Intro to Women and Gender Studies
Texas Bans Abortion Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak
On Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton ordered a statewide abortion ban, after Governor Greg Abbott said abortion is not essential to care and any scheduled procedures will be postponed amid the COVID-19 outbreak. This order expires on April 21st, but medical workers that provide abortion care can be still fined up to $1000 or face 180 days in jail until then. On March 17, Ohio also ordered the cancellation of all nonessential procedures. Letters were sent to abortion clinics in the state accusing of them of violating the order as well. Despite the orders, clinics and physicians in Ohio are continuing to provide abortion care. In response to all of this, abortion clinics and physicians are arguing that abortion providers are not violating the orders in any of these states because the procedure IS essential to healthcare. Last week, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology issued a joint statement begging state governments not to categorize abortions as nonessential healthcare. The statement reads, To the extent that hospital systems or ambulatory surgical facilities are categorizing procedures that can be delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic, abortion should not be categorized as such a procedure abortion is an essential component of comprehensive health care. It is also a time-sensitive service for which a delay of several weeks, or in some cases days, may increase the risks or potentially make it completely inaccessible. The consequences of being unable to obtain an abortion profoundly impact a person's life, health, and well-being. No legal action has been taken to keep abortion clinics open and functioning yet.
I chose this topic because I was interested to see how the US was handling women's healthcare in regard to the current COVID-19 pandemic. I was thoroughly disappointed by my findings, but not surprised, because this is a problem that runs much deeper than just these recent events, and the lack of bodily autonomy for women plays a huge role in it.
Bodily autonomy is a basic human right granted at birth that states that no one can use your body without your consent. Because of bodily autonomy, mandatory blood or organ donation doesn't exist, because it is your body, that's your blood, and those are your organs. It even applies to dead people, because it is illegal to harvest someone's organs post-mortem without their consent or if they expressed while alive that they didn't want them to be harvested. To have bodily autonomy, you must be self-sufficient and not use someone else's body and organs to survive. Fetuses are not self-sufficient, they rely fully on another person's organs to keep them alive.
Its already a huge problem that people are denied the choice and opportunity to abort a child they were carrying, but Im trying to put myself in the sh...