Texas groups protest banks, sonogram law

DALLAS - Women from Code Pink, along with a few male allies, recently picketed the Bank of America on Inwood and Lemmon.

The action was part of "Stop Corporate Greed," which thousands of Occupy groups, MoveOn councils, and Jobs with Justice chapters all over the nation participated in.

Women in Texas had plenty of other reasons to be angry. A new sonogram law has taken effect requiring women seeking abortion to have an intrusive vaginal sonogram taken, a discussion of the photos with an attending physician, followed by a day long waiting period.

The widely read "Doonesbury" comic strip has started publicizing this law with a story line that has a young women told to report to the "shaming room" when she first asks for help.

A speaker at the March 10 action said that calling it "governmental rape" was understating the law's significance.

In its last session, the Texas legislature cut off funding for any clinic offering abortions, then went further and ended funding for any women's clinic associated with an organization that offers abortions elsewhere.

The immediate target is Planned Parenthood, which may have to close hundreds of clinics in the state unless the federal government can find a way to fund them.

Low-income women who need help with counseling, birth control, or any kind of personal medical problem will be made to suffer.

Another issue of concern to those at the rally was discriminatory congressional redistricting. A federal court had overturned the Texas legislature's maps, but its decision was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court. Something slightly less discriminatory but still reeking of racism resulted.

A bit of good news is that the federal Department of Justice has turned down the Texas Attorney General's request for approval of the discriminatory Texas Voter ID law that the last legislature passed. It would especially penalize women, seniors, and minorities.

Attorney General Greg Abbott announced that he will continue fighting to implement it.

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