One bill criminalizes workers who touch people in inappropriate places as part of their job. One bill mandates they do exactly that. In Texas, they even have the same sponsor.
A strict anti-abortion bill written by Texas state Sen. Dan Patrick went into effect earlier this year, requiring women seeking an abortion to first have a sonogram to ensure that they listen to their fetus’s heartbeat and hear a complete description of its development before they can obtain the procedure.
Women’s advocacy groups deride the new law as an undignified invasion of privacy, but advocates say it’s a necessary intrusion in order to further the pro-life cause.
“The government forcing this on a woman is wrong, but the very idea that the government thinks she hasn’t been a thoughtful moral agent is even more demeaning,” Kelly Hart, director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of North Texas, told TPM.
Patrick, however, has taken a tough stand on mandatory bodily procedures — so long as they’re conducted by a government worker instead of a doctor. He also wrote a separate bill that would have criminalized patdowns from TSA security officers, which ultimately passed the state Senate but failed to become law amid threats from the federal government to divert flights from Texas in response.
“There was a time in this state, there was a time in our history, where we stood up to the federal government and we did not cower to rules and policies that invaded the privacy of Texans,” Patrick said in one floor speech.
Dave Simpson, lead sponsor of a corresponding bill in the House that would charge any TSA official who touches the “anus, sexual organ, buttocks or breasts of the other person or touches the other person in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person” with sexual harassment, spoke of his legislation in similar terms.
“You can’t go to third base without giving us a reason,” Simpson told ABC News.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment