Governor Abbott wants to keep you barefoot & pregnant in the kitchen
Texas Governor Abbott and the League of Anti-Women controlled State Legislature are at it again. This time he and his malevolent lackeys have declared that abortion-inducing drugs by mail are to be banned after seven weeks, instead of the current limitation of ten weeks (link). To make this law as draconian as possible the penalties for providing such drugs by mail after the arbitrary limitation of seven weeks are $10,000 in fines (what’s with this number, it seems to be some magic dollar amount in Texas), up to 2 years in jail, and a State felony record. If you’re an out-of-state provider of such medication Texas would like to prosecute you, as well (good luck with that, Texas).
While I understand the need to ensure the average person doesn’t hurt themselves with medication received through the mail, possibly without physician oversight, the fact that this legislation reduces what is a generally accepted time period to one that gives women barely any time to even acknowledge that they’re pregnant just underscores the depravity and cruelty of the Texas leadership toward women. What we must rightfully acknowledge here is that those who are going to suffer the most under these egregiously restrictive anti-choice laws are women of color, single mothers, abuse victims, and poor women. We must also bare in mind that all women, regardless of economic standing, skin color, and relationship status are suffering under the current 6 week ban. Even those with the means to leave the State to get the healthcare they so rightfully deserve still need to take more time off than necessary. Spend more money than necessary. Endure unnecessary hardship and risk, especially during this deadly pandemic (which, on another but seemingly related note, Governor Abbott and his gang seem to want to draw out as long as possible and kill as many Texans as possible).
Let’s be real here, if cisgender men (from now on just “men/man”) could also become pregnant there would be no Machiavellian, twisted and outright evil laws curtailing the right, access and ability to get an abortion. Roe would never be under threat, and I’ll add here that Roe never would have occurred as once medical science was able to provide safe abortions the right to one would have been enshrined in law at the federal level. Most likely even as a Constitutional Amendment. I’ll even go so far as to say that even before safe abortions were medically possible the right to terminate a pregnancy would have been law, or at the very least tolerated socially and legally. But, as men biologically are merely nothing more than genetic donors they can, lawfully or not, jet the second their partner says “Honey, I’m pregnant”. And, that there is a large part of the problem, aside from the inbred and ingrained misogyny, the knowledge that once the deed is done and the guy’s got his rocks off he can skedaddle on out, take no responsibility, and honestly forget all about it and the kid as long as they live. What’s the worst that can happen? He’s found, hauled in front of a court and forced to pay child support? When he doesn’t it’s up to the woman to once again haul him in front of a judge and maybe, just maybe, get his wages garnished. Not sure there’s a whole lot of single mothers out there with the time and money to keep hauling their deadbeat baby daddy in front of a judge to force them to do what is morally and ethically right.
The only way we as a society, culture and country can ensure and preserve individual civil rights and liberties, including the right to seek the medical care one deems necessary and right for themselves, is to enshrine these rights and liberties into law at the Federal level. While I still believe that the Founders where correct in wanting to preserve as much local control over politics as possible I also recognize that the very nature of the country, social structures and culture has radically shifted since the late 18th Century. As a whole we are much more cohesive. State lines, county boundaries and city limits are far less a determinate of where the world ends than even 100 years ago. The lines are blurred, even if Apple Maps doesn’t show it. Where cities and towns at the start of the 20th Century might exist in a world of their own, today one city flows into the next. Where one suburb starts another ends. The population is now largely centered in urban areas. We as a nation, as a people, are so much more closely connected that artificial and even natural boundaries are making less and less sense. The laws in one jurisdiction, be it city, county or State, effect nearly everyone else across the country in some form or another.
In order to preserve women’s rights, freedoms and liberties we must have legislation from DC that preserves those very rights, freedoms and liberties. We must no longer give lip service to the idea that everyone is equal under the law and that the several States will do the right thing. We must act on this morally and ethically right belief, we must ensure this most precious ideal that underpins so much of the reality and myth of our nation is brought forth into everyday life. Otherwise, we face a future where women are firmly placed as second class citizens, generation after generation of children face unnecessary hardships, be they economic or social, and we as a country suffer and are poorer, both culturally and economically, for it.
Lastly, while Texas is leading the charge, ostensibly against abortion, mark my words, this is just the tip of an all out assault on the rights and freedoms on anyone not straight, white, male and Protestant. And, it should come as no surprise that it’s the Southern States that are watching Texas in admiration looking to crib what they’re doing and impose these draconian, anti-equality laws on their own citizenry. Once the Supreme Court effectively knifes Roe v. Wade, either by eroding abortion protections to the barest minimum by essentially allowing States to impose exceptionally strict restrictions, or by outright reversing the landmark decision through the Mississippi challenge or any other case brought before the Court looking to overturn Roe, don’t be surprised when these same States start boiling the frog on other rights, liberties and freedoms we all take for granted. School integration? Out the window. Separate by equal? Reinstated. Interracial marriage? Nope. Same sex marriage? Definitely a big fat Nope.
The fight over the ability for one to control their own body and destiny, to decide what is best for them, their family and their future, is what is at stake. Whether it’s the front in the War Against Abortion (and Women), or the never ending rage war against non-Whites and queer folk, the very fabric of American society, that of an open, inclusive and welcoming society, will be unraveled in the name of Christian morals. America has for most of its history been much more about the promise of a better life and individual rights and liberties, but we have made progress toward fulfilling that promise. Mostly in fits and starts, but we have been moving in the right direction. Unfortunately, we now live in a time when so much of that forward progress faces a tsunami of backward, bigoted forces that threaten to turn back the clock. And those forces certainly look like they’ll succeed.
It is up to us to push to ensure that the future is bright, open and accepting for all. It is up to us to fight for the right of the women in our lives to have complete control and autonomy over their own bodies, to be full adult members of our society. It is up to us to ensure that we live up to our own myths and hype, that we secure a future where we can be a More Perfect Union and a More Perfect People.
Note: Frankly, I was tempted to title this article “Oops, I did it again” but Britney Spears has already dealt with more oppression and trauma than any one person should have to and I didn’t feel right.