Texas Legislative Watch

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Blast from the Past: My 2013 Abortion Bill Testimony

Posted by Mike O on July 23, 2015

Why post this now, 2 years later?  Because much of it is so relevant now; both from the current videos making the rounds, but my prediction then what a disaster Obamcare was going to become.
Plus, it explains my ‘not-100% pro-life’ stance.

July 2, 2013
To Rep. Byron Cook and the Members of the Texas State Affairs Committee

My name in Michael B. Openshaw, I am a 40 year resident of the State of Texas, currently residing in Plano, Texas.  I am most known here in my role as co-founder for the North Texas Tea Party, based in Collin County.
I come to you to testify in SUPPORT of House Bill 2 in the second Special Session and in support of Representative Democracy over the Rule of the Mob.
First of all, I suppose I should apologize for my gender to some of those with an opposing view.  Apparently men are not supposed to have ANY say whether a child is born or not,  We are constantly told “Well, who is going to take care of all these unwanted children?”
To that I say- Parents do.  Being a parent is not about biology as it is about attitude.  I know this because I have adopted 3 ‘unwanted’ children myself- ones about as far from my biologically as I think you could get, but they are very much my kids.  They come from an environment of support where the very WORST orphanage in Texas would seem like a paradise to them.  Winnie, Irene and Godfey all reside in Uganda and- unlike many- sponsors of children’s charities- I HAVE taken on ALL the duties of fatherhood with them.  Including yelling at Irene on the phone as a stubborn teenager, to going and seeing Winnie graduate from College in her wheelchair (Where I introduced a massive tent of Lungandan parents to what a VERY LOUD Texas “YEE-HA!” sounds like when Winnie’s name was called ?). Winnie works now for a charity giving hope to other poor and handicapped folks and I could not be prouder of her.
I could go on about my kids like any parent can, but we are here to discuss abortion; more importantly this specific bill dealing with abortion.  My testimony to you will be unusual in that I am NOT solidly pro-life; if this was a bill that eliminated abortion entirely, I would be down here testifying against that.  I ALSO will be unusual that I have actual experience in the clinical realm- as a laboratory technician and son of a surgeon- that pre-dates Roe v. Wade.
And it is that ancient experience that requires me to correct the blatant misconception propagated by the Pro-abortion forces that coathanger horrors were widespread in those days- and magically all disappeared after that decision was rendered.  In the vast majority of states, that simply was not true.  The state of Kansas, where I was raised, abortions WERE legal, being done in clinical setting for ‘medical’ reasons.  Two doctors in town were WELL known for routinely listing ‘depression’ as a medical reason and off they’d go.  I drew and did labwork on many. But abortions WERE done in day surgery facilities then and were safe, legal and RARE!  (And I can assure you; in the late 60s and early 70s, there was NO shortage of activities that could LEAD to the need for abortion. Just more caution.)
But something happened to this ONE ELECTIVE MEDICAL PROCEDURE; it was taken outside the clinical realm by a court decision; the ONLY procedure- available to only half of the population- that has been so treated.  I have no ‘constitutional right’ to ANY procedure; not even life-saving ones.  But in doing so, one thing happened that is most troubling; the procedure simply left the normal confines of the clinical realm to become a meat-market-like commodity, where convenience and price became important- and even paramount.  Indeed, you will hear very grim testimony on the like of Gosnell and other far less horrific instances that brings into question as to whether this is clinical practice- or mass-marketing,
Consider Texas, the numbers and the reality of what it truly means.  You see, I have SEEN the results of abortion, in the mass of tissue sent down to pathology in the days of pre-Roe.  I want you to visualize just the QUARTERLY output of the 83,000+ abortions performed by the Texas abortion industry (and that is what it is; an industry, not a ‘practice’). I want you to visualize a mass of human flesh- with tens of thousands of tiny feet and hands sticking out of it- here on the floor between us.  A mass that would weigh TONS.  THIS is the reality of abortion often ignored; the VOLUME.
But I am NOT 100% pro- life; by any means.  Unlike most here on the pro-life side, I have not put rump in pew more than half-a-dozen times in 40 years; my spirituality does not require me to have a professional read a book to me and get me to understand and believe most of its contents- and the message within.  I believe life is precious, NOT sacred.  I DO believe MOST abortions end a life. (I personally question it does if it prevents the implant into the uterine wall; I can accept arguments either way.) And taking life is a VERY SERIOUS business, not to be ignored because it’s an ‘inconvenient’ consideration. Yet I see the actual NEED for abortion to be available is specific instance and ‘a choice’, one I can respect being made either way.  Certainly in rape or incest (though, if these are the ONLY exceptions, I can assure you the unintended consequence of some innocent being accused- to get the abortion.).  Certainly in the case of GROSS abnormality that will require MAJOR medical efforts to sustain with ANY chance of independent life.  To me, those are clear cut choices that have justification for consideration.
But there are clear-cut choices that scream for a change in the status quo.  Gosnell and the protection received from plenty of evidence that there were problems there.  Reported problems elsewhere, NOT seeing the light of day for clearly political reasons.  The 11th abortion of the cousin of a friend of mine.  The sex selection abortions; globally the 160 MILLION women deficit in China as a consequence of their one-child policy.
But the bottom line to me is what this bill actually contains: it starts to bring abortion back into the CLINICAL world and out of the political/advocacy/industrial world.  The abortion supporters say it will shut clinic doors; that should be a serious concern for them; not because of the door they claim being shut, but what is says about the adequacy of the facilities behind those doors.  Requiring the chemical abortion being done to FDA recommendations, and complaining because that is ‘inconvenient’? Well folks, trust me; you’ll learn all about REAL inconvenience in health care by the end of this year.
I would also point out that the Legislative Chair of our group John Smith, had worked up a proposal addressing birthing centers a few months back that have some of the SAME considerations for confirming proper clinical relations to support hospitalization in cases of complication and passed that on to his representative Angie Chen Button for consideration for future legislation.  Certain members of the birthing community were not only accepting but helpful in preparing the proposal.  We are NOT hypocrites here.
On the 20-week ban; I was pleased to see the exception added for the GROSS abnormality as well as the health of the mother; that to me covered an important point.  20 weeks is plenty of time to make the decision and not be taking lives that are on the edge of when we fight desperately to SAVE the lives.  It gives a level of separation desperately needed to avoid being in the continuum leading up to- and including- POST-birth ‘abortion’.  A line to be drawn.
I thank the committee for their time on this contentious topic and hope they will consider this the rarely presented ‘view from the middle’- which the actual contents of this bill represents.  If all people in Texas actually READ this bill- and not paid attention to the rhetoric or hyperbole of BOTH sides; it is my personal belief over 70% of Texans would support it.    Please pass this bill out of committee.


One Response to “Blast from the Past: My 2013 Abortion Bill Testimony”

  1. bnelms said

    Reblogged this on Teachable Moments and commented:

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