Texas: Good For French Fries, Bad For Pro-Choice

by Elizabeth King

A decade-long ban was lifted across the entire state of Texas; citizens are divided, but the governing body is steadfast and apparently proud of the decision. The ban in question? Deep-fryers in schools. That's right, as of Thursday, the children of Texas now have the opportunity to be served scrumptiously saturated-fatty foods from their school's cafeteria. Meanwhile, on Friday, abortion clinics and pro-choice activists in Texas were filing a request with the Supreme Court, requesting a delay in the new Texas law that would close all but seven of the state's abortion clinics. So basically, in the state of Texas, deep-fryers are given more consideration that reproductive rights.

The decision to reverse the ban on deep-fryers in schools was made by the state's Agricultural Commissioner, Sid Miller, while the abortion bill (now a law) was created and enacted by the Texas legislature. These are disparate governing entities, but this speaks strongly to the overall tone and priorities among Texas' elected officials. The hypocrisy of the political status quo is made comically clear in news headlines that let the world know the Texas government trusts that schools get to make important decisions about the health of their students, but if you want or need an abortion in Texas you're basically SOL regarding your own health.

Jana Birchum/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Regarding his decision to lift the deep-fryer ban, Miller stated, "We're all about what our country was founded on — we're about giving our school districts freedom, liberty, and individual responsibility." What? What?! Maybe he should write a memo to the more than 40 members of the Texas House of Representatives who sponsored the obliteration of half of Texas' abortion clinics, letting them know that our country was apparently founded on freedom, liberty, and individual responsibility. Schools deserve this choice (ahem!), so.... why don't abortion seekers deserve to make their own choices? (This question is not rhetorical, Texas state officials.)

Erich Schlegel/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Polls have shown that Texans are pretty split on whether or not they support pro-choice policies. A poll taken by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune in 2013 shows that 36 percent of Texans feel that abortion is "a matter of personal choice, with 30 percent saying abortions should only be allowed in cases involving rape and incest, and only 16 percent believing that abortions should never be permitted. Similarly, citizens and groups are concerned about the renewed opportunity to serve deep-fried food to school children, some saying it "defies logic." Similarly logic-defying is the fact that the voices of Wendy Davis, NARAL, and the 36 percent of Texans are consistently shot down as they fight to keep their few abortion clinics open.

Lucky for Texas schools, they are able to opt in or out of having a deep-fryer in their cafeterias. They are allowed to make a choice about health based on their own judgement of what is best for their school, and have the opportunity to adhere to their values. Abortion seekers in Texas, however, will have to wait and see if SCOTUS will help remind their state government that choice is more important for reproductive health than it is for French fries in a school lunch.

Images: Getty Images (2), Texas Tribune