Social media is flooding with rightfully angry women after Texas has banned abortions once a foetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually around the six-week mark.

Any woman who receives an abortion after six weeks, or anyone who drives a woman to get an abortion, can be fined up to $10,000.

A Moral Tyranny

This is the most restrictive abortion law in the US since 1973. Unsurprisingly, the ‘Heartbeat bill‘, which went into effect on 1 September, was signed by a man — Texas Governor Greg Abbott.  Abbott’s approval ratings have been fluctuating, with one poll showing that only 41 per cent of Texas’ registered voters continue to support him on job performance.

One can’t help but ask, ‘Who is this man to forbid any woman, who might have been the victim of rape, from getting an abortion after six weeks?’ Termination of a  pregnancy, as well as carrying out a pregnancy, invites physical and emotional burdens. Arguably, the one who will experience these burdens should have the decision-making capacity.

The ramifications of the new law are potentially dire. Read this, then read it again to appreciate the moral tyranny: A father who rapes and impregnates his daughter can collect $10,000 if she decides to abort the fetus after six weeks.

Women are Furious

Not just in Texas, but across the US and the globe, women have been expressing their fury on social media against the draconian law. Part of the problem is that most women only realise they are pregnant between four and seven weeks following conception. In certain cases, it can even take a few months before a woman begins to suspect pregnancy. But even if a woman becomes aware of her pregnancy in just two to three weeks, why should she be forced to make a life-altering decision within the space of a month?

Using social media as a means to fight social injustice has been prevalent throughout the pandemic. And it has proven effective. Protestors are raising awareness of the need to let women have full control over their bodies by revealing the damage, both direct and indirect, that abortion laws cause.

Inevitably, protestors have also taken the streets of Texas in hope of backtracking the new law. Women have been marching in mass mobilisation events to ‘defend’ their ‘reproductive rights’, with a further nationwide march planned in all 50 states for 2 October.

My Uterus My Choice

Needless to say, this should not be happening in the twenty-first century.

In the UK, the abortion law is far more liberal. A termination can be carried out up until 24 weeks of pregnancy, and even beyond that in rare circumstances. Abortions in the UK became legal following the 1967 Abortion Act, introduced by the liberal politician David Steel. In Canada, some abortions became legal after John Turner’s 1968-69 Criminal Law Amendment Act. But sadly, not all countries have been so progressive. In Honduras, Mario Perez is responsible for severely tightening abortion restrictions so that even rape and incest are disregarded as legitimate reasons to abort a pregnancy.

I could continue to list the men responsible for either liberalising or tightening abortion laws in various countries. What’s significant is that women do not appreciate these decisions being made by a handful of powerful men. Bottom line, reproductive rights should not be decided by the government.

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