The Tea With Rose: Protecting Texans or Policing Women’s Bodies?

Rose Emmons, Staff Writer

Vaginas. Can’t figure them out, so control them. It’s no surprise that a law to suppress women was just passed in a state that still likes to live in the days of the Wild West.

In March, the first six-week abortion ban in the U.S. since its legalization through Roe v. Wade was introduced. The Texas Heartbeat Act allows a woman only 42 days to decide whether or not to have a child when most aren’t even aware they’re pregnant until about 35 days.

Sometimes it takes me longer than that to figure out what I want to watch on Netflix, let alone my future.

What’s crazier is that it’s also the first to rely on private individuals through lawsuits, meaning anyone in the public can sue anyone who aids or abets an illegal abortion for a minimum of $10,000 in damages.

That would mean an Uber driver could be sued for unknowingly driving a woman to get an abortion. Can you imagine? To avoid a lawsuit, that driver would have to question every female they pick up to take to the clinic — which isn’t exactly the type of conversation someone wants to have with a stranger.

On May 19, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law before it went into effect Sept. 1. In response, people across the nation marched for the rights of women and their voices were heard when U.S. Federal District Judge Robert L. Pittman issued a temporary hold on the act.

While other states are following Texas’ lead on abortion bans, Illinois is giving the Lone Star State the side-eye.

“If folks are policing the bodies of people who are seeking reproductive health care in Texas,” State Rep. Kelly Cassidy said, “Well, then maybe we should be policing the bodies of the people who are causing those problems here in Illinois.”

Throwing some shade, Illinois’ proposed TExAS Act would allow a civil suite of $10,000 in damages against anyone who causes an unwanted pregnancy, be it a result of consensual sex or sexual assault. This is exactly how it should be. It shouldn’t just be women who bear the burden when in most cases it’s due to men not wanting to wear a “rubber.”

If Texas really wanted to consider the lives of its citizens, it should follow Illinois’ example and get to the root of the issue: American men not taking any responsibility.

According to Texas officials, it doesn’t matter what happens to the mother; as long as the fetus is alive once the child is born, there’s no real concern for its well-being. The state doesn’t want to provide child care, early education or free lunch at schools.

Not everyone is in a position for child care. The Heartbeat Act could potentially cause a serious rise in poverty along with higher levels of child neglect. Why not push for support from the fathers instead of criminalizing a woman’s choice to have a child or not — one that she may not be able to care for on her own?

Abortion is already traumatizing. After all, it isn’t a trip to the spa. There’s no warm, homey environment to welcome you at the procedure. It’s a clinic with a cold doctor’s office where women wait to make the most difficult decision of their lives.

Now, to top it off, Texas would like to adjudicate these women with more trauma by slapping on a murder charge. If they were truly being considered in this act, why arrest them on murder charges for having an abortion?

At its “heart,” the Heartbeat Act is a thinly-veiled attempt to maintain control over women.