North Texas Daily

Anti-abortion events are aimed at inflicting terror

Anti-abortion events are aimed at inflicting terror

Anti-abortion events are aimed at inflicting terror
October 20
15:00 2020

Content warning: this article contains language and content related to abortion. Reader discretion is advised.

This summer I drove a friend to Austin so she could get an abortion. She’s a young mother who makes ends meet waiting tables and took a pregnancy test in the bathroom at work during her break. To her surprise, she just learned she was pregnant again. 

Unfortunately for her, living in the United States, particularly in Texas, doesn’t help since there is no paid maternity leave, universal child care, or comprehensive prenatal care. Failed by her country and a victim of unexpected circumstances, she decided to make the personal and extremely difficult choice of getting an abortion to avoid financial ruin. 

The state of Texas unjustifiably legislates away a woman’s right to choose by keeping abortions legal but making them extraordinarily difficult to undergo. Planned Parenthood has been restricted by law to just six clinics limited to locations in Texas’ major metropolitan areas authorized to perform abortions. 

These restraints cause her to drive an hour to the state’s capital to follow through with her choice. This situation is common, especially among minors who don’t have access to transportation or have to attend school.

To make the drive, she takes off a day of work, forfeiting any income she would have made. After all of the stress inflicted by America’s restrictions on abortion access, she arrives at the Planned Parenthood only to be greeted by an anti-choice protester sitting in a lawn chair and holding a sign reading: “It’s a child, not a choice.” 

The tactics and rhetoric of anti-choice proponents are comparable to a “Handmaid’s Tale” dystopian fever dream. Their strategy centers around instigation, intimidation, and humiliation with the goal of controlling women’s bodies. 

If anti-choice advocates seriously cared about lowering the overall number of abortions, their approach would be focused on urging the government to provide quality prenatal care, universal child care, informative sex education in public education, free birth control and paid maternity leave. 

Sadly, that’s not what the anti-choice crowd does because they truly don’t care about young mothers and their children. They would rather engage in purposefully intimidating performative actions, hoping to increase the United States government’s jurisdiction over a woman’s body. 

They choose to ignore how the United States ranks 170 out of 225 in infant mortality, according to the CIA. Instead of advocating for quality prenatal care that would prevent infant death anti-choice zealots have attempted to burn down 186 abortion clinics since 1977. 

Universal child care is desperately essential at a time when current child care costs are 9 percent to 36 percent of a family’s income. Rather than publicly protesting for universal child care, hundreds of anti-choice fanatics would rather rally outside of a Planned Parenthood to hiss and throw rocks at medical professionals and patients entering the building. 

Medical experts and scientists are telling us that abstinence-only education has led to increased teenage pregnancy rates, but anti-choice extremists don’t listen to science. On the contrary, they decided to send 44,000 mailers with small plastic fetuses with the purpose of intimidating anyone who is pro-choice. 

Scientists have also noted that access to free birth control reduces overall abortion rates. This should be ecstatic news for anti-abortion diehards but that isn’t their priority. Their advocacy is directed towards writing “SATAN DEN OF BABY KILLERS” on the side of a Planned Parenthood in Columbus, Ohio. 

Embarrassingly, the United States joins Suriname and Papua, New Guinea as the only countries in the United Nations that don’t guarantee maternity leave. If the U.S. provided maternity leave, a financial burden would be lifted off of pregnant mothers, which might empower more pregnancies to come to term. Anti-abortion fanatics could support this but they’ve been busy bombing 42 abortion clinics since 1977.

The late comedian George Carlin characterized their hypocrisy saying: “Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no daycare, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing.”

The problem with anti-choice activists is that they aren’t activists at all. They are misguided extremists who’d rather terrorize women and medical experts instead of actually solving the problem that they believe exists. 

They also aren’t alone as their voices are represented throughout the U.S. government, from representatives to the presidency. Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court jeopardizes a woman’s fundamental right to choose.

Roe v. Wade must be protected as the law of the land, but that’s not all. Abortions should be universally accessible as a basic human right and the U.S. has to step up and provide more for the nation’s mothers.

Featured Illustration by Olivia Varnell

About Author

Maxine Davis

Maxine Davis

Columnist on The North Texas Daily's opinion section since 2020. Her stories focus on politics and point out hypocrisy. She is a current undergraduate student at UNT majoring in political science and history. Also, she is the vice president of UNT College Democrats and a student relations coordinator for SGA. In 2019, Davis graduated from Central Texas College with an A.A. in interdisciplinary studies.

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1 Comment

  1. Hank
    Hank January 11, 16:39

    Thanks for writing so straight from the shoulder. I’m linking this as explanatory material.

    Reply to this comment

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