In Opinions: Abortion laws in Republican states are oppressive

Illustration by Erica Dean | The Signal

Everyone knows the saying “everything’s bigger in Texas.” But bigger does not always mean better. 

Texas has put some questionable laws in place over the years. Recently, we have seen this in more than one way. These decisions made by Texas lawmakers are dangerous and damaging to anyone who isn’t a cis-gendered, straight white man. 

On March 9, A Texas lawmaker made a push for the criminalization of abortion. A bill was filed by Rep. Bryan Slaton, abolishing and criminalizing abortions, with no exception for rape or incest. Women and physicians who take part could receive a charge of assault or homicide. The worst part is, those charges are punishable by death in the state. 

Even though this bill will probably not make it very far, it is a clear example of the continued attack on women. In Texas and other states, laws are continuing to be passed that limit reproductive rights. In 2019, The Texas Legislature banned government affiliations with abortion providers or their affiliates. 

“This cuts off vital support to communities who rely on these low-cost clinics for basic health care like birth control, gynecological exams, cancer screenings, diabetes testing and much more,” ACLU Texas said. 

Countries that restrict abortion have higher rates of abortions. If women continue to be oppressed, unsafe abortions will become the norm in states like Texas. In the U.S, 5,000 of 1.2 million illegal abortions ended in death before Roe v. Wade. If Texas lawmakers continue to fight their battle against pro-choice, we may find ourselves at square one. 

According to the Guttmacher Institute, 43% of Texan women live in counties without an abortion clinic. Abortion is healthcare and should be easily accessible to all. Forty-five states allow health care providers to refuse an abortion. Forty-three states prohibit abortions unless under certain circumstances regarding the woman’s health after a certain point in the pregnancy. 

Georgia is not a perfect peach either, with 95% of Georgia counties having no clinic that provides abortions. Patients have to receive state-directed counseling, and funding is only available in circumstances of life endangerment, rape and incest. Furthermore, there is a lack of proper education and awareness of sexual wellness in Georgia schools.

We have come to a point where we look at our leaders and say, what next? President Biden has said he wants to protect Roe v. Wade, stop state restrictions and plans to restore federal funding to Planned Parenthood. 

Abortion rights groups and progressives in Congress have been calling on the Biden administration to do more, including scrapping Trump rules,” Alice Ollstein for Politico wrote. 

Under Biden’s administration, we have hope for reform. However, there is a long fight ahead when politicians like Rep. Bryan Slaton are still pushing for such oppressive abortion laws. 

Unfortunately, Texas will still be Texas.