The State of Abortion in Texas: "Go to Mexico - Or Stay Pregnant"

Cortney O'Brien

4/27/2014 1:30:00 PM - Cortney O'Brien

MSNBC's Irin Carmon wants you to know that Texas women are "running out of options" when it comes to their unplanned pregnancies:

The combined crackdown by state and local authorities in Texas has done more than make it harder for the women of the Valley to get an abortion. They’re now having trouble getting any reproductive health care at all, since the same state legislature that shuttered the abortion clinics also slashed family planning funds and closed family planning providers. And Texas’ refusal to expand Medicaid means its distinction as the uninsured capital of the United States isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, making the state’s broader health care crisis even worse.

At la pulga, a woman whose stall had just barely survived the raid had one more idea for obtaining abortion pills.

“Go to Mexico,” she said. “Go to Mexico – or stay pregnant.”

La pulga, the setting for this tragic story, is the Rio Grande Valley's biggest outdoor market. Until recently, women could apparently purchase birth control and abortion pills at the event - an enticing location to make these purchases, for they were cheaper than going to abortion clinics. Now, however, after the high profile anti-abortion law H.B. 2 has passed in Texas, the legislation that state senator and now gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis filibustered against last June, authorities have raided the flea market to abolish sales of the pill.

Carmon laments this by suggesting contraceptives should be as simple as buying watermelons and iPhone cases. She then explains what went wrong:

In 2010, Planned Parenthood of Hidalgo County, which covers much of the vast Rio Grande area, saw 24,000 patients, including at the San Juan center. Then came the Republican legislature.

Those villainous Republicans, Carmon goes on to report, cut funding for Planned Parenthood and helped shutter clinics across the state. For a reaction, Carmon interviewed Patricio Gonzalez, the CEO of the Planned Parenthood of Hidalgo County:

“They’ve destroyed the infrastructure we had here for healthcare,” said Gonzalez. “To cut out the family planning funds was a very cruel thing to do.”

Nowhere does Carmon give voice to those who see the closing of abortion clinics as a positive thing. How about celebrating all the babies' lives that were inevitably spared?

I reject MSNBC's misleading "tragic" tale. Women in Texas may be running out of pills, but they're certainly not running out of options. Giving their unborn children life is the best "choice" they could make.