Most Texans support the Preborn Pain Act filed yesterday by Collin County Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, a UT/Texas Tribune poll released this morning found. As you can see in the above chart, 57 percent of Texans polled either strongly support or somewhat support the bill, which would ban abortions scheduled to occur 20 weeks after fertilization. While the poll also found that Texans — at least 39 percent of them, anyway — support the availability of abortions.
Now the polling was clearly done before the actual bills were filed (Republicans members of the Texas lege has been talking about the bill since November, though), but there are some other issues with the poll as well. From the Tribune:
“Part of this is a framing issue. The idea that you would be in favor of ‘fetal pain’ is a pretty tough position,” said Daron Shaw, co-director of the poll and a professor of government at the University of Texas-Austin.
“In Texas, the leadership on a litmus test issue, abortion, has framed the issue in a way where they’re likely to do pretty well,” he added. “But in 2012, the national election landscape was littered with people who didn’t know how to talk about the issue. If Republicans talk about parental notification or fetal pain, they do pretty well; if they talk about rape or incest, that’s a loser.”
The bill, which Governor Rick Perry reiterated his support for yesterday in a statement and was also filed in the Texas Senate, has a long way to go. These battles are rarely short, one-sided discussions. Take Arkansas’ similar bill, for example. The Legislature passed it in January, the governor vetoed it in February, then the Legislature jammed it through.
Strap in, everyone.
(Side note: I hate having to click the “Politics” and “Health & Medicine” categories for the same post.)