‘Unbelievable’: Women rage at Texas lawmakers as they approve abortion ban as early as six weeks

Many women point out they don’t know they’re pregnant after six weeks

Clara Hill
Friday 14 May 2021 18:24
Comments
Panorama: America's Abortion War - trailer
Leer en Español

Women have expressed their outrage after Texas voted to reduce access to safe and legal abortions, barring abortions after just six weeks.

The outpouring of anger comes after a bill to limit abortions and make individual doctors liable to civil litigation by private citizens awaits Texas governor Greg Abbott’s signature after the state’s Senate approved the measure on Thursday. The governor is expected to sign the bill.

The legislation permits anyone, including those not in Texas, to sue a doctor or anyone else caught helping a woman obtain an abortion after the new limit and pursue monetary damages. Responsibility to maintain the ban is removed from law enforcement.

“The Texas Heartbeat Act is novel in approach, allowing for citizens to hold abortionists accountable through private lawsuits. No heartbeat law passed by another state has this this strategy. Additionally, the bill does not punish women who obtain abortions,” Rebecca Parma, an associate from Texas Right to life, said to the AP.

The legislation would prohibit abortions after a heartbeat has been detected. Currently, certain medical devices can identify a heartbeat at six weeks, even when the embryo is neither technically a fetus or has a heart. Embryos are not considered to be fetus until the pregnancy in the 11th week, according to experts.

Women have taken to Twitter to share their outrage about the bill and highlight what they say is its regressive approach. Many pointed out that a lot of women do not know they are pregnant before six weeks.

The current limit for legal abortions in Texas is 20 weeks but maintains exemptions for women with serious conditions or if the fetus has a severe abnormality.

Texas is not the only state to attempt to pass similar legal limits on abortions. In the past two years, other states, such as Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky have all passed similar legislation.

In a statement from March 2021 by Jessica Arons, a reproductive rights lawyer at the ACLU, read:

“This has long been the strategy of anti-abortion extremists: chip away at abortion access while leaving the legal right in place, even if in name only. That strategy shifted, however, in 2019 when abortion opponents began to hope the Supreme Court would use a near-total ban to overturn Roe v. Wade. Now, they are pursuing both strategies simultaneously,” she wrote.

That was the ruling that granted bodily autonomy and access to safe abortions to all women living in the United States of America.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in