By: Samantha Simmons | October 17, 2021
On September 1st, Texas passed one of the strictest abortion laws in the country. Under the new law, women cannot receive an abortion unless it is a medical emergency after a “fetal heartbeat” is detected.
In an article from the Texas Tribune, “medical and legal experts say the term is misleading because embryos don’t possess a heart at that developmental stage.”
Texas’s new ban on abortion has the country at large in roars over the legality of the bill. Under the 14th Amendment, citizens are protected under privacy rights to choose to have an abortion. This was largely decided in the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. Since the passage, protests have been taking place around the country in hopes to get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the ruling.
In Texas now more than 85% of abortions that are normally performed are now illegal, according to Dr. Bhavik Kumar in an article from the Texas Tribune.
In my own life, I was born prematurely with my twin. We were born two months early and remained in the hospital with uncertainty as the doctors, nurses, and our parents hoped we would make it. In the end, we both made it home safely within a month of birth.
My mom had only found out she was pregnant a month before we arrived, though she thought she would have a couple of more months to prepare for the already late notice of a baby, let alone twins. It wasn’t that my mother was being unsafe in practice, nor that she wasn’t on birth control. She was doing both. Accidents happen, and no, I’m not afraid to say my twin and I were an accident. We were.
During her pregnancy, she not only had occasional drinks, but she fell down a flight of stairs, was electrocuted, and remained on birth control until she found out she was pregnant. I’m sure there were many other things expecting mothers would see as risky or dangerous to a pregnancy that my mom did, but she was unaware she was pregnant, so she wasn’t on her most precautious behavior.
I can’t even begin to fathom the news of being pregnant and so far along with no idea. My mom had taken pregnancy tests months prior, but they were always negative. It is also important to note that she was having regular periods during this time, which is another reason why she didn’t suspect a pregnancy.
It could have been much worse though. Given the things my mother went through during the months leading up to our arrival, we could have ended up with serious and or chronic conditions. Under the abortion law SB 8, the only way to receive an abortion is if there is no fetal heartbeat detected or the mother is in a medical emergency. A medical emergency is classified as:
“a life-threatening physical condition aggravated by, caused by, or arising from a pregnancy that, as certified by a physician, places the woman in danger of death or a serious risk of substantial impairment of a major bodily function unless an abortion"
Thankfully, my mom was not in a medical emergency of her own, but what if I was? In New York in 2001, she would have had to drive to New York City to get a medical abortion. At the time there was nowhere in the Capital Region or surrounding area that could have helped her. Under the new bill, there is no way to receive an abortion if the fetus has been proven not viable or it is known that the baby will have serious health issues. The woman must deliver the baby.
Of course, this is up to the woman’s own personal discretion, but personally, I would not have wanted my mom to continue with the pregnancy if I was going to be born with health complications that would have led me to a life of being incapable of living in the sense that I’d be practically brain dead or severely deformed. I think that is both unfair to mother and child.
I think the ban should be lifted. There is absolutely no reason that a woman should have to carry a baby if she is unprepared, unable, or not wanting to have a child. I would ask you to not only think of this as someone who accidentally got pregnant but maybe if this person was a rape victim. Not everyone who wants an abortion is a careless sex-haver.
I do not think women's reproductive rights should be in the hands of lawmakers. The decision should be in the hands of the woman because, at the end of the day, she is the one who is going to have to raise the child.