Themeless 17 (a/k/a Texas Two-Stepped In It Big Time)

Words:  68

Average Length:  5.71

Difficulty:  3.5 out of 5

See 10 Down

Kudos and, more importantly, thank-you’s to so many in the independent crossword constructor community for raising money to combat the Texas Legislature’s viciously regressive actions.  In particular, check out “These Puzzles Fund Abortion” on Rachel Fabi’s and C. Rimkus’s Just Gridding blog,

puz | pdf | solution

It’s ironic that Republicans routinely accuse Democrats of promoting a Nanny State that destroys individual freedom.  After all, it’s Republicans who just deprived women of the fundamental freedom to control their own bodies. It’s Republicans who, across the South, have effectively deprived millions of non-Whites of their fundamental freedom to vote.   It’s Republicans who want to deprive our children of the freedom to learn about our great nation’s tragic history and instead feed them pablum that ignores the ongoing legacy of slavery.  And it’s Republicans who, despite their rhetoric about protecting unborn children, deprive all of our children and grandchildren of the freedom to live in a world whose climate is not in a death spiral. 

I don’t like abortion.  No one does.  No one wants to need an abortion.  But instead of looking for ways to minimize the need for abortions, Republicans in the Texas Legislature and Texas Governor Abbott essentially have outlawed abortion, knowingly – perhaps actionably? — endangering the lives of countless women.

What should be done?  As a man, I’m not going to say I know what’s best for women’s health.  I do think, though, that if politicians joined the 21st century and required (1) universal, mandatory sex education and (2) universal, free, no-questions-asked access to birth control, the number of abortions would plummet.  Yes, some (certainly not most) religious people’s noses might be put out of joint.  But we’d all be better off.

I almost forgot:  please enjoy the puzzle and please share it if you do.  And please feel free to disagree with me, as long as you do so in a reasoned, respectful manner. 

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