Last month Texas Governor Greg Abbott (one of the worst people to ever exist) signed into law one of the US’ strictest abortion laws banning any procedures as early as six weeks into pregnancy and allowing private citizens to take legal action against abortion providers and support organizations. Back in March of 2020 when the same state politicians used COVID as an excuse to attack people with uteruses’ reproductive options, I wrote “Texas Governor Greg Abbott (truly one of the worst people alive) issued an emergency order on March 22 barring healthcare workers and providers from performing elective surgeries or procedures in order to “conserve” essential medical equipment for coronavirus patients. On March 23, Texas AG Ken Paxton (arguably an even worse person than Abbott) said that all clinics and hospitals must stop providing abortions unless the person with a uterus’ life was in danger, essentially violating their constitutional right to an abortion.” Abortion has been an issue for conservative Christians since they imagined it as a (nonexistent) ultimate sin in their Bible and decided they should be the ones to decided what people with uteruses do with their body parts. These people like to label themselves “pro-life” to sound morally superior over everyone else, but we should be calling them pro-birth as they’re the same ones who criticize and judge homeless people, drug users, incarcerated folks, queer and trans community members, and anyone who doesn’t fit into their cis heterosexual usually white church people.
People who seek abortions do so for many different reasons—and none of which should be determined by politicians and/or men and/or anyone who feels they have a say in the matter. Last year, I wrote about the importance of preserving the right to choose. In that post (please excuse my language that carelessly excludes people with uteruses who don’t identify as women), I wrote “If a woman’s right to choose is revoked and SCOTUS repeals Roe v. Wade, women will die. No “pro-life” opinion can silence the fact that women will kill themselves if it means they don’t need to carry a fetus they do not want. Just like in the dark days before Roe, women will throw themselves down the stairs, get back alley abortions, and do anything it takes to remove the cluster of cells inside of them. Taking away the freedom of choice for women is sentencing all of us to death and saying that we are only wombs, not living people. We cannot allow politicians to force us to give birth or sentence us to life in prison for making decisions over our own bodies.” Pro-birth people care only about the sack of cells inside a uterus but once the birth has taken place, pro-birthers go back to their judgemental church bubbles where they’d rather gossip and celebrate each other than care for those who need extra resources and help. Greg Abbott does not care about his living constituents, but he likes manipulating people into believing he’s one of the good guys. Neither Abbott nor his political colleagues like Texas Senator Ted Cruz cares at all about Texans unless they’re growing in a person’s body. Remember when both people let thousands of Texas residents suffer and freeze to death during the terrifying cold fronts and die from COVID en masse while doing nothing? Remember when Ted Cruz flew to Cancun and lied about his reasoning for the vacation while people were dying? Abbott and Cruz are only pro-birth and like their conservative friends and communities, they will only fight for the rights of the unborn cells.
This abortion law is one of the most devastating in the US as most people with uteruses don’t know that they’re pregnant until at least six weeks (two weeks after a missed period). Because the acceptable time frame to have an abortion varies state by state, people who want/need them only have a specific amount of time to have them done. According to Planned Parenthood, “Generally, in the US, abortion is an option from very early pregnancy (somewhere between 4-6 weeks, depending on where you go) until about 24 weeks. Abortions are available later than 24 weeks only in rare cases for medical reasons. In certain areas, it can be hard to find a health care provider who will do an abortion after the 12th week of pregnancy.” There is no later date that some people can get abortions without it suddenly being unavailable to them, which is why this pro-birth law criminalizes healthcare and makes reproductive options more dangerous for desperate pregnant people. This law is even scarier because “Instead of having the government enforce the law, the bill turns the reins over to private citizens — who are newly empowered to sue abortion providers or anyone who helps someone get an abortion after a fetal heartbeat has been detected. The person would not have to be connected to someone who had an abortion or to a provider to sue.” The law empowers radical conservatives—primarily white men—to attack and target abortion providers and supporters even more than they already do and this is a gateway for other states to establish the same laws.
Abortions are essential for all people with uteruses and no lawmaker or state should have any say in what people do with their bodies. Conservatives want to use their religion to criminalize and brutalize people they don’t accept in their churches and make their pro-birth opinions into carceral laws. This law is especially scary as it will devastate countless people in Texas who need abortions and we should financially support the organizations like Planned Parenthood, the National Network of Abortion Funds, and the Texas Equal Access Fund who are all hard at work maintaining and preserving everyone’s right to choose.