North Texas Daily

Abbott’s abortion bill reveals political hypocrisy

Abbott’s abortion bill reveals political hypocrisy

Abbott’s abortion bill reveals political hypocrisy
May 28
13:00 2021

On May 19, Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation banning abortions the moment a fetal heartbeat is detected which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy. Aptly dubbed the “heartbeat bill,” it effectively makes getting a legal abortion in Texas near impossible as many women are not even aware of their pregnancy by then. Given the governor’s approach to policy and apparent refusal to keep church and state separate, it is yet another abuse of power that is perfectly in line with his consistent hypocrisy.

Gov. Abbott, and just about the entire Republican Party, have a rather odd way of dictating what aspects of life the government should and should not have its hands in. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown conservatives’ true colors as to how they prioritize the health and safety of their citizens. Lifting the mask mandate within public schools and government entities is a woefully cavalier and reckless move. It is mind-boggling to see Abbott tout the defense of liberty and freedom with how people live their lives and also pass legislation that completely takes away a woman’s agency and ability to choose how they want to live.

If the governor genuinely cared about his citizens’ well beings, he would listen to the people primarily affected, like the Texas State Teachers Association. Calling the motion premature and ill-advised, it is the will of the people that Abbott is directly going against. It would be so outrageous if it was not already on brand and practically expected from him and his political theory. The concepts of decency and goodwill are essentially lost in today’s political climate and the current Texas governor is a shining example of what modern-day government is lacking.

Passing the “heartbeat bill” is not about saving lives, it is about power. Anyone seeing this as a moral victory is truly naive to the bill’s underlying motives, for it is one that has serious political implications. Conservative politicians have made it no secret that overturning the ruling on Roe v. Wade is among their top priorities, making the Supreme Court appointments of Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett a legitimate step towards that goal. Add that with a proposed Mississippi bill with similar intents and you have government control at its worst.

Along with its damaging historical significance, the “heartbeat bill” exemplifies the governor’s double standard when it comes to his idea of protecting his people. Having the audacity to say that “our creator endowed us with the right to live” barely three months after his laughable handling of the winter storm Uri crisis. Such neglect and political pride led to the preventable loss of 111 lives.

On one hand, he is pro-life when it lines up with his dogmatic religious beliefs and if lines up with his regressive political views. On the other, he sees no need to take responsibility for a catastrophic power failure when the Green New Deal is to blame, even when it has zero presence within Texas legislation. Such is the political priorities of Gov. Abbott. Evoking the religion card is hardly surprising from Abbott. Although a strong Christian faith can bring out the best and most charitable sides of ourselves, it has too often become a bargaining chip and political ploy to appeal to people’s emotions. There is no goodwill or genuine goodness here – just American conservatism at its most destructive.

It is also yet another maddening instance of a certain kind of hypocrisy that is unique to Republican politicians. Conservatives pride their party’s ideology on letting the people do what they want to do with little government interference. The basis of conservative politics is to give power to the people, for it is the ingenuity and savviness of everyday people that breed innovation and progress. While that is an appealing notion on paper, the essence of American politics prevents this point of view from truly manifest itself without special interest groups, lobbyists, or even high-income religious zealots to muddy the waters. For a party that champions the will of the people, passing the “heartbeat bill” is another unsurprising example of Gov. Abbott’s political shrewdness. At this point, Matthew McConaughey’s candidacy doesn’t seem too bad.

Featured Illustration by J. Robynn Aviles

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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