The Texas government is pushing women down a rabbit hole of shame, isolation, & targeting

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This piece mentions abortion/sexual violence and may be triggering for some readers. The Canadian Mental Health Association Crisis Line can be reached at 1-800-875-6213.

Even in the progressive Western world, there are women who are fighting for a chance to survive, let alone thrive.

In Canada, we live in a healthcare haven, with a government that respects one’s extremely private decision about how to handle a pregnancy, while our neighbours down south refuse to rightfully empower women.

On May 19, the Texas legislature passed the “Heartbeat Act,” a bill banning abortions six weeks into a woman’s pregnancy. No exceptions will be made for victims of rape, abuse, or incest.

The time window offered by Texas representatives harshens this slap-in-the-face bill. At six weeks, most women wouldn’t even know they’re pregnant. The bill undermines a woman’s right of choice whilst effectively empowering those who may abuse the civil action system.

The Texas government made a clever yet devious bounty offer to those who know anyone who wanted to or helped someone obtain abortion services. Any self-righteous “pro-lifer” can now take these people to court and sue them for $10,000.  The potential lawsuits force family and friends into obedience. Even someone who simply drove a woman to an abortion clinic could be sued.

Many other states, including Ohio, Georgia, and Louisiana, have passed similarly restrictive bills, banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected. However, these states exclude the civil action accompanying Texas’ legislation.

The heavily Evangelical presence in Texas Republicans fosters a disregard for the rights and the well-being of women in the name of God. Men in positions of privilege persist in imposing their will on American women, despite having virtually no stake in the matter.

The rhetoric portraying abortion as a human rights issue, advocating for the lives of unborn fetuses, is a thinly veiled façade ignoring the issues we should be addressing. These issues include bettering the lives of the Americans who are facing hardship after hardship. Not to mention the economic climate created by the U.S. for-profit structure, where childcare is a privilege the financially less fortunate must work hard to afford.

In a country where reproductive healthcare is exorbitantly costly, paid maternity leave is a faraway dream, and the foster care system is deeply underfunded, there are no desirable options for women experiencing unwanted pregnancies. The Heartbeat Act is an active suppression of women’s rights. Postpartum depression can already create a fragile state of mind for women after giving birth, and this will only increase with this bill.

This bill not only changes the course for Texas women, but also doesn’t consider the repercussions potential children may face when growing up in neglectful and often abusive homes.

Clearly, sanctity of life isn’t what Texas government representatives are chasing.

Abortions at all pregnancy stages are legal across Canada, regardless of the reason. Action Canada is pushing to increase access to this necessary medical procedure.  The correct support and privacy are currently extended to those seeking an abortion in Ontario, yet our fellow citizens living in rural and remote areas are yet to be provided with helpful access.

The imperfections in our system indisputably exist. Yet, we must recognize our privilege in the face of conservative American politicians attempting to eradicate abortion access for all in their country.

Rida is a third-year Politics student and one of The Journal’s Assistant News Editors.

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