to choose! The bill prevents abortions after five months (20 weeks). There is no doubt in my mind that a woman that is electing to have an abortion is facing a tough decision, but five months is enough time to make a choice. What if the mother’s life is in danger? The five-month ban does not apply in cases where the mother's life is in danger.

Well, it is going to shut down clinics! The bill raises the standard of care for women by ensuring that abortion facilities have the same regulatory standards as ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs).

What is an ASC? I’m glad you asked; no one else has. ASC’s, otherwise known as outpatient surgery centers, must meet certain regulatory standards to provide some very common procedures, including colonoscopies, carpal tunnel surgeries, and ear tubes for children. To break it down, the bill ensures that medical staff use appropriate and sanitary procedures. What if current abortion providers do not meet the proposed new requirements? Like any other service provider that does not meet regulatory standards, they will have to upgrade their facilities

What if current abortion providers do not upgrade their facilities? They can continue to remain open and provide women’s health services such as contraceptives, annual visits and preventative services but cease to perform abortions.

The Gosnell case is rare, abortions are safe! Plane crashes are rare, as well. Planes are safe. However there is a chance that something can go wrong.

What about this hospital, doctor, admitting privilege stuff? Requiring doctors to have hospital admitting privileges is simply improving the standard of care. Hospitals provide admitting privileges based on their own assessment of quality of care. If a doctor does not have admitting privileges to a hospital, it is a troubling sign. Run.

So why are protesters still screaming and chanting? We failed on delivering the message. We have read the reports on the 2012 Romney-Ryan fail, did our homework and crossed out hearts that we wouldn’t make the same mistake. Here we are at the first test to flaunt our new and improved selves and flop. Yes, we stand for life, but how does any part of the bill communicate that? It doesn’t.

The Republican Party of Texas and Texas Federation of College Republicans chose a different route. We have 140 characters to share our message and make our case. The Texas Federation of College Republicans led the charge with the #SaferForWomen message. The majority of their friends, the people we need in order to grow our party, are the ones that get their news in 140 characters or less, by watching short clips and summarized stories on Facebook and Twitter. Their friends are the ones that picked up the “war on women” bit. Preaching to the choir, otherwise known as primary voters, is not going to grow the Party. Effective messaging is the only way Texas can stay red. Screaming prolife and prochoice at each other is only going to result in a lot of blue faces. We invite you to follow this debate by following our hash tag #SaferForWomen.

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