Texas has implemented a new anti-abortion law that bans any abortion after six weeks. This is not only horrible news for women, but the legally questionable bill may lead to more laws that could affect more than just people wishing to end a pregnancy.
The new law would limit people’s ability to get an abortion after six weeks, this is problematic because it flies in the face of Row v. Wade. Also it should be mentioned that this time period is not measured from conception (which I thought is when conservatives believed life begins), but instead from the last missed period. It shouldn’t need to be said that many people don’t have perfectly regular cycles and many factors can impact it (like the stress of right-wing gremlins enacting a draconian law that disproportionately affects working-class people). While this is pretty disgusting in and of itself, there is another huge piece of the bill that may lead to removal of even more freedoms from Americans that have already seen a large number of their rights evaporate through things like the “War on Terror/Drugs/Poverty” and the Patriot Act.
This law implements a vigilante system to fight peoples’ right to choose. In an attempt to skirt Row, Texas Republicans are instead going after anyone that “aids or abets” an abortion. This means anyone involved in the process, from a doctor performing the procedure, to a hapless ride-share driver, could be targeted with MINIMUM $10,000 suits in court. Oh, did I mention that the right wingers who were losing their collective minds about tort reform just a few years ago are now encouraging anyone, anywhere (no, not just those in Texas or connected to the person getting an abortion) to take their fellow citizens to court to sue them. So not only will this effectively end abortion in the state, for poor and working-class people at least (Governor Abbott, and other people who can afford the suits, can still get an abortion for his mistress if he wants, not saying he has one, just saying theoretically he could), it will likely lead to the bankrupting of many people that were going to get the procedure simply because they already don’t have enough money. It should be remembered that one of the leading reasons people give for getting an abortion is that they don’t have the financial means to raise a child. On top of all this is also creates a system where people, with absolutely no standing, will be attempting to sue people (some that will likely be unaware that they are even helping a woman get the procedure) like it is going out of style. The other frightening thing is that this may lead to a host of other vigilante laws all over America.
Because the United States Supreme Court decided not to block the law, it is possible, if not likely, that we will be seeing a similar tactic used around the country to block all matter of behaviors that one side or the other disagrees with. If gun control advocates want to own the C.H.U.D.s (Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers), they could enact a law that would allow anyone to sue any person involved in gun sales. Of course they wouldn’t be infringing on Second Amendment rights, because it wouldn’t be the person who owns the gun that sees any recourse or must pay, perhaps, $100,000 in restitution, it would be the gun shops that would have to pay. It could be used to ban the sale of cars with combustion engines, meat (I can hear Ari screaming “Hell yeah brother!”), and essentially whatever else they want, because it seems that this is a completely legitimate way of dealing with issues we don’t agree with, we will just send our smooth-brained armies of people that have too much time on their hands to go sue and scare people into inaction and obedience.
This law has already caused the few remaining abortion providers in Texas to close their doors, even though the Justice Department has promised to protect the right of people in Texas to get abortions. Thankfully, at least one Federal judge has paused the law, for now. It was also heartening to see the snitch line tied up with prank calls and the corresponding snitch site to be inundated with Shrek memes, most of them showing the green ogre in the nude, to prevent people from reporting people seeking abortions.
The biggest takeaways from this should be that politicians aren’t there to represent you. It is clearly not a popular decision nation wide, which is why the Federal Government should pass a law enshrining abortion protections into law, but it is also not even majority popular in Texas according to recent polling. Because of this it is up to us, as citizens to protest, disrupt, and demand better from them, to hold them accountable and hell even run for office ourselves (I know how daunting that seems) even if it is for city councilor or dog catcher, to get the bums out.
If we truly want to ensure that everyone who wants an abortion can get one then we need to hold our elected officials accountable. Also for those wanting less abortions, we need to end poverty and increase access to quality education and nationalized medical care so people can get subsidized contraception or medical procedures to induce sterilization if they so choose. If people can’t agree to that then they don’t really want less abortions, they want less safe abortions and more children born into poverty. We also need to nip this insane vigilante justice in the bud before it is used to subvert other rights and freedoms that should be enjoyed by all people.