The Texas ‘heartbeat bill’ is a violation of human rights
The Texas government has signed into law one of the most extreme six-week abortion bans in the U.S. despite strong opposition from medical and legal communities. The bill is a violation of human rights.
Senate Bill 8 bans abortion at six weeks of pregnancy with no exception for sexual assault or incest. This is almost a near-total ban on abortion as many women are not aware they are pregnant at this stage.
This bill is the most extreme measure of the restriction on abortions. The Texas heartbeat bill also includes those who have experienced sexual assault or incest showing survivors little to no mercy. Continuing on, the bill would give private citizens the freedom to sue abortion providers, even if they have zero connection to the abortion provider or the woman.
If a young woman becomes pregnant as a result of sexual assault and is given information about how to obtain an abortion by a counselor, the attacker has a right to sue that counselor or provider.
Not only does a woman risk her health by going through a full-term pregnancy, but she may be unable to put the baby up for adoption. This is because the assailant can get parental rights forcing this survivor to deal with their attacker forever.
What’s scary is other states that institute bans like this often try to punish women for having miscarriages. A Georgia bill signed in 2019, that was thankfully deemed unconstitutional, called for the investigations of miscarriages. Miscarriages are traumatic enough, now a woman has to experience more grief. This just shows this isn’t about the health of the mother nor the baby. This is about control.
This bill highlights Texas lawmakers showing zero mercy to survivors of sexual assault and incest. Survivors need all the support they can get to move on but instead, lawmakers continuously attack them. Lawmakers don’t care about these women’s goals, future, education or dignity.
Texans need to educate themselves and make their voices heard. This isn’t about saving the baby’s life from abortion. It’s about controlling the body and lives of women. Women aren’t incubators. They deserve to have a choice. The Texas heartbeat bill is a blatant violation of human rights.
Saira Haque is an anthropology senior who can be reached at [email protected]