Texas bill adds chapter to a 150-year old debate

As the Texas House of Representatives passed a controversial abortion bill on Wednesday, opponents of the legislation, which now heads to the Texas State Senate, erupted in the House gallery.

The Texas bill has energized political activists on both sides of the issue.  Thousands of demonstrators filled the halls of the Capitol and gallery so much that additional Capitol security forces were called in for days the state legislature is in session.

In her definitive history of birth control politics, The Moral Property of Women, Linda Gordon writes, “The abortion debate is not only about abortion; it is also about deep differences in social values that spill over into a variety of other issues related to sex and reproduction.”

NBC news describes the bill as a legislative priority for Texas Gov. Rick Perry and top state Republican leaders. 

Gordon writes that the bonding of politics and reproductive policy in America goes back to the mid-nineteenth century “when feminists attacked unwanted pregnancies in the name of sacred female chastity.”



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