Behave Yourselves!

Highlights from Hair Balls

Texas

Texas, we're starting to earn our reputation.

When we look at the recent headlines out of Texas that have made national news, it's pretty easy to see why folks outside the Lone Star State think that we all ride our horses to work. Our antics are becoming the punch line for national jokes, and really, none of them are all that funny. Let's stop this madness, please, before someone loses a foot. Or a horse.

Here are the more recent Texas headlines that we could have done without the nation seeing. If we don't get our acts together, Rhode Island and Delaware are going to think we also pack our six-shooters and lassos by our hips, just in case there's a pregnant lady who needs lassoing.

A twerking mob of ladies robbed a store in Bryan, Texas, and CNN posted the video because Texas is Texas, y'all.

Really, guys? Must we show the world all our cards at once? CNN doesn't need another reason to point fingers at Texas. Rick Perry has given major news organizations enough ammunition to last a lifetime, really. So when the twerk mob flashed across the "Now Trending" section of CNN's ­homepage, it was all we could do to keep from burying our heads in the Texas dirt.

If you haven't been privy to this bit of Texas grandeur, it's basically exactly what it sounds like. A twerking flash mob of lady robbers was caught on videotape in Bryan robbing a store and, well, twerking for their lives. The overwhelmed cashier, whose interview was both incredulous and hilarious, was as confused as we are. Who was the mastermind behind this twerk-robbery, and why must we do this in Texas? Louisiana is right there.

Texas courts hijacked a brain-dead woman's body and turned her into a fetal incubator against her and her family's wishes.

In Fort Worth, 33-year-old Marlise Munoz remains on a ventilator. She was 14 weeks pregnant with her second child when she collapsed from an apparent blood clot in her lung back in November. Munoz is brain-dead, and both she and her husband are EMTs who have stated their desire to be removed from such devices if the time ever came.

Unfortunately, Munoz's husband can't remove her from those machines because she's three months pregnant, and Texas law says that in such cases, the person's body is to be kept "alive" artificially, as the fetus trumps all. Munoz's husband doesn't want her kept on the respirator, nor does her family, but Texas wins because she's pregnant, even if it's only a couple of months into the ­pregnancy.

The clincher in all this is that no one is really sure if Munoz's fetus will be viable long-term. There's no clue as to how long Munoz went without oxygen, which in turn leaves questions about how long the fetus was deprived of oxygen as well. Not to mention the fact that bodies kept "alive" through artificial means still deteriorate, and there's no guarantee that she'll make it to term with that pregnancy, whatever "term" means in this situation.

Munoz isn't a woman who's nearing the end of a pregnancy. She had expressly stated her wish to be removed from any devices like the ones she's being forced to wear. Her husband doesn't want her on the machines. Her family doesn't want her on the machines. Take her off the machines, Texas. She has a right to go without becoming a zombie womb, especially given that no one has a clue whether the fetus is viable.

Side note: It's also a bit sketchy to force this on a family when you take into consideration the uproar over keeping California teen Jahi McMath on a ventilator while she's brain-dead. McMath has been called a corpse, and we've read in explicit detail how her body is decaying. Doctors refused to treat her, citing that she is indeed a corpse, and a death certificate has been issued by the coroner at Children's Hospital in Oakland. What is it going to take for Texas to stop making up definitions — and therefore laws — for medical terms?

Our archaic laws on pregnancy termination wiped out safe abortions for the entire Rio Grande Valley.

So, our state's archaic, sweeping restrictions on abortion providers have made it impossible for women in the Rio Grande Valley — in McAllen, Mission, San Benito and the like — to receive adequate reproductive care. The restrictions have shut down all clinics within a 150-mile radius of the Rio Grande Valley, which means that the women of the Valley have two options — they can drive an insane distance in order to obtain a termination or they can hop on over to Mexico, where as we all know abortions are so safe and sterile and all. Or they can have their wombs hijacked for nine months because the state says so, I guess. So perhaps that leaves three options. Three totally garbage options.

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Angelica Leicht
Contact: Angelica Leicht