The Extrajudicial AG

Texas has one of the most, if not the most, restrictive and vindictive abortion laws in America. A woman was able to get a judge to issue an extremely narrow stay of the law so that she could obtain a medically necessary abortion. Almost immediately thereafter Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an edict that any physician who performed the abortion or any hospital that allowed the physician to would be subject to criminal prosecution. I did not go to law school but the way I understand it the state AG is under the law, not the arbiter of it.

Contrary to a lot of right wing mythology, the woman in question is married, she already has children and both her and her husband wanted another child. The right wing hates this and you’ll never hear them say it but the fact is that for years the majority of American women seeking abortions are married, and most of them already are mothers. Ronald Reagan’s welfare queen doesn’t exist. In fact, she never existed and abortion is not some sort of state paid for birth control.

If the woman is forced to carry the fetus to term the chances of a live birth are extremely slim. Should there be a baby it’s projected lifespan would most likely be measured in minutes and in a best case scenario, days. Continuing the pregnancy will not only endanger the mother’s life but also her future fertility. Based on what we already know we have every reason to assume this is a couple who would like more children.

The Texas law is so draconian that a husband who drives his wife to a hospital to obtain an abortion is subject to criminal charges. Now for those of you younger guys reading my column that are married can you imagine your pregnant wife asking for a lift to the hospital to get an abortion and you refusing? I’ll just take a wild guess that if that happened things would not be too rosy on the home front. Also, if you are a decent guy, you wouldn’t be too happy with yourself.

In Texas a physician performing an abortion can face a long prison sentence as well as the loss of their medical license. The hospital in question can face all sorts of penalties including loss of licensing and funding. Here a judge issued what is in effect a “waiver” for all parties concerned and Paxton is fighting it.

Among their duties, the AG is basically the state’s district attorney (DA). One of the functions of a DA is to allocate the finite resources of their office to best serve the people. Is prosecuting and tormenting these unfortunate people a high priority?

Now let’s look at Paxton for a bit before I let you go for today. This summer Paxton avoided removal from office and was reinstated when the Republican dominated Texas Senate failed to convict him of the charges he was impeached by the Texas House for. The Lt. Governor, Republican Dan Patrick, served as effectively the judge in those proceedings. Paxton’s PAC donated $2 million to Patrick. I’m can’t prove that anything went wrong or that the donation influenced any votes but do you think it passes the smell test? I don’t!

Not all of Paxton’s problems are either confined to Texas or resolved. He is under federal indictment.

This is bigger than Texas and shows the need for Roe to be codified on a federal level. For those seeking a compromise; Roe was the compromise. While the issue is much bigger than any election(s) this should be a talking point for Democrats in 2024. I know he didn’t live his shorter than a ballgame life in Texas, but remember Baby Milo.

Note: One of the dangers in my form of live blogging (which entails writing well ahead of publishing) is that the situation changes.   Late Friday evening the Texas Supreme Court temporarily stayed the original judge’s stay of the law at the request of Paxton.  Reminder: we are dealing with a pregnancy and a life and death situation and/or permanent physical damage concerning the woman involved.

I cannot confirm the reporting from a credible source(s) but the word is that Paxton is under consideration to become Attorney General in a second Trump administration.  You’ve been warned!

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