By Anna Merlan
“The First Unitarian Church of Dallas hosted a special guest last week: Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. The CRR, if you recall, is the New York-based organization that recently won a preliminary injunction against Texas’s proposed sonogram law. In the church’s main sanctuary, Northup spoke to a group of about 25 people, mainly women, about strategies to permanently defeat the law. Her talk, and others, underscored that this hasn’t just been a bad year for women’s health in Texas, she pointed to what she called ‘an avalanche of anti-choice laws’ that were passed this year across the country, about 50 in all.
‘We’re in a dire place, both in our country right now and in Texas this year particularly,’ Northup added. ‘Women’s reproductive freedom is a fundamental right, a human right that should be recognized by governments everywhere.’ According to Northup, ‘There have been very heartening decisions outside the U.S.’. In Nepal, for example, the Supreme Court recently issued a decision stating that the government is obligated to cover the cost of abortions for women who aren’t able to pay themselves. ” On the sonogram law, she said that abortion opponents ‘would like to see it prevail here so it could be copied elsewhere.’ She called the law ‘patently unconstitutional,’ and noted that Governor Perry approved it while in the same legislative session vetoing a ban on texting while driving, which he called ‘a government attempt to micromanage the behavior of adults’. ‘This is a big battle,’ Northup said, ‘Because Texas is a big-fish for the anti-abortion movement’.”