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On second thought maybe HB 2 isn’t so bad after all

by | Jul 23, 2013

By Dave Andrusko

Sharon Grigsby, deputy editorial page editor, Dallas Morning News

Sharon Grigsby, deputy editorial page editor, Dallas Morning News

The earthquake (or so it seemed) that rocked Austin, Texas, already has been followed by a series of aftershocks. Here are just a few.

HB 2, the very epitome of a commonsense bill in the post-Kermit Gosnell era, has been denounced in furious terms, although nothing could likely outdo the ominous, threatening rhetoric that we heard in and around the Texas Senate galleries. And the same mob mentality that did its best to grind the democratic process to a halt in Texas seems ready to metastasize in places like North Carolina.

We’re being told that pro-life officeholders will pay the price for a bill like HB 2. There are four primary components to HB 2: a ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy–the point at which medical evidence demonstrates the unborn child can feel pain; the abortionist would be required to administer chemical abortifacients in person, rather than via videoconferencing where he is never in the same room with the mother; the abortionist must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles; and a requirement that abortions be performed at an ambulatory surgical center.

Yet on occasion logic and perspective has broken through. Sharon Grigsby is deputy editorial page editor of the Dallas Morning News and last week she wrote a column headlined, “Why I’m not riled up by Texas’ new abortion law.”

She makes it clear that a ”while my thinking hasn’t moved to the place that I’m ready to lead a [editorial] board revolt to change our pro-choice stand and call for the overturn of Roe v. Wade,” Grisgby has come a long, long way. And, as always, the question is why?

Two miscarriages opened her eyes to the truth that these little ones “with heartbeats that didn’t make it out of the first trimester were just as alive as the ones that culminated in the births of Matthew and Pierce, both of whom are now young adults.”

A friend’s “abortion wrecked her life for a long, long time,” Grisgby movingly wrote. “I don’t know that she’s ever recovered from her decision.” She is honest enough to admit that she supported that decision but convinces herself that “there are no absolutes” because “I have other friends who chose abortion and are none the worse for it.”

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But between these life-altering experiences and better science and technology that disproved that unborn children are “blobs,” Grisgby had reached a point, it appears, where she move past the default response—any pro-life law is hideous—and consider the proposal on its merits.

With that insight accumulated over time, Grisgby walks through the HB 2’s provisions and “I couldn’t really find a lot of fault in the rules.”

Not exactly a rousing endorsement, but if you read some of the other editorial page contributors, you see that it took courage for Grisgby is really bucking the “pro-choice” tide on her newspaper.

If you have a chance, read her blog.

Categories: Legislation