D’aun: Hey SoCal. On Sept. 1, 2021, Texas enacted the SB-8 abortion bill. To gauge the wide reaction, we reached out to two parties to speak with — to the legal counsel at Planned Parenthood and someone who has gone through an abortion themselves. Take a look at what they had to say.
Dipti: Texas Senate Bill 8 is a law that prohibits in the state of Texas any abortions to be performed after six weeks of pregnancy. That’s just two weeks after most folks will even know that they’re pregnant. And what sets SB-8 apart from other bans that we’ve seen is how it is enforced. SB-8 deputizes private citizens, anyone living anywhere in the country, to enforce SB-8 against a person who is providing abortion care in violation of SB-8 or person who is, what the law refers to as, aiding and abetting someone accessing abortion care in violation of SB-8.
D’aun: The unprecedented Texas law has created a ripple effect throughout the country, threatening the sanctity of Roe v. Wade on a grand scale. Should Californians be worried that this could replicate itself in our legislature?
Dipti: Thankfully, California has really strong protection for the right to abortion, and so we’re not as at risk for replication of SB-8 as other parts of the country. But that doesn’t mean abortion is easy to access for everyone here in California.
D’aun: The Texas law sparked anger nationwide. In October, Women’s Marches were held across the country protesting the new law. So, we checked out the March taking place in Downtown LA.
Speaker A at the march: Of course, they have a very restrictive ban on abortion. And that case is being challenged, and that case will be heard in December by the United State Supreme Court.
Speaker B at the march: … and the state senate. And fight for what I know is right!
Speaker C at the march: The principles of this nation are freedom, liberty, and equality. And when the government turns its back on those principles, we will not be the ones to stay silent.
D’aun: Despite the solidarity in the air, this is still a personal journey that many tread alone. The voice of the individual is just as important as the whole.
Anonymous patient (Anonymous): I think it’s bullshit. I think it’s just going to lead to more dangerous abortions because it’s not going to stop happening. History has spoken for itself, and women will always find a way. I think it’s important for people with uteruses to be the voice of this entire topic because it is our bodies, and you don’t see us going around making laws about penises. There’s no such thing. I think the common theme, or like the overall theme for this, is just hopelessness. What can you do when the power is taken from you over your own body?
D’aun: Even in a progressive state like California, the choice to have an abortion is sometimes stigmatized.
Anonymous: When I was getting it done, I felt like I was a little bit judged for it. I feel like the demeanor they had when telling me about the procedure — and asking me if this is something I really wanted to do over and over again — really didn’t make me feel good about it. And I just wish that they could be more empathetic to the situation that girls are in and not make me feel so wrong for doing this.
D’aun: Do you have any regrets?
Anonymous: I definitely don’t regret it. It is difficult to think about and talk about. I’m still not over it. And I know that if I did have it, I don’t think I would be happy just because of where I’m at, what I want for myself, and having a baby definitely takes those options away. And I’d have to live for them instead of me. And I regret that it’s come to this for many women and that they aren’t as blessed as I was.
D’aun: On Nov. 1st the Supreme Court heard two challenges to the Texas law. We can’t predict how the justices will rule but neither case directly addresses the right to abortion. However, in December, the Court will hear arguments on a 2018 Mississippi law that outlaws most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, weeks earlier than later decisions allow.
Anonymous: So yeah, fuck them.