Why everyone should be pro-choice

In the wake of the new Texas “Heartbeat Bill,” people all around the country have united in protest against the injustices sanctioned by this legislation. While this pro-life bill directly attacks legal access to abortions at its core, it targets basic women’s rights and demonstrates that being pro-choice equates to being pro-woman.

According to The Texas Tribune, the bill states that any abortion received in Texas later than six weeks from a woman’s last menstrual cycle is illegal. The bill requires that pregnancies be carried out to term even if it will harm the baby, the birth giver, or if the pregnancy was a product of rape or incest.

While this may seem like an adequate amount of time to be aware of a pregnancy, for many women, a period that is two weeks late is hardly a reason to raise alarm, as periods can be delayed by numerous outside factors such as hormonal imbalances or various external stressors.

For this reason, at six weeks, many women do not know they are pregnant and would be unable to get an abortion if that was what they had planned to do.

Reproductive rights have been a hot topic in American politics for decades, most prominently in the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. This case stated that the right to safe and legal abortions was a basic human right, but Texas has created a loophole to circumvent Roe v. Wade and validate their bill: the state does not enforce it, average citizens do.

This responsibility creates an over-inflated sense of power in citizens as they are encouraged to report or sue anyone they suspect has violated this bill. Plaintiffs can only sue one person related to each abortion, but are encouraged to report as many people as possible to do their “civic duty” and reap a personal reward. According to The Texas Tribune, for each successful lawsuit, plaintiffs are rewarded at least $10,000 and the cost of attorney fees. Exploiting and targeting women who have abortions can now be done for sport and financial gain, similar to bounty hunters.

This bill operates on a short-term time frame to prevent women from getting abortions but fails to offer support to new mothers after the birth. It omits any of the father’s responsibilities, who are equally culpable in the pregnancy. The father can walk out of their family’s lives easily because there are no formal demands placed on them, whereas women will be left entirely responsible. For many, abortion is a financial decision and eliminating this path creates unfair, yet avoidable situations.

This bill, however, is bigger than abortion: it’s about how women are continuously degraded in America where men in charge regulate choices regarding women’s bodies. At this rate, an unborn clump of cells has more liberties than the reproductive-aged adults carrying these cells. This bill puts all women under a magnifying glass and a target on their backs, hoping one of them steps out of line, creating an anti-woman environment.

To combat these injustices, it’s essential to reach out to state representatives and demand bills like the “Heartbeat Bill” are repealed and don’t spread to other states. People can take a more active stance by attending sponsored events like Women’s Marches nearby on Oct. 2 in Hoboken and Warren.

It’s 2021, it’s time we stand up and let everyone know we are done being walked all over.