sb5 texas abortion bill

Women protesting SB5.

After coming into the office this morning, I read headlines about three Texas lawmakers with a plan and my heart began to drop. Despite their state already passing one of the most restrictive bills in America regarding abortion, despite the incredibly strong fight against it by thousands of women, these three politicians have a plan to make abortion virtually illegal and, at the very least, incredibly invasive. How? By banning abortion after the fetus has a heartbeat. When does that happen? At around six weeks.

According to ThinkProgress, “Reps. Phil King (R), Dan Flynn (R), and Geanie Morrison (R)… filed HB 59 on the same day that Perry signed [SB5].” The bill, which is so severe that it’s divisive even in the anti-choice realm, would criminalize any abortions after the fetus has a heartbeat. This also means that any woman seeking an abortion would need to have an invasive ultrasound — or a transvaginal probe, in all likelihood. North Dakota already has this law in place; will Texas be next? And if so, who will come after?

Women and men, we can’t ignore this. We can’t let everyone else ignore this. We can’t dismiss it as being something that’s happening “elsewhere,” because elsewhere is still America, and we are Americans. If this passes, there will be 13,350,000 women who will not be able to obtain abortions after six weeks. We have the responsibility to protect our mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, friends and selves from having their bodies regulated by the government. I realize it sounds like I’m on some sort of soapbox, but wow, who imagined that in 2013 we would get to the point where “should women be able to terminate pregnancy from rape?” is even a debated question?

Don’t say “fuck Texas” and give up; support Texas’ women in the same way you would hope they would support you if your rights were the ones under attack. Don’t pretend this doesn’t exist; that’s what makes these types of bills go through almost unnoticed. It does exist, and it’s not going away unless we all collectively push against it.

Photo: Lauren Gerson / Flickr