Representative Bill Zedler–Arlington, represent!–couldn’t get his creepy, Orwellian information-gathering amendment passed wherein he wanted to gather as much information as possible on abortion-seeking women, so he just told the State Department of Health Services to institute as much of it as they could, anyway.
To be fair, the democratic process is a very inconvenient thing when what you’re trying to do is take people’s rights away.
My latest piece for RH Reality Check is on the abortion stakeholders meeting called last week by the DSHS wherein they admitted to enacting new abortion reporting requirements–some of which are pretty plainly designed to intimidate doctors–because Bill Zedler asked them to. Not, apparently, because the DSHS actually wants or needs to. Just because Zedler wants ‘em:
The DSHS’ willingness to take up new requirements that, by their own admission, they were not seeking to institute before Rep. Zedler’s request raises disturbing questions: Can individual lawmakers simply bypass the legislative process and “request” that state departments do their bidding? Why should lawmakers bother trying to pass laws with the consent of their fellow democratically-elected legislators when they can just “request” state departments do their bidding later on?
When pressed by RH Reality Check, the DSHS reps refused to clarify its intentions with the updated reporting requirements and specify how the updated requirements–which are redundant at best and intimidating at worst–would benefit the public health and safety of Texans. Their refrain: we have the authority to do this, so we’re doing it.
DSHS has not yet put their proposed draft language online yet, so I uploaded it myself. Here’s what DSHS wants: