Asst. Opinions Editor
Abortion rights are once again being compromised by men! In Texas, the state has just passed a law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy on Sept. 1st. This goes against the 1973 Supreme Court decision that gives people the constitutional right to have an abortion. This makes Texas the most restrictive state when it comes to abortions. The Supreme Court voted 5 – 4 in refusal to block the abortion law. At six weeks a woman is no longer allowed to get an abortion due to a heartbeat! Most people don’t know that they are pregnant until many weeks after the six week mark.
The Texas law that was put into place on Sept. 1st also allows private citizens to sue anyone who helps someone get an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest. These private citizens don’t even have to have a connection to whom they are suing in order to sue. They can sue anyone who they suspect in helping one obtain an abortion. Other states have tried to implement laws like this, such as: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wisconsin. However, they have been blocked by the federal court or abortion-rights groups.
The reason the Texas law was able to go through was because it doesn’t require public officials to enforce the law, it allows private citizens to bring about civil lawsuits against abortion providers. Basically this law allows the citizens of Texas to snitch people out if they suspect they’re getting an abortion. Whoever snitches could be awarded at least $10,000, and the people in charge of this law have made it easy to report abortions. The Texas Right for Life has a created a ‘whistleblower” website that allows people to send anonymous tips on anyone whom they believe helped someone get an abortion around the six week mark. In other words, the state of Texas and “Pro-Lifers” are placing a bounty on people who provide abortions. These people are able to sue abortion providers for at least $10,000 in “damages”, and according to Rebecca Parma, senior legislative associate for Texas Right to Life, it’s “great incentive to have the abortion industry comply with the law.” Honestly, this is an atrocious law because it allows anyone to sue those who perform abortions up to $10,000 in “damages” in that they don’t have. What kind of damages is a pro-lifer going to have after a random person has an abortion? They will have no damages, because it had nothing to do with them in the first place!
People who are pro-life or conservative are the first ones to protect zygotes and fetuses, but are the last ones to care about all the children after they exit the womb, and are the first ones to judge those struggling to take care of their children. Statistics have shown that once a child is born conservatives lose interest in the child at hand. In states like Alabama, who pass anti-abortion legislations, have the highest infant mortality rates in the country. In 2017, the infant mortality rate in Alabama was 7.4 deaths per 1,000 births. Not to mention, this doesn’t account for the amount of Black babies that are three times more likely to be killed in the state than white babies by both natural causes and 23 documented hate groups in the state. For a state that really cares about children, and protecting life, they seem to be doing a really bad job at protecting the children of color who live in Alabama. It only proves that pro-lifers only care about controlling women’s bodies while “life” is in their womb, but after they are born they could care less.
My biggest fear with this new law being passed is that it will give other conservative states like Texas the same idea. If the federal courts choose not to block this law, many other states will likely try to pass the same exact law. Seago, with Texas Right to Life, states that his organization “is working with activists in multiple states who are eager to replicate this model if it succeeds in blocking access to most abortions in Texas.” So the law that prevents people from having access to an abortion after the heart beats, or six weeks into the pregnancy, is what is preventing many women from having an abortion safely in the state of Texas. One can only hope that the Biden Administration’s lawsuit against Texas is successful. The lawsuit claims that the Texas law is unconstitutional, and violates the 14th amendment (no state shall make or enforce any law) of the constitution under due process. The lawsuits main goal is to stop individuals from suing facilitates or people that help provide abortions. Which is a good thing because my biggest fear is that providers of abortions will be afraid to help those in need of getting rid of their unwanted pregnancies because they will fear getting sued for large amounts of money. This causes women to leave the state in order to have access to a safe abortion, but many women cannot do this due to many circumstances.
Dr. Bhavik Kumar, a doctor that works for Planned Parenthood, states “there are many people who don’t have the ability to make it out of state … The logistics and ability to do so is not an option for them.” Overall, the banning of abortions at six weeks is going to negatively affect historically marginalized groups, women with low incomes, and women of color. The amount of expenses having to go out of state for an abortion is tremendous, as not only you have to pay to have an abortion, but you need to pay for travel expenses as well. Not everyone is able to do that. This is what makes having an abortion a privilege for the rich, because they are the ones who have access to the best medical care and don’t have to worry about travel expenses and such. Having an abortion shouldn’t be a privilege, it’s a right!
My question is: why is my body the business of other people? What does me or any other person who has an abortion do to other people? Absolutely, nothing. So why is it a huge problem what I do with my body? The answer is Misogyny. For years men have hated women and have not allowed them to have their own minds when it comes to making choices. By making laws that go against abortion it enables men to control what we do with our bodies, which is misogyny. Misogyny is the literal definition of hating women according to Philosopher Kate Manne, but also it is about “controlling, policing, punishing, and exiling the ‘bad’ women who challenge male dominance.” Wanting and having control over our own bodies opposes the man’s ideal world of controlling us. We are in a country made by white men who had contempt for our bodies to begin with. Going against what the chronically disadvantaged and damaged systems they designed is threatening, and it needs to stay that way. I am so tired of feeling dehumanized in a country that claims “liberty and justice for all” when my rights are constantly on the table as a woman and person of color.
Featured Photo: Sage Amdahl / Quaker Campus