Since Roe V. Wade in 1973, the United States Supreme Court has defended abortion rights. Now, 48 years later, the Supreme Court no longer stands with us and allows Texas to ban abortions. This ban won’t stop abortions from happening in Texas.
Abortion bans create room for illegal abortions given by people who aren’t medically trained to do so. Many women will instead take to traveling out of state or opting for unsafe at-home methods that are sometimes lethal. I fear this law will soon not only affect women in Texas. It is only a matter of time before other states follow in Texas’ footsteps.
When abortions were legalized in the ’70s, the number of unsafe abortion hospitalization numbers dropped. Before Roe v. Wade, emergency rooms saw many hospitalizations of women who went to extreme lengths for an abortion. Whatever reason someone may have to get an abortion, it is personal and they should have the option to choose a safe method. In several now-removed TikToks, women have shared different mixtures and concoctions that you could ingest for a “natural abortion.” These methods are dangerous and barring women from getting safe abortions will continue the spread of unsafe methods.
Exemptions… or lack thereof
This new law is the strictest in the nation. Many states have the “heartbeat bill” which bans abortions after 12 weeks. Texas is blocking women from having a choice over their own bodies. This law does not take into account victims of rape and incest. Meaning if you are raped or a victim of incest in the state of Texas you have to carry that baby and deliver it. The only exemptions are for “medical emergencies,’’ though the details are vague on what does and does not constitute medical emergencies. This Texas law bars abortions at six weeks. At 6 weeks women often don’t know that they are pregnant yet.
Notably, this law also allows you to sue the person who drives their friend or loved one to an abortion, which also includes Uber or Lyft drivers. You can also sue someone who might have helped pay for an abortion, or even someone who assisted the patient even if the abortion was out of state. President Joe Biden has called the law “extreme.” Lyft announced it would be creating a legal defense team to help cover the cost of anyone who was sued. Uber followed, saying they would also help defend drivers.
Many suggest that adoption is a better choice than abortion. There are major flaws in that option. Women could still be faced with doctors’ fees and bills they can’t afford. After that, what happens to all the children that don’t get adopted or get left in foster care? Do they age out of the system left with no home or no family? The statistics between adoptees and foster children who age out of the system are alarming. Many experience homelessness, are more likely to get hooked on drugs, commit and suicide.
Lack of Sex Education
On top of the abortion ban, Texas does not require schools to teach sex education. According to siecus.org (Sex Ed for Social Change), if a school in the state of Texas chooses to teach sex education, they must emphasize and teach the importance of abstinence. I do not believe that the idea of abstinence is inherently bad.
However, I do believe that assuming that teens and young adults will adhere to strict abstinence is naive. Alarmingly, Texas schools do not have a standard regarding medically accurate sex education. Some in favor of pro-life ideology argue that people should know better. How are we supposed to expect the students and adults of Texas to know better if we aren’t actively having a conversation on safe sex and protection starting in schools?
I believe that the Supreme Court is making a mistake. I don’t think that this law should be in effect in our country. It takes away women’s rights and shouldn’t be allowed. Texas and this country need to do better and continue to defend Roe v. Wade. If we continue on this path we will be slowly stripping rights away and putting more women in danger.
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