Texas Reproductive Laws Are Not Anti-Abortion, They Are Anti-Women

Zareen Brown and Dutch Robinson

Despite the ever-changing sphere of US politics, women’s reproductive rights—particularly abortion—have been a controversial topic on both sides of the aisle.

The debate has primarily centered around the question of which stage in pregnancy abortion should be made illegal. Restrictions on abortion, such as the recent laws in the red state of Texas, are a blatant disregard of constitutional rights. Instead of making abortions less common, these laws increase the frequency of unsafe abortions, thus resulting in more deaths from abortions. The majority of the Democratic Party agrees that abortion should be legal until relatively late into the pregnancy.

Most Republicans, on the other hand, believe that abortion should be outlawed altogether, or that there should be restrictions extremely early into pregnancy. The recent laws in Texas ban abortions when the fetus develops a heartbeat, typically around six weeks. The main aspect of this law is to prosecute anyone who is involved in getting an abortion. This can include the individual receiving the abortion, but also people who transported them to get the abortion, whether they knew or not.

Conservative Republicans’ reasoning for implementing these laws, stated in their official 2020 party platform, is that the “Fourteenth Amendment’s protections [of life, liberty, and property] apply to children before birth.” However, since Roe v. Wade—the court case that ruled that a woman’s right to an abortion is protected by the 14th amendment to the Constitution—in 1973, the national number of abortions has steadily decreased, dispelling the myth that passing any pro-choice legislation increases the number of abortions performed.

It’s quite ironic that the political party that preaches against big government is so comfortable with implementing massive legislation designed to put government control over someone ’s uterus.”

It’s quite ironic that the political party that preaches against big government is so comfortable with implementing massive legislation designed to put government control over someone ’s uterus. It is incredibly egregious that these state republicans are targeting not only the people who are getting abortions, but also anyone involved in the abortion, whether that be any indirect role played. Why? They are fully aware that poll after poll points to a majority of Americans supporting Roe v. Wade, and that their tirade against women’s rights is not exactly popular.

Congressional Republicans, as well as Republican state officials, seem to believe that treading on reproductive rights will become easier for them to implement in other states by staying quiet about violent acts like this until Roe is essentially moot.

Furthermore, the passage of such restrictive abortion laws do not stop every single parent from getting an abortion. Instead, they stop people from getting safe abortions.

In an article from 1976, researchers from the CDC found that in the two years following the decision of Roe v. Wade, the number of unsafe, illegal abortion procedures went from 130,000 to just around 17,000. The number of deaths caused by these dangerous procedures also plummeted from 39 to five deaths per year. Coming from people who claim to be “pro-life,” this intentional result does not line up with their proclaimed rhetoric.

The GOP’s crusade on women’s reproductive rights shines a light on the hypocrisy and danger of today’s Republican Party. Not only do these politicians actively go against what is in the best interest of the
public, they spread harmful rhetoric across the country, convincing their constituents that ripping away the legal right to choose is a duty rather than an abhorrence.

This piece also appears in our September 2021 print edition.