Texas vs. Virginia: A Tale of Two Sonograms

There's only so much crowing a Texan can take before wondering why everyone was up in arms over Virginia debating a law that Texas had already set into place. And I wasn't alone. Former Texas Observer journalist Abbey Rapoport asked this morning over at The Prospect "Where Was the Outrage Over Texas's Sonogram Law." The Texas Tribune's Emily Ramshaw also remarked at the different reactions to the law, bolstered by a Saturday Night Live skit and Virginia's battleground status.
It got me wondering if everyone just slept through the last session, so I turned to the internet in an effort to rationalize some of this with data. Below is a chart showing Google search insight over the last year. You can see that the red line, searches for "Texas sonogram," peaks somewhat during the legislative session and again when the bill was being debated in court. But the search trends and interest in the Texas Transvaginal Corridor were nowhere near as drastic as they are for Virginia's.

I decided to narrow down my focus to Texas to see what our best and brightest were really interested in during the last few months. So I threw in some other search terms that I thought might be more reflective of the general interests of everyday Texans.
Well, that was a bad idea.

If this is starting to depress you, take heart: only one in three Texans have access to and use the internet, according to a 2010 Census report. But actually, that's not very comforting either because it very well may be one of the reasons there was a considerable lack of hoo-rah surrounding the Texas Republican majority poking around in women's hoo-hahs.

We're the third lowest state in the nation in the number of individuals using the internet, beating out only Mississippi and West Virginia. Whereas nearly seventy five percent of Virginians have access to and use the internet, which is right around the national average, we're about ten points behind. There's a definite virality behind our political process these days and if more than half of all concerned citizens are not able to be a part of the process, then it's no wonder word isn't making it outside of the violet echochamber of Austin.


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3 Response to "Texas vs. Virginia: A Tale of Two Sonograms"

  • Glynn Wilcox Says:

    Varginia women count but not Texas women?


  • downfromtheledge Says:

    Those numbers have to be linked to poverty...although even seemingly "destitute" Americans have an iphone or the like. But there's poor, and then there's POOR.

    IDK. Could have to do with the proximity to DC as well, more in the heart of political culture?

    I would ask how in the world we allow this to happen, but I'd only have to look in the mirror to find useless outrage. It doesn't matter how you feel about the issues if you don't DO anything about it, you know? And most of it's not knowing WHAT to do.


  • Vik Verma Says:

    One thing is that Texas has a very Republican legislature and a Republican Governor. In general, I just didn't hear the outcry at the same level. Then again, I live in East Texas.

    Virginia is far more up for grabs politically at this point and Northern Virginia is part of the DC market. That also gives it more visibility.

    Besides, Texas is supposed be like another country. Maybe those outside of Texas also have that view.