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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Opinion: Gov. Greg Abbott is not pro-life

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In March, Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the state mask mandate and later issued an executive order prohibiting public schools, universities and government offices from enforcing face masks within their institutions.
In a tweet regarding the mask mandate, Abbott stated, “Texans, not gov’t, should decide their best health practices.” Abbott’s belief, however, does not apply to women who do not wish to be pregnant.
Abortion has been legal since the historic ruling of Roe v. Wade in 1973. This landmark case defends a woman’s liberty to decide to have an abortion without extreme regulations by the government. However, the decision in Roe v. Wade grants states the power to impose their own regulations on second-trimester abortions.
Beginning Sept. 1, the Texas government will enforce one of the nation’s most restrictive laws against abortion with Senate Bill 8, also known as the Heartbeat Bill, a bill that will make it illegal for individuals to get an abortion past six weeks of pregnancy.
The name of the bill itself is misleading. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, embryos do not develop hearts until later in the pregnancy. What will be detected in ultrasounds near the six weeks of pregnancy is electronically induced flickering of tissue that eventually develops into a fetus’ heart.
States restricting abortion rights is nothing new. Alabama, Kansas, Ohio and recently Louisiana, have implemented anti-abortion bills. In Alabama, abortions are banned at any stage in pregnancy, except in medical emergencies.
Across the state of Texas, citizens are threatening to enforce the Heartbeat Bill themselves by filing lawsuits, with awards of $10,000 if they win, against any provider suspected of performing abortions past the six-week period. Suspected providers can include abortion clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, doctors, rape crisis counselors and family members.
“I think it is not really fair because most women don’t know they are pregnant at six weeks,” says Sapphire Davidson, a fashion and merchandising sophomore.
Before a woman can decide if she is financially and mentally stable enough to raise a child, the government decides for her. Once that woman gives birth to an unwanted child, the government does little to support her or her child.
While there is a proposed Medicaid expansion of providing support to new mothers for a year postpartum, Texas lawmakers will not pass the bill in time to coincide with the Heartbeat Bill.
Abbott’s claim to be “pro-life” seems murky when noticing the lack of health benefits offered to these women, and more skepticism arises when looking at the lives of those in Texas foster care. In 2019, Texas had 31,427 children and teens in foster care with an average stay time of 17 months. Out of those numbers, only 6,105 were adopted into families.
Since July 2019, 23 foster children have died while in state custody, six of which were attributed to caregiver abuse and neglect. These deaths occurred during Abbott’s second term as governor and should have never even happened.
Before abortion became legal, the estimated number of women dying from illegal and unsafe abortions in 1965 was reported to be under 200, accounting for 17% of all deaths due to pregnancy and childbirth that year. The actual amount was most likely higher.
In 2019, the number of women dying from legal abortions in safe clinics was less than 0.6 per 100,000 procedures. There will most likely be a rise in deaths, due to illegal abortions seen here in Texas. Abortion clinics in the southwest have already experienced an increase in patients traveling from Texas.
“If somebody doesn’t want an abortion, they don’t have to get it, but to take that right away from another woman is hard for me to accept because I feel that we are going back a lot of steps. Just taking away our rights to our bodies is not fair,” says Alissa Greber, a psychology junior.
If the Texas government genuinely cared about human life, it would have done more for the thousands of children and adults who died from COVID-19; it would have done more for the 210 lives lost due to ERCOT power grid failures during Winter Storm Uri.
It’s hard to believe Abbott’s proclamation that Texas is a pro-life state when the government lifts mask requirements even with the COVID-19 Delta variant rampaging through the country (Texas has had a 400% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the last month). Nor did Abbott attempt to stop the execution of Quintin Jones on May 19, 2021, a man who had been on death row since 1999 and requested clemency along with some family members.
The only solution to end these unnecessary tragedies is to vote. The Texas gubernatorial election will take place on Nov. 8, 2022. I urge everyone to register to vote, no matter their opinions or political views.
We have a voice; we should use it.
– McKenzie Siller is a biochemistry junior
The University Star welcomes Letters to the Editor from its readers. All submissions are reviewed and considered by the Editor-in-Chief and Opinion Editor for publication. Not all letters are guaranteed for publication.

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