The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
New Mexico State University students have recently decided to make a statement against one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. The hosts of this “Stand Against S.B. 8” rally, Megan Kirchhofer and Katelyn Legault, have decided to stand together and ask others to join them on Saturday, October 2 at 10:00 a.m. at Las Cruces, NM City Hall in support of those affected by this restrictive law over in Texas. As they stated on their RSVP website, “Let’s stand together to support women and others with uteruses in Texas, and to help prevent the passing of other laws that threaten our human right to bodily autonomy”.
Texas legislation recently passed S.B. 8, which bans abortion at around 6 weeks of pregnancy. It is also allowing Texas citizens to sue those “aiding and abetting” the act of getting an abortion after 6 weeks and places a $10,000 minimum bounty on anyone who has an abortion. As described on the Planned Parenthood site, “That means ANY person — such as a partner, parent, nosy neighbor, random stranger, or anti-abortion protester — from ANY state can sue a person they believe helped someone get an abortion in Texas after 6 weeks. In exchange for their vigilante action, they collect at least $10,000 (plus legal expenses) from the person they sued for each successful claim. This abortion ban will block most safe abortion services in Texas and could also lead to the harassment of health center staff, patients, and anyone who helps a person get an abortion”.
26% of the NMSU Main Campus student body come from out of state, with 13.7% coming from Texas. NMSU is also known to have many students that commute to classes from El Paso, Texas, a drive that often takes about 45 minutes. Because of this, NMSU students are well aware of how this law will affect their neighbors, their classmates, and possibly their friends.
The passing of this law signifies a turning point for women’s rights. If it happens in this state, who is to say it won’t happen in another? That is the fear many women are having right now, ever since the passing of this restrictive law. Now, it forces women to be even more aware of their surroundings, finding fear in everyone who sees or suspects them of obtaining an abortion. The worst fear that many are having is that this is eerily similar to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, a book that describes a dystopic future where women have no rights.
The right to an abortion is an important one. Abortions allow women to make choices about their own bodies, and their own futures. Without them, risky, at-home abortions skyrocket, creating a horror story scenario. This restrictive abortion law does not lower abortion rates, it instead makes them unsafe, as women instead travel out of state, or attempt at home abortions that are unsanitary and deadly, putting more women at risk.
That is why a rally like this is important, so women can know that they will have people who support and care for them. And I am personally glad that NMSU students are standing together and willing to support women in Texas who are experiencing the fear this law perpetuates.
If you agree that abortion is a woman’s right, join the rally on Saturday, October 2 at 10:00 a.m. Follow this link and RSVP to join the event at Las Cruces, NM City Hall. Check out the site to find driving directions if you need them. Make sure to wear purple, cream, white or black to show your unity and support for this cause.