Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Colin Allred: Blocking Texas women from driving to another state for abortions is un-American

By Colin Allred
Special to the Avalanche-Journal

It has been a year and a half since Texas enacted its near-total abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest, a law championed by a small handful of extremist Republicans, including our state’s junior U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

This law is one of the most extreme measures of its kind in the nation, and since its enactment, we have seen horror stories of Texas women being forced to endure the unthinkable.

Women like the Austin mother whose amniotic sac ruptured early, killing her unborn child – but who was nevertheless forced to carry the fetal remains until she developed a life-threatening sepsis infection. This woman, who desperately wanted to have another child, will now find it “more difficult, if not impossible, to get pregnant again in the future.”

Now, Texas women are facing another outrageous violation of their rights – restricting their ability to travel out of state. Recently, Lubbock County became the largest county in our state to ban driving on its roads in order to flee the state to get reproductive health care.

We cannot allow this kind of Orwellian police state to take root. This is Texas. We believe in freedom: to live your life, to make decisions about your own body and health, to travel where you want and to do so without interference from the government. These travel bans are not who we are as Texans, as evidenced by the fact that only 23% of Texans approve of these absurd restrictions.

How will these laws be enforced? By police officers pulling women over and asking, “What is the purpose of your travel, ma’am?” Does that sound like freedom to you? I know it doesn’t to me. That’s not the Texas I know, and it’s not the Texas I want to pass on to my children.

I thank God every day that my wife, Aly, and I were blessed with healthy babies born without complications. But I held my breath at every doctor’s appointment hoping the doctor would not deliver unthinkable news. I cannot imagine how devastating it would have been if the worst had occurred and the doctor then told us that there was a problem with the baby, but that there was nothing they could do, because politicians had made it illegal to provide necessary care.

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