“What are you, a state that values the freedom of citizens?” “No, I’m Texas!”
Zully Sosa, executive editor
I feel cheated. As a first-generation American, I was told from a very early age that my freedoms are something that I am guaranteed wherever I’m in the country. Of course, as I grew up, I realized that politics are much more complicated than that, and came to sadly accept that human rights will always be up for debate. But Texas’ new anti-abortion law completely shattered any fragment of the dream I was sold as a child.
Earlier this month, Texas passed a restrictive law that prohibits abortions after only six weeks of pregnancy and actually encourages anyone who suspects someone of assisting a pregnant woman after this six week mark to pursue legal action against them. An award of $10,000 may be given to plaintiffs who succeed, in addition to covering the cost of attorney’s fees, according to Texas Tribune. They have also recently reported that a judge in Texas trying to prevent pro-life groups from being able to sue for this.
In most cases, the six week deadline written into the law is not even enough time to realize that you are pregnant, let alone consider options and plan appointments with providers. For the uterus carriers of Texas, the freedom to choose what’s best for yourself is now under a tight time crunch. I was a little surprised this passed, as I always felt that extreme laws like this one would never pass in Republican-majority states such as Texas, who I’ve always seen speak out against the government interfering with their personal choices. What’s more personal than a uterus?
It’s become abundantly clear that Texas has never been concerned with the interests of their citizens but rather pushing forward the harmful ideology that abortion is murder and doing everything in their power to make that the law.
I didn’t ask for a uterus. People in Texas certainly didn’t either. The burdens that come with it are just thrown upon you. Watching these laws pass feels like a torture punishment for a crime I didn’t commit.
My heart goes out to all those with a uterus in Texas, especially ones that foresaw this happening, fought against it and will continue to do so. Regardless of your feelings about the majority of Texans, I urge you to not just shrug and say “They should’ve voted blue.” There are so many people there that do not deserve this obstacle and are stuck living in that state. Having this happen under our own government feels so much more severe than when you hear about harsh reproductive rights violations in other countries.
Texas has created the blueprint for how to pass anti-abortion laws that are nearly impossible to appeal. Now that that path has been laid out for other states interested in banning abortion to follow, we will see more states passing similar laws. It may seem like this still isn’t an urgent issue in Minnesota, a state that prides itself on staying blue every election, but I have no doubt that a conversation will be sparked in our state government. Minnesota was dangerously close to flipping red in these past two presidential elections as more and more people become unapologetic about their conservative political views. I’ve learned to never be comfortable no matter who is in office, at any level. Maintaining our rights is a never ending battle as that is how democracy breathes.
To help protect reproductive rights in Minnesota, find the contact information for your senators and representatives at https://www.leg.mn.gov/leg/legdir, attend the Women’s March for Reproductive Rights on October 2nd in Minneapolis, or join the student organization Auggies Organizing For Choice on campus.