This morning, Swartz invited Rep. Dan Patrick of Houston for a live Twitter chat about the legislative changes surrounding women's health and family planning in the state, under the hashtag #txhealth.
Patrick authored the bill requiring women be shown a sonogram and listen to a fetal heartbeat (whether they want to or not). When Governor Perry signed that bill into law, Patrick was there, and he had lots of entertaining things to say, including, "The good news is through the blood of Jesus Christ he forgives, and women who have aborted children need to know that message ... I believe this can be the beginning of the end of 75,000 abortions we have every year in Texas."
So everybody just had to know how letting the Internet at him was going to end up, right?
The conversation lasted only about 35 minutes,and mostly consisted of a shower of questions from both Swartz and various random Twitter-ers: Is he really claiming that women were denied the opportunity to see sonograms, if they so chose, before his bill? If Patrick is that concerned about women being "well-informed," why hasn't he pushed for comprehensive sex ed programs alongside all that transvaginal probing? Hey, how much will all those cuts to family planning cost the state, do we think? ($28 million or so, thanks for asking! Not including the $39 milion the state will need to find to create a new, Planned Parenthood-free Women's Health Program.)
On the other side, pro-life activists also chimed in en masse, thanking Patrick for helping to take money away from Planned Parenthood, chatting about ending "that horror," (abortion), and, for some reason, accusing the chat of suffering from "Leftist censorship":
You may have missed out on this round of arguing, but don't fear: Swartz will lead another live chat Thursday morning, this one with Democratic Rep. Donna Howard.