By Samantha Perez
On May 19, Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the “heartbeat bill” to become a Texas law. The law prohibits women from getting an abortion as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Already, this raises some eyebrows, given that most women won’t know they are pregnant until a week or two after their last menstruation cycle, which calculates to being a six-week period. This alone should be the reason for the bill to have been rejected, but since it’s men dictating and creating laws that affect women's bodies, this likely didn’t even cross their minds.
This isn’t the only real problem for those who seek abortions in Texas. One of the main and very true points from the pro-choice movement is that no matter which law or belief is presented, a person who seeks the termination of their pregnancy will find a way to do it. In 2017, over 55,400 abortions were administered in the State of Texas; however, women all over the state performed unsafe abortions due to anti-abortion laws or restrictions. According to the Guttmacher Institute, about 30,000 women die annually due to unsafe, or “botched”, abortions across the world. In addition, women who attempt to perform their own abortions and are taken to the hospital with complications can get reported to the authorities and face jail time.
On the other hand, if a person has no choice but to continue their unwanted pregnancy, this may raise serious health issues for the individual. According to Guttmacher Institute, out of the 1,209 individuals who were surveyed on why they chose to have an abortion, about 13% said it was due to their baby’s health or their own health issues, 20% were minors, 74% were not financially stable to raise a child (34% of whom were students) and 1% did not want to have the child because they were victims of rape and/or incest. Also, many women have an abortion because they simply don’t want any children, and this is also a valid reason that shouldn’t degrade someone.
In 2019 alone, 377,599 women gave birth to a child in Texas. At the same time, one in four women received an abortion from a licensed professional. Whether an individual wants to continue their pregnancy is not of any business of the state or federal government, let alone male lawmakers. This new Texas anti-abortion law not only interferes with the health and lives of both the women and the child, but it also proves just how backwards it is for Republican men to be at the head of the table when it comes to issues that affect the bodies of women.
Planned Parenthood is a healthcare organization that provides many health services for women, including safe abortions, administering of contraceptives, STD testing, breast cancer screenings and more. There are currently 41 Planned Parenthood clinics in Texas. Despite the various abortion and contraceptive limitations, Planned Parenthood is available to help women who need reproductive care. People can call 1-800-230-7526 to book an appointment with a healthcare professional at a Planned Parenthood clinic.