It is tempting to dismiss the new Texas abortion law as just another quirky Texas thing, like having more than five times more executions than any other state or making sure there’s a loaded gun in every home.
But it’s not just Texas. At least seven other GOP controlled states are considering similar laws. The Republican-packed Supreme Court of the United States has indicated that it will allow, at least for now, the practice of putting a $10,000 bounty on the head of anyone who chooses to help a woman terminate her pregnancy, effectively shutting down doctors and clinics that provide abortion services in Texas and in any other state that follows the Texas example.
Republicans want you to believe they are being compassionate when they say they will give a woman six weeks to make one of the most important decisions of her life, but Republicans have never had a good knowledge or understanding of female biology. This is especially true where reproduction is concerned. Six weeks since a woman’s last menstrual period does not mean that the pregnancy is six weeks along.
That would require the woman to become pregnant the day after her last period ended. The reality is that a pregnancy may be as little as two weeks or less along and still be within the Texas six week window. In most cases, the woman may not even know she is pregnant until eight weeks or more after her last period.
Side note: If the word “period” makes you uncomfortable, then you have no business participating in any discussion of women’s health or reproductive rights. Part of the problem with abortion laws is that they are often made by men who are either uncomfortable with or ignorant of the basic facts of life. The Texas legislature is a good example.
In the fantasy world of Texas Governor Greg Abbott and other Republicans, women only get pregnant the day after their last period. Girls in Texas schools can be excused for not knowing any better since Texas does not require sex education. Schools that do provide sex education are required to stress that abstinence is the preferred method of birth control, which may explain why Texas has the nation’s seventh highest teen birth rate. Texans don’t like to come in second place, much less seventh, which may explain why Texas has the highest rate of repeat pregnancies among teens.
In the GOP fantasy world, women are only raped by strangers in the streets. “Texas will work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas,” said Governor Abbott, “by aggressively going out and arresting them and prosecuting them and getting them off the streets.” What a simple solution.
Why didn’t anyone think of that before? In Governor Abbott’s imaginary world, women are not raped and impregnated in their homes by abusive husbands or by boyfriends or male relatives or even acquaintances. Yes, we must put an end to rape culture. That does not mean that women and girls should be punished for our failure to do so.
The GOP fantasy world wants us to believe that every baby is wanted by someone. But news sources state that there are 3,800 children available for adoption right now in Texas alone, part of the 120,000 children waiting to be adopted across the United States. If Republicans are so pro-life, then why haven’t they adopted those babies?
The GOP wants us to believe that no child is born into poverty, that children do not have medical needs, and that new mothers don’t need any help with childcare or other expenses. If Republicans want to protect babies, why don’t they help these families?
The GOP wants us to believe they are against “Big Government”, but if they actually believed that, they would not think legislators and the government, essentially strangers, could make better decisions for women and their lives than the women themselves and their doctors.
The Texas abortion law is designed to protect Republican politicians and no one else. It’s a way to distract from Republican failures on COVID, the power grid, voter suppression, and other failures while pandering to their evangelical base. A way to convince people who are not rich to vote against their own economic interests while Republicans do nothing to help low-income people or even the middle class. Wealthy Texans will simply send their daughters and mistresses to Colorado or some other state that shows compassion for women. Abortion will become just another privilege for those who can afford it, like the rest of healthcare in Texas, which has the highest rate of uninsured people in the country.
Republicans love to preach about how people should live with the consequences of their actions. Unfortunately, it will be women who are forced to live with the consequences of the Texas legislature.