Some issues never seem to go away.
Sometimes they go underground for a while only to resurface just when you start to forget about them. News outlets can exacerbate this. Typically, they discuss one current, trending topic until you would rather bang your head into a wall than hear about it again -- cough, cough Benghazi.
But in the midst of hotly trending issues, it is so important to remember to pay attention to the ones that aren't getting as much buzz anymore, as they could be the ones that end up affecting you the most.
Considering all the upheaval we've had to endure this year with the government shutdown and oh-so efficient roll out of the Affordable Care Act, I'm starting to feel like people are losing focus of a few truly important issues that are still alive and kicking.
How is immigration reform going to develop within the next year? Will immigration reform in the next year? What's new on the abortion debate? And what the heck is going on in Syria and Egypt now? Three months ago that was practically the only thing people could talk about. Just because certain media sources have the attention span of a three year old does not mean we should let really important discussions fall by the wayside.
That being said, the abortion debate has reared its head once again, this time in Texas. This may not be as entertaining as watching the Obama administration scramble to get their act together (pun intended) while the GOP verbally smears them all over the place, but what is?
And let's face it, who really wants to keep talking about the abortion debate. It's weird and gross and makes for some really awkward discussion, especially if the crazies are out on Pedestrian Walkway. But it is important, regardless of what stance you take. It's one of the biggest issues for women today, and as Ken Cucinelli recently discovered, you can't ignore the female vote.
The Texas legislation stipulates, among other things, that abortion doctors must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic, which opponents say presents a huge burden for both the doctors and women seeking the procedure. Potentially, this could cause many clinics to close their doors. This law supposedly serves the purpose of making the practice safer, but let's be real. The purpose is to make it so cumbersome to have the procedure that many are unable to go through with it.
After a Texas appeals court failed to overturn the law, critics took it to the Supreme Court in the hopes they would strike it down. Unfortunately for them, the divided justices decided the burden for overturning a law already upheld by a federal appeals court is a heavy one, and it just wasn't enough in this case.
I can't say this was a bad idea on their part and can see why they feel it might be beneficial to wait and see what happens. The case remains on appeal for the 5th Circuit and arguments will be heard in January 2015, so there is some time to see how the law plays out.
Regardless, the 5th Circuit is widely viewed as one of the most conservative appeals courts, so the actual ramifications of the law may not even matter.
Problematic to me is the idea that other states could follow this lead and create similar legislation, making it harder and harder for women to have this procedure. Even more worrisome is the idea that people, women especially, are not paying attention to what could be the biggest development in this debate since Roe vs. Wade.
If the 5th Circuit upholds the law, which they most likely will, it will set a precedent for other states with conservative law makers who have similar agendas.
We shouldn't let the sexier, more entertaining news overshadow what's going on. This case has the potential to take us three steps back from the precedent set by Roe.
Hopefully this ruling will wake up women who don't realize male-dominated legislative bodies want to relegate them back to the 50s.
Katie Dean is a junior in political science. She can be reached at email@example.com.