If you think politicians would put trying to take reproductive rights away from people on hold during a global health crisis…think again, bitch! Several states are trying to ban abortions, deeming them as “non-essential” during the COVID-19 pandemic, and one has done so successfully. Because a time-sensitive procedure that will affect the rest of a person’s life and is not essential. Sure, Jan.
On Tuesday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a lower court ruling that would block the temporary abortion ban in Texas, following a long legal battle between the state and reproductive rights groups. The judges noted that the state has the power to restrict resident’s rights, such as peaceful assembly, during an emergency, and that “abortion is no exception.” As a result, nearly all abortions are banned in Texas.
This fight did not begin on Tuesday for Texas. This all began on March 22, when Texas Governor. Greg Abbott issued an executive order banning abortions during the coronavirus outbreak, deeming them medically unnecessary and claiming they use up valuable medical supplies. After reproductive rights group sued the state and secured a temporary pause on the ban, the circuit court this week ruled against them to allow it.
Republican-appointed judges in Texas wrote that the state is allowed to “to restrict, for example, one’s right to assemble peacefully, to publicly worship, to travel, and even to leave one’s home” in a public health emergency and that therefore: “The right to abortion is no exception.”
So they agree it is abortion is a right, and one they are choosing to allow the governor to curtail. Excellent. We’ll remember that.
Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive rights said they’re reviewing their legal options and may attempt to take the case up to the United States Supreme Court. The ban is set to expire on April 21, and states that a medical professional who provided an abortion before then could be fined $1,000 or face jail time of up to 180 days. For sure what we should be focusing our energy on rn, great job everyone.
To anyone seeking abortion care right now, we see you, we trust you, and we support you.
Abortion is 𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙖𝙡. It is not something that can be delayed or forgone without serious impacts on the pregnant person’s health and life. #MyRightMyDecision #SustainingCommunity pic.twitter.com/V181IhRGke
— Center for Reproductive Rights (@ReproRights) April 8, 2020
The problem here is that abortion is incredibly time-sensitive, so, uh, maybe it should be an exception? Just a thought. It’s also worth noting that this decision claims to be based on the fact that abortion is “medically unnecessary” and would use up supplies needed to treat COVID-19 patients, but the reality is that the most common method early in pregnancy is administering medication abortion. This requires no medical gear. In fact, the ban on abortion would simply delay this process, which would then force people to seek a surgical abortion or give birth. And what do you know, both of those procedures require more medical resources
Other states that are trying to impose similar bans are Alabama, Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Oklahoma. Did you really think Alabama would miss a chance to fuck shit up for womxn’s right? Abortion rights groups have acted immediately to get some of these bans lifted, and so far judges have sided with them in Alabama, Oklahoma and Ohio.
Banning abortion is taking away fundamental human rights, period. But to use a pandemic as an excuse to do it is especially heinous. This is a time when people are losing their jobs, and consequently, their health insurance. Denying them access to abortions at a time like this is asking them to completely throw away their livelihoods.
Plus, we all know banning abortions does not stop abortions. It simply creates more harm.
First of all, people who can’t get their abortions in the states banning them will likely travel to other states to get what they need. Crossing state lines is not ideal during a time when we are asking people to stay at home, and could lead to further spreading of COVID-19.
People seeking abortion care in West Virginia would need to drive much further to reach a clinic due to the state's #COVID19 abortion ban. This is shameful & puts the health & well-being of patients at risk in the middle of a pandemic. #AbortionIsEssential pic.twitter.com/qpfO3FYveL
— Guttmacher Institute (@Guttmacher) April 8, 2020
Or, people will be forced to try to conduct abortions illegally and unsafely. Research shows that after Roe V. Wade was passed in 1973, the number of deaths associated with illegal abortion decreased dramatically. Banning abortion doesn’t stop abortions from happening, it simply makes them more dangerous and leads to more deaths. So, if you’re pro-life, lives might be something you want to consider.
It’s scary how quickly lawmakers jumped at the chance of using a pandemic as an excuse to take our rights away. It reminds us that we can’t stop paying attention to this shit, even in a time like this, when everything feels overwhelming. Of course, give yourself breaks and practice self-care, but stay vigilant.
Anyway, I’m sure Republicans will agree to give all the womxn who can’t get abortions because of these bans a $500 check as part of the coronavirus stimulus because their fetus is actually a child.
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