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The Power of Choice
September 21, 2021
On September 1, the Texas Heartbeat Act, which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected around six weeks of pregnancy, came into effect. This is the most restrictive abortion measure in the country. One fact that makes this law so aggravating is that most women do not know that they are pregnant by six weeks. This law strips away women’s right to choose in Texas.
There is also no exception for pregnancies conceived from rape or incest. This is horrific because it means that a woman will be forced to give birth to a child she did not consent to having. The law having no exceptions to these gross acts ties into victim blaming, because these women have had their right to choose taken away and there can be consequences if they decide to have an abortion. Victims should not be twisted into villains solely because they chose not to have a child.
The people who support this law have no respect for women who are victims, did not consent to being pregnant, or who could die giving birth. This restriction will lead to some women putting themselves in danger by finding unreliable people or trying at-home methods to ending a pregnancy. One life should not be held higher than another in these situations.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the man who signed the Texas Heartbeat Act, did not think about the consequences of this law. Social workers and orphan care workers have not been given an income increase. There is nothing in place to relieve the pressure of the system because there will be a surplus of children entering. Forcing women to have children does not force them to keep them after they give birth. The foster care system is already overwhelmed and broken and with this restriction it will only make it worse.
This law also allows any American to sue a Texan if they help a women get an abortion after six weeks. A private citizen can be given up to $10,000 for reporting a woman who is trying to get an abortion. First, that information and decision is only the woman’s business. Second, that can open the floodgates to false accusations.
President Joe Biden said it well at a press conference when he said, “I have been, continue to be a strong supporter of Roe v Wade. Number one. And the most pernicious thing about the Texas law, it sort of creates a vigilante system, where people get rewards to go out, anyway. And it just seems, I know this sounds ridiculous, almost un-American.”
Women deserve the right to choose and no man, or person for that matter, should have the power to force women into something they do not want to do. The right to choose is simply that, the power to make that decision. It does not force anyone into doing anything they do not want. Having a child, aborting a child or giving a child up are all hard choices that should never be forced.
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