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Statement on Texas' recent attack on freedom

The all-out assault on the reproductive freedom of women, couples and families led by the GOP should sicken anyone who favors small government, citizen privacy and autonomy, and freedom.

Government interference in the reproductive rights of its citizens amounts to one of the most immoral over-reaches of government power on people’s privacy, autonomy and freedom.

Imagine the government started controlling who can and cannot, must and must not, when, where and how people start their families. That is the road we are headed down when we let big government determine when we make choices about starting a family.

And now Texas wants to jail doctors, nurses, women, their husbands and partners, their friends, for engaging in private healthcare choices.

True to form, the GOP’s anti-science attacks on healthcare liberty seek to punish those who engage in activities the United States Supreme Court has ruled are constitutionally protected.

These are the same people who have been carrying signs saying “my body, my choice” about not spreading an infectious disease to other people’s bodies. Terminating a pregnancy isn’t contagious. You can’t catch it from the misinformed.

While the Supreme Court may yet strike down the law, its temporary existence is already upending the lives of women and girls who depended on those services in a timely manner.

Those who have the resources may now have to travel out of Texas for their planned procedures.

If you’re in Texas and need to find healthcare providers in neighboring states, click the appropriate state from the list below:
Arkansas and Oklahoma
New Mexico
You can also use this service to find the nearest clinic near you.

While doctors are pledging to continue providing services, an online attack website that sought to “out” any woman or child seeking an abortion, any doctor or nurse providing or assisting in the procedure, and any spouse, friend or relative who provides support, appeared overnight.

The website’s mission to provide the names and personal information of anyone who may or may not have been involved in any way with the termination of a pregnancy could certainly be used as a weapon to punish anyone the GOP disapproves of, much like the Salem Witch Trials. I could submit any name I wanted and it would be posted without any proof, context or evidence. That’s the world we live in now - one where rumors and smear campaigns can destroy people’s lives within minutes of being posted. Maybe that’s what the GOP wanted - a virtual witch hunt to target women rising the ranks in Texas politics.

Thankfully, a youthful band of internet provocateurs banded together to shut down the site. The only venue willing to host the site now is the same site that hosts 4Chan and the Qanon conspiracy radicals.

Florida may soon attempt the very same anti-American lockdown of women’s rights, and we must not let that happen.

Read Justice John C. Roberts dissenting opinion here.

Myth: A “fetal heartbeat” can be detected at six weeks of gestation

Fact: A developing embryo doesn’t have the makings of a fetal heart until about 10 weeks of pregnancy.

NPR reports: "When I use a stethoscope to listen to an [adult] patient's heart, the sound that I'm hearing is caused by the opening and closing of the cardiac valves," says Dr. Nisha Verma, an OB-GYN who specializes in abortion care and works at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The sound generated by an ultrasound in very early pregnancy is quite different, she says.
"At six weeks of gestation, those valves don't exist," she explains. "The flickering that we're seeing on the ultrasound that early in the development of the pregnancy is actually electrical activity, and the sound that you 'hear' is actually manufactured by the ultrasound machine."
That's why "the term 'fetal heartbeat' is pretty misleading," says Dr. Jennifer Kerns, an OB-GYN and associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco.
"What we're really detecting is a grouping of cells that are initiating some electrical activity," she explains. "In no way is this detecting a functional cardiovascular system or a functional heart."

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