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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: Anti-abortion activists are harmful for women

An+illustration+of+three+protest+signs+that+read+%26%238220%3BSTOP+ABORTION+NOW%26%238221%3B%2C+%26%238220%3BABORTION+IS+MURDER%26%238221%3B%2C+and+%26%238220%3BDEFUND+PLANNED+PARENTHOOD%26%238221%3B.

An illustration of three protest signs that read “STOP ABORTION NOW”, “ABORTION IS MURDER”, and “DEFUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD”.

Despite the magnitude of laws in favor of women’s health, anti-abortion activists are hard at work to dissuade women from getting an abortion by giving misleading information, promoting violence and have played a constant toxic role in society.
In light of the severity of COVID-19, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas banned most abortions that are not medically necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother. The ban comes after the governor’s March 22 executive order calling on non-essential surgeries to be rescheduled. Failure to comply with this order can result in a fine or jail time.
Abbott and his right-hand man are moving in the wrong direction. They are using the pandemic as a loophole to further restrict the rights of women and push their conservative views into effect.
Most procedures for abortion can result in coming in just to take a pill. It is not the government’s choice to decide when an abortion is an essential procedure or not. Especially during a pandemic when going through pregnancy might have harsher consequences.
As of 2019, there are only 22 open clinics in Texas, a state that is home to about 29 million people. The act of abortion is strategically made more difficult to accomplish. Young women are the most vulnerable, especially in a conservative red state that hinders safety on reproductive health.
The issues regarding women’s health and abortion affect women of all ages and continue to be protested all over the nation. Many pro-life activists rely on causing outrage in order to make the person on the other side of the conversation look wrong.
Kaitlin Bennet, an activist for gun rights and pro-life, regularly gets in peoples’ faces to spur outrage on social media for content. After the Women’s March in 2019, Bennet followed a child and proceeded to spread false information on abortion. Her efforts are more provocative than authentically knowledge-driven, and she is not the only one.
Many public figures including bloggers, representatives and anti-abortion groups write or talk about abortion in false misleading ways or paint women who get abortions in a villainous light.
After bills were passed in New York and Virginia that expanded abortion rights for women in 2019, Fox and Friends falsely stated on television that these laws promoted abortions up until the moment of birth. The misinformation that comes from pro-lifers is damaging for abortion clinics, like Planned Parenthood.
Along with the ability to spread lies, anti-abortionists are allowed to essentially harass and promote violence toward women. In January 2018, an anti-abortion group, Operation Rescue, started signal-boosting a series of posts targeting Planned Parenthood. The group promoted false and harmful conspiracy theories on a message board called 8chan about Planned Parenthood and what they do with unborn fetuses.
In addition, a former writer for the Atlantic was quoted in supporting hanging as punishment for abortion. Comments from anti-abortionists only express how much they would rather punish women than learn the medical reasons why certain abortions are vital.
Individual pro-life activists are not the only threat to women’s rights. States are attempting to pass laws that make it difficult and dangerous for women to get an abortion. In 2019, many ‘heartbeat bills’ were written to prevent a woman from having an abortion after six weeks.
Alabama even drafted a bill that would land women in prison for years if they got an abortion after six weeks.
These laws are counterproductive and do not take into consideration women’s health. Most women do not realize they are pregnant at six weeks due to different cycles, symptoms and treatments.
According to Dr. Jen Villavicencio, an OB-GYN who lectures at the University of Michigan Medicine, it can take many tests and doctors appointments to confirm a pregnancy. The tests alone can take up to a week or two to bring results.
Pro-lifers do not seem to care about saving lives, but rather about harming women and their own egotistic accomplishments. They continue to push harmful bills and spread misinformation that only villainizes women who just need help for personal reasons that are no one else’s but the woman herself.
The conversation on abortion has the possibility of being productive if both sides agree to genuinely understand the process and share their thoughts. It can be in a calm manner with someone who has been through the experience.
Shaming and banning women for doing something medically personal without knowing the full story or having proper knowledge of the process is the real act of shame.
– Delilah Alvarado is a journalism senior

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