As leaders from around the world gather in New York for the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss urgent problems, the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has a message for the United States: New abortion restrictions in Texas violate women’s fundamental rights.
In an 1893 speech examining the U.S. relationship with Haiti, Frederick Douglass said: “A deeper reason for coolness between the countries is this: Haiti is [B]lack, and we have not yet forgiven Haiti for being [B]lack or forgiven the Almighty for making her [B]lack.”
U.S. Border Patrol agents rounding up asylum seekers with whips while thousands more languish under a bridge in the unrelenting Texas heat make it clear: 128 years after Frederick Douglass’s speech, his words still ring true.
On Tuesday, over 50 companies signed a letter titled “Don’t Ban Equality,” which argues that abortion restrictions are bad for business.
“Economic losses from existing abortion restrictions, including labor force impact and earnings, already cost the State of Texas an estimated $14.5 billion annually. Nationally, state-level restrictions cost state economies $105 billion dollars per year.”
On Friday, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra announced new resources and actions to protect reproductive health care for Texans after the state banned abortion at six weeks and the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the ban to go into effect on September 1.
“Every American deserves access to health care no matter where they live—including access to safe and legal abortions,” said Becerra.
For many, Texas has a lot to offer. It’s no wonder then that more than half a million people relocated to Texas from other states over the last few years.
Then along came Senate Bill 8—one of the nation’s most extreme abortion bans that criminalizes abortions after just six weeks and deputizes private citizens to enforce the law. The brain drain has already begun, and is likely to continue, as a result.
“When you’re looking at the accumulation of anti-constitutional rights legislation being passed over and over again here, it’s got to have a chilling effect on people’s willingness to consider Texas as a place to come,” Texas state Rep. Donna Howard told Ms.
In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in in this biweekly round-up.
This week: Texas implements unprecedented pre-viability abortion ban; Biden’s Education Department forgives $5.8 billion in student loan debt for disabled borrowers; Supreme Court order maintain’s Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy; North Carolina bans child marriage under age 16; and more.
Vigilante action in the form of policing, surveillance and violence has long endangered people of color. That reality worries some experts who fear Texas’s latest anti-abortion law—which empowers private citizens to sue anyone they suspect of providing, or aiding and abetting an abortion—will disproportionately target people of color.
Two weeks ago, Texas passed a law banning access to abortion, with the Supreme Court’s failure to block the legislation signaling a dark future for Roe v Wade. One viral Twitter thread gave a number of powerful examples of people who had sought abortions.
But what is often missing in discourse about reproductive rights are the “average” abortion stories—those in which people tell of their choices to exercise reproductive rights simply because right now was not the right time.
We spoke with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey about Texas’s extreme six-week abortion ban (S.B. 8), its impact and what state attorneys general plan to do in response.
“The amount of anger and outrage I’ve heard from women and men around the country that I’ve spoken with in recent days is something I haven’t seen before. I think providers and reproductive rights organizations anticipated this, but I’m not sure that it was on the radar of the American public. Now it is. I think everybody is waking up.”
On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit blocked two Tennessee laws—one banning abortion after approximately six weeks of pregnancy and another banning abortion for certain reasons, including race, gender or genetic anomaly.
“The court of appeals today rightly respected nearly 50 years of precedent by blocking these dangerous laws,” said Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project. “With all eyes on the devastating effect of the Texas abortion ban, this is a welcome news for Tennesseans and the rule of law.”