I am not the first person to call attention to this, but I consider myself to be fairly up on the situation around abortion access in Texas, and I didn’t know this. I share it with you in case you, like me, hadn’t connected this particular dot.
Unless pragmatic alien pod people take over the Republican delegation in Austin, we’re going to get some dreadful new restrictions that severely limit access to abortion in Texas. One result will be that all abortions, medical and surgical, will be required to be performed in ambulatory surgical centers.
Remember when Rick Perry played against type by issuing an executive order that all middle school girls be vaccinated against HPV? Remember when he rescinded his order after:
- the anti government intrusion people (well, anti intrusion except for close encounters of the uterine kind) and anti-vaccine wingnuts, also known as Rick Perry’s base, flipped out.
- the rest of us gave him the side eye when it was revealed that his former chief of staff was the lobbyist for the drug maker that would benefit from suddenly getting to inject every sweet young thing in Texas to protect her from cervical cancer.
The most important thing to know about Rick Perry is that, when given the choice between winning at the petty game of political point-scoring and behaving like an actual leader, he goes with the game-playing every time.
Only slightly less important, however, is knowing to ask the question cui bono. You shouldn’t ask it in Latin, however, because, well, this is Rick Perry we’re talking about, and although those words are short, they are foreign.
Who benefits? Who wins if suddenly, Texas has a great demand for ambulatory surgical centers, new or existing, in which abortions can be performed?
Could it be United Surgical Partners International? The Houston Chronicle points out that one Milla P. Jones serves as their VP for Government Affairs.
That’s P. for Perry. His sister.
Now, she’s not listed on their website, I didn’t find her name in their most recent SEC filings, and she isn’t currently registered as a lobbyist for USPI in Texas, as far as I could discern through my research. She is, however, identified as holding that position both in her advisory board member bio on the Texas Conference for Women website and in her listing as a board member of the Texas Ambulatory Surgical Center Society.
Not surprisingly, the Texas Observer was on top of this last year.
Update: I see no evidence that USPI would be eager to jump into the abortion business, and requiring that abortions be performed in ASCs is a tactic in TRAP laws around the country and not unique to Texas, but this is just one of those interesting little connections that reminds you that it never hurts to dig a little deeper into people’s motivation for doing things. My motivation, in case you are wondering and to save you some digging, is to not have Rick Perry in charge of my anything any longer.
And now for a little levity:
Keep hoping for the pod people!