America’s Policing of Women’s Reproductive Rights: The Anti Abortion Legislation in Texas

by Sofia Freitas
Image: Gayatri Malhotra / Unsplash

On September 1st, 2021, the Austin Texas Circut Court of Appeals issued a one-page statement allowing for the temporary re-establishment of heavy restrictions on abortions. This law prohibits the termination of pregnancy once cardiac activity is detected – after about six weeks – with no exceptions pertaining to cases of rape or incest. 

This ban was initiated only one day after clinics across Texas began resuming the treatment of patients in early September. This bill allows for Texas abortion providers to face lawsuits if they attempt to provide any clients with service. 

This new law belongs to a wave of related “heartbeat” abortion bans that have been passed within primarily Republican-ruled states. The lawmakers who voted in favour of this legislation have stated that the law is intended to abolish “Roe.V. Wade” – the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in 1973 which granted women full body autonomy and the choice to end their pregnancies. 

Now, however, the women of Texas who are in need of an abortion are left with limited options. They are either forced to travel great distances in order to find clinics that can legally provide them with service, or must undergo procedures performed without medical assistance, putting them in dangerous consequences. In the most severe cases, women who attempt to terminate the pregnancies themselves may risk death. 

Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbot defended his motives for voting in favor for the abortion ban through a statement released on Facebook. Abbot argued the following. “Our creator [God] endowed us with the right to life, and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion, In Texas, we work to save those lives.”  For someone so adamant about “protecting” and “saving” the lives of Texas citizens, Abbot seems to lack any regard for the lives of many American communities. 

For instance, according to his official political campaign website, Abbot defends the right to keep and bear arms, with the motive to protect and promote the second amendment of the U.S. constitution. The politician entirely disregards the gruesome consequences access to firearms has on the lives of American citizens, who he so strongly “advocates” to protect. Not only has this amendment led to for numerous mass shootings in and outside of educational facilities- such as the Colombine High School Shooting in 1999, or the 2021 Florida mass shooting- but it also encourages crime-related violence and even murder. If Abbot claims to be a strong advocate for the life and liberty of American citizens, then why does he choose to disregard the deaths his conservative policies promote? Simply put, the politician’s anti-abortion beliefs are not a result of his true ideologies surrounding the value of human life, but rather an attempt to defend his misogyny in addition to police and control the reproductive rights of women across America.  

Prior to the introduction of this law, anti-abortion activists have persistently advocated for an end to abortion rights. Every year since Roe.V. Wade in 1973, Texas’ pro-life community have marched in Washington D.C. in order to further pursue their Republican agenda. They have also worked alongside conservative lawmakers, such as Greg Abbot, in order to ensure that identical legislative bills are passed throughout numerous states. 

However, it is evident, due to the contradicting beliefs America’s conservative party withholds-“pro-life”, yet unlimited access to firearms?- that those who voted in favour of the anti-abortion ban are less concerned with the “lives” of unborn children, but rather they are preoccupied with a woman’s access to reproductive rights and liberty. 

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