Saturday, 4 September 2021

A short rant about women’s feedom.

We have all left Afghanistan. It’s all big mess and we are waiting to see what will happen next, hoping that the Taliban will keep their word about being less repressive of women - so long as they don’t expect ministerial positions in government or important roles in business - and hoping that aid can still get through to the people who need it, the people without food.

Meanwhile, over in the land of the free, the Supreme Court has refused to block an extreme anti-abortion law in the state of Texas. According to this law abortion is forbidden once a foetal heartbeat can be detected, at about six weeks into the pregnancy, at a point when many women don’t even suspect let alone realise that they are pregnant.

“The law makes it illegal to help women in Texas access abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy. To help enforce it, anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life established the digital tipline where people can send anonymous information about potential violations.

“Any Texan can bring a lawsuit against an abortionist or someone aiding and abetting an abortion after six weeks,” the website reads, and those proved to be violating the law can be fined a minimum of $10,000. An online form allows anyone to submit an anonymous “report” of someone illegally obtaining an abortion, including a section where images can be uploaded for proof.”

So any doctor who carries out an abortion at that point, or who fails to check for the foetal heartbeat can be prosecuted. Anyone who helps a woman have an abortion, which might include giving her information or driving her to the clinic, can be prosecuted. Members of the public are being encouraged to report abortions and related activity. Wow! And Texan women think they are free!

I don’t think anyone seriously uses abortion as an alternative to birth control. Surely that argument is long gone! No matter what your feelings about abortion, it’s surely never an easy decision for a woman to take. But it’s a matter of control and specifically of women having control of their own bodies. And the new law will almost certainly see a return to dangerous practices and back street abortions. The wealthy will be able to leave the state and go to a clinic somewhere else in the USA, provided other states don’t follow the example of Texas. They might, of course, be liable to prosecution when they return home if someone tells on them. The poor are the ones who will suffer again. 

Unplanned babies will be born into an already overcrowded world. And the busybodies, probably mostly men but also some sanctimonious women, who make such laws will almost certainly not provide financial help with the care for unplanned children. Will they even help provide birth control? Those unplanned children will almost certainly be loved once they arrive but their mothers will still have financial difficulties. 

However, some pro-choice people are taking measures to confuse matters:

“Pro-choice users on TikTok and Reddit have launched a guerrilla effort to thwart Texas’s extreme new abortion law, flooding an online tip website that encourages people to report violators of the law with false reports, Shrek memes, and porn.”

“Though the site was launched a month ago, the fake reports came flooding in on the eve of the bill’s enactment. One TikTok user said they had submitted 742 fake reports of the governor Greg Abbott getting illegal abortions.”

Power (of social media) to the people! 

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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