Thoughts on SB5 From an Anti-Abortion & Pro-Choice Jesus-Loving Feminist

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[Editor's Note: The Texas Legislature will revisit a controversial abortion bill Monday afternoon, with a rally already gathering outside the statehouse. --Grace]

Coat hanger[photo by ian usher via creative commons]

On Tuesday night, Senate Bill 5, a piece of legislation restricting abortion and women's health services, was nearly [illegally] passed in Texas.

I hate abortion.

I think abortion is violent and tragic, and that it robs children of their lives and wounds the mothers who choose it.  I wish abortion did not happen, and did not have reason to happen.

But.

I do not believe that restricting women's access to safe abortions is the answer.

We've been here before.  Making access to safe abortion illegal or difficult won't stop abortion from happening.  If we restrict access to abortion, babies' lives will not be saved, and women's lives will be lost.  Hearts will be lost.

There has to be a better way.

There is a better way. 

It begins with the heart, I believe.  With the hearts of women and men.  One cannot do this without the other.

It begins with reforming the way our society values women.

It begins with renovating the language we use to speak about and with women.  

It begins with challenging rape culture.

It begins with recognizing feminism as being for more than women alone, and about more than women's issues alone.

It begins with openness and vulnerability and love.

It begins with standing in the pain and offering mercy and help when it would be to let your gaze slide away.

It begins with saying, "I see you."

I do not believe that any good change can begin with, "No, we do not trust you to make choices about your own body and your own family."

We cannot save lives by constricting them.

That's not what Jesus did, and that's not what we should do.

Not ever.

I am going to bed now, and when I wake I hope it's to news that the illegal and manipulative passing of Senate Bill 5 has been rescinded and that eyes are looking and hands are reaching and mouths are crying out for a better way than this.  Because there is one.

June 25, 2013 - Austin, TX, USA - Texas Senator Wendy Davis, center, pauses as the third point of order was being considered, that potentially ended her filibuster of abortion regulations, June 25, 2013, in Austin, Texas. (Credit Image: © Alberto Martinez/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com)

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