Everything you need to know about the new abortion laws in Texas
Abortion is a very heated subject right now, especially in the States. I personally am in the pro-choice category. No, this doesn’t mean that I am pro-abortion; it just means that I believe that it is a woman’s right to choose what’s right for her body. The new State that has been scrutinized recently is Texas, with its abject new abortion law. Remember, these are the same people who were shouting my body my choice when it came to the mask mandate, but when it comes to policing a woman’s body, they see no infringement for one’s human rights. To be honest, this looks like an episode of The Handmaid’s Tale and we are waiting for Aunt Lydia to make her grand and dramatic appearance. Welcome to the United States, a new dystopian world we inhabit; no, this is not fictional; it’s worse. America is known as the land of the free, except if you are a woman or a minority.
Despite the groundbreaking 1973 Supreme Court Decision pertaining to the Roe V. Wade lawsuit, new restrictive laws are being put in place in several States, and one of the most grueling ones in Texas. Roe v. Wade marked a landmark decision where the Supreme Court ruled that the constitution protects a pregnant woman’s to have an abortion without excessive government or state restriction. However, now more conservative and republican leaning States are going back on this decision and are making it harder for women to get an abortion if the pregnancy is dangerous for both the child and mother’s life. Though other states have passed abortion laws like the Heartbeat law, Texas is the first one to actually implement these rules.
The way this law is written makes it difficult to change even though it basically impedes on women’s rights. Elizabeth Nash, a pro-choice State policy analyst, says that “These laws are unconstitutional, as we have understood Supreme Court rulings until now, and courts have quickly issued preliminary injunctions blocking enforcement.”
How does it work?
The new law is known as the Heartbeat law, and it bans abortion from as soon as six weeks or whenever the fetus shows any cardiac activity. This is considered the early stages of pregnancy and most women aren’t aware that they are pregnant at this point. Most research have shown that more than half of pregnancies are unplanned and that most women don’t even know if they are pregnant by the six weeks margin. By the time a woman realizes that she missed her period and might be pregnant, approximately 4 weeks have gone by, and these women will have only 2 weeks left to test if they are really pregnant and decide whether or not they want that child. It might be hard to believe, but most women might not keep track of their period with a full-time job and other activities that they have to tend to.
This law is very restrictive and only permits abortion in very rare instances. It leaves the woman three choices:
- Have the baby and raise it.
- Have the baby and put it up for adoption.
- Have a back-alley abortion.
All these choices run the risk of causing severe mental toll on the woman. It is important to note that stricter abortion laws don’t decrease abortion rates; they only put more women at risk as they turn to alternatives that might not be 100% safe or sanitary.
What can you do about it?
If you are like me and are dumbfounded by this new law, write to your local state representative and tell them this new law infringes on your rights. As always, sign petitions and march in protest to show that you are not going sit down and accept these laws quietly. Remember to use your voice and act up; if you are a writer, write about it; use your platform to educate people if you are an influencer.
To quote Harvey Milk, “All men [people] are created equal. No matter how hard they try, they can never erase those words. That is what America is about.” Remember today it is your neighbours’ rights; tomorrow, it may be your rights that are being taken away. We didn’t make so much progress to have them snatch it right in front of our noses. We will not say silent; we won’t stop protesting as long as everyone is treated equally in this country. Progress is very brittle and we need to fight for it. Be the Rosa Parks of your generation and speak out on injustices when you see them.