Opinion: Texas Abortion Law
October 4, 2021
States all around the United States are taking a firm stance against abortion. Following in their footsteps, Texas imposed their own laws to prevent abortions in their state. However, unlike the others’, Texas’s abortion laws are the most oppressive since the fight of Roe v. Wade.
The law essentially creates a bounty system. If someone submits information to authorities on a woman planning on getting an abortion, anyone transporting them, or the doctor performing the abortion, the person who reports the woman will receive up to $10,000.
The motive behind creating such an anti-abortion system is that the workload of identifying those getting abortions is taken off the state.
Essentially, the state won’t have to overstep individual liberties by monitoring the communications of their residents to find those planning to get an abortion. Instead, they opt to militarize a part of the civilian population to get information on those planning on getting abortions.
This, in effect, achieves the state’s goal of craving down on illegal abortions with almost all of the work taken off them.
But the law is just terrible, regarding both its design and its morality.
Starting with design issues. One major flaw is that someone who gets a woman pregnant can report her for planning on getting an abortion and claim the $10,000. In fact, the person that gets them pregnant can be a rapist, a member of her family, or both.
To put this in perspective, imagine this. A father rapes his daughter, gets her pregnant, reports her, and claims his $10,000 while his daughter is subsequently tried for breaking the law (all while being pregnant).
There’s also another glaring issue: transportation. Many of those who get abortions are lower-class and many don’t own vehicles to get to abortion clinics. Hence, they may take Ubers, Lyfts, or ask friends for rides. The law dictates that those who help a woman get to the clinic can also be stated as defendants when the woman is tried. Essentially, people may have to defend themselves for doing their jobs or just helping a friend in need.
Now let’s talk about the bigger issue: the morality of the law.
As aforementioned, many of the women who need abortions get them because they can’t financially support or properly raise a child. If a woman gets an abortion, she saves the child from living through a poor upbringing and herself from having to raise a child in such poor conditions.
Also, raising children is not cheap. For Texas lawmakers to force women who are already poor to bear the financial burden of a child is a form of targeted impoverishment. In effect, the law will simply maintain or worsen the already ingrained cycle of poverty among America’s poor, especially affecting people of color.
From my perspective, as a 16 year old male, this sort of lawmaking is not creating a country in which I want to grow up or raise my future children in. The message that Texas is sending to our generation is that no choice is the right choice for women.
If a woman gets an abortion and makes (financially and morally) the right decision, she’s wrong. If she puts a baby up for adoption, she subjects the child to the broken foster care system and thus she’s wrong. If she keeps the baby, the child grows up in an impoverished area with a lack of parental, educational, and systemic support in his life, and yet again she’s wrong.
So clearly, there’s no way out for her. From a governmental level, women who were already raised in lower-income areas are trapped into staying in poverty and raising kids in that same poverty, hence perpetuating the cycle.
However, my hottest take on the law is that it, for the most part, is useless and only endangers women.
When a possible human life – especially one of a child – lies in the balance, few women will let Texas’ law define whether they will or won’t get an abortion. The only thing the law does is dictate how she does it.
See, if the mother needs an abortion she’ll get an abortion in any way she can – especially if the only thing she has to do is hide it from as many people as possible to make sure authorities don’t find out.
Thus is my next point: by design, the law promotes secrecy more than actual obedience, and in doing so it endangers a woman getting the abortion because it can’t legally be done in a medical care facility. So in practice, Texas’ law doesn’t decide who gets an abortion – it only decides whether it happens in a clinic or a Motel 6.