Keyword
in
Collection
Date
to
Houston Breakthrough, April 1979
Page 11
Citation
MLA
APA
Chicago/Turabian
Houston Breakthrough, April 1979 - Page 11. April 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 27, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1324/show/1307.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(April 1979). Houston Breakthrough, April 1979 - Page 11. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1324/show/1307

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, April 1979 - Page 11, April 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 27, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1324/show/1307.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

URL
Embed Image
Compound Item Description
Title Houston Breakthrough, April 1979
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date April 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 11
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_549ak.jpg
Transcript Twelve bills now pending before the Texas legislature would limit or prohibit all abortions. All of the bills are currently in different committees, but if one of the bills gets out of committee onto the Texas House or Senate floor, passage is almost certain, according to Karen Mul- hauser, executive director of the National Abortion Rights Action League. "Statistics have shown that 60 percent of all Americans support abortions or at least 'freedom of choice,' " explained Mulhauser. The main problem, as she views the situation, is that the majority who favor the abortion issue do not voice their opinion. Legislators, she feels, will hurry to explain that their mail is running 100 letters against abortion to every one letter favoring freedom of choice. "If every woman that has had an abortion would stand up on the same day, the legislators would have to listen. But, we have found that most of the majority are silent. Congressmen are voting the way they believe most of their constituents feel. If they receive more anti-letters than favorable ones, naturally they are going to vote against abortions," she stressed. Mulhauser, here for a meeting with members of the Texas Abortion Rights Action League (TARAL), urged women and men who are pro freedom of choice not to hesitate, but to contact their legislators and tell them their views. Three state legislators from the Houston area have been the ones introducing some of the key anti-abortion bills. They are Senators Walter Mengden and Jack Ogg and Representative Gene Green. One of the bills which is viewed by Mulhauser and NARAL as being among the worst is one proposed by Mengden. This bill would prohibit hospitals, clinics or any other medical facilities, supported by any form of taxes, from using its 2 o CD JOAN GLANTZ (L) and KAREN MULHAUSER services or facilities for the performance of abortions, except to save the life of the woman or in cases of rape or incest. A resident of the county in which the facility is located may sue to enjoin or prohibit the facuity. "We feel this would be a serious and dangerous bill. That means that none of the birth control clinics where abortions also can be obtained would be able to perform the procedure. What we will see is more self-induced abortions which have much more serious consequences," commented Joan Glantz of the Houston American Civil Liberties Union. The worst of the pending legislation, by far, Mulhauser stressed is the House bill by Representative Bill Ceverha of Dallas. This bill is the infamous "Akron Ordinance" which repeatedly has been struck down by the courts. The bill defines the "unborn child" as a person from the moment of conception; requires second trimester abortions to be performed only in a hospital and all abortion facilities to meet surgical standards; requires the physician to dispose of the fetus in a manner consistent with "human dignity;" requires the filing of reports and records for the purpose of gathering statistical data. It would also require the physician to counsel the woman seeking an abortion, with her husband if she is married or with her parents if she is under 18 years. This consultation concerning consequences of the abortion to her or her "unborn child" would take place 24 hours prior to the procedure. The woman, husband or parents also would be told that the state recognizes the "unborn child" as an individual human being and encourages the woman to continue her pregnancy. The doctor also would have to explain the physical characteristics of the fetus at the time of the abortion, including mobility, tactile sensitivity, response to pain, brain and heart function, development of external members and internal organs. Photographs and other visual materials must be used. "This bill clearly is unconstitutional, imposing on a person's rights and it is inaccurate in that it explains the complications and serious physical after-effects of abortions without telling the complications and problems of carrying the fetus to full term," Mulhauser pointed out. "This bill neglects the fact that abortions are much safer than carrying a child to full term," she emphasized. The Akron Ordinance has never gone into effect in any area where it was passed. The courts always have enjoined such a law. This type of legislation was first passed as a city ordinance in Akron, Ohio, some counties adopted it in New York and Kentucky and, finally, it became a state law in Louisiana. "It is not enough that the courts strike down these laws. We are not sure what the Supreme Court will decide; however, we must, in the future, have legislation passed that would grant a woman the power to control her own body," Mulhauser emphasized. Abortion is an issue that officials like to shy away from. Mulhauser and other proponents of the right to choose abortion have found that oftentimes even if a legislator, in his mind, approves of abortion, he will vote against it because of political pressure. "If any of these bills is made into law, the women who are going to be hurt the most will be the low-income ones and teenagers. Now, they are seeking legal means for abortions. These laws would make them turn to illegal means and into the back alley butcher clinics," she stressed. "Lately, more and more hospitals in Houston and other cities have seen a rise in the number cf girls who have tried coathanger abortions because they do not know that an abortion is legal in Texas. There is so much publicity and voice from the anti-factions that the majority's views never are heard," Glantz informed. The local doctors have not seen so many coathanger abortions since 1973. These bills, Glantz emphasized, would encourage damage to women. "You cannot tell me the anti-abortion groups are pro-life. They are not and neither are the men who are proposing such bills. These same legislators certainly are not voting pro-life on bills pertaining to nutrition programs or funding programs for lower-income groups. They are not convincing me that they are pro- life," Mulhauser adamantly stated. If the Akron-type bill is passed, the cost of an abortion would almost be prohibitive since it requires a physician to counsel with the patient and family rather than a trained counselor, as is now the procedure. Mulhauser and Glantz feel that the anti-abortion legislators and "pro-life" factions are the same groups that are so outspoken against the Equal Rights Amendment. "These men think that the woman's place is in the home and that's where she should stay. If a woman wants to be a homemaker, I have the highest respect for her, but it should be her choice," Mulhauser explained. She pointed out that states and countries that have passed liberal abortion laws have done so only after improving the status of women. "The only countries that have antiquated laws in regard to women are the Latin American and Moslem ones. In both cases women have no status outside the home. None of these countries has legalized abortions in spite of the fact that one out of every two beds in the hospitals is filled with maternity patients, either pregnant or for self-induced abortions," Mulhauser stressed. "I want to make women and men mad enough about the pending legislation that they will contact their elected officials. I want the women to be angry about the laws that will have so much bearing on their lives. I also want them to be more assertive about the types of legislation that are passed," she stated. Mulhauser claims NARAL, ACLU and TARAL have plans to get more organized before the national and state elections in 1980. "I would like the effort to be three- pronged-public education about the serious threat to freedom of choice, a lobbying effort in the Texas legislature and getting more persons involved in what their elected officials are doing," Mulhauser said. When asked why she felt the current legislature had so many anti-abortion bills, Mulhauser said, "We do not have people like Sarah Weddington who will stand up for women's rights in office anymore. "Until women truly are able to control their reproductive lives, they do not have control over the other aspects of their lives. To prohibit abortions is to take away the element of freedom of choice and a woman's respect," she expressed. "How can these ^legislators value a fetus above the life of a woman or of other children who may not receive sufficient care if another baby is born? This is an hypocrisy, making unborn children paramount," she concluded. — HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH APRIL 1979 11