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Dear Governor Abbott,

As a woman, it was insufferable to hear that legislation you fought for takes away the constitutional rights of women all over this country. The landmark Roe V. Wade decision was arguably the most impactful legislation impacting women’s rights since women gained the 19th amendment. Now Texas is headed back to that archaic age.

I observed a panic on social media as the news broke of the unbelievable maneuver. Women from all over the country mourned for those who had just lost the safety net and sat in rage at the state of their country. How did a bill snatch away federal rights seemingly overnight, so perfectly designed to do what no other pro-life legislation has been able to do? 

Over 450,000 people marched on Washington for the first Women’s March in 2017 to stand against the very policymakers that believe in your vision. While your personal views may align with your policies, many who are impacted by the law are not on the same page. According to a 2020 Gallup report, 48% of Americans identify as “pro-choice,” and 46% of citizens identify as “pro-life,” continuing the near-even split that has been “observed most years since 2010.” 

A unified stand on abortion is far from near, but the numbers on those who are losing access to abortions because of S.B. 8 are crystal clear. According to the New York Times, “abortion providers in Texas said that 85 to 90 percent of the procedures they previously performed were after the six-week mark.” That is an overwhelming percentage of women who are now left with no choice over their own reproductive rights.

The mental, physical and emotional implications of losing autonomy and having to carry a child on top of that are horrifying to even imagine. Imagine if you woke up tomorrow and someone was telling you when and when not to have children, and if you disagreed, it was punishable by law?

It appears you attempted to acknowledge your insensitivity with a disjointed statement that claimed, “Texas will work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas by aggressively going out and arresting them and prosecuting them.” But that sentence only revealed what we already knew — in the state of Texas, only one reason for abortion is seen as valid—rape. Why is it that a woman must endure sexual trauma to be deemed worthy of making decisions about her own body?

The lack of comprehension about why abortions are needed—or the choice to simply ignore it—only further proves why a man’s hand should be nowhere near what a woman can choose to do with her life source. You simply do not understand. Women abort for personal reasons, health reasons, socioeconomic reasons, and simply because it is their body.

This is bill a mistake. If this bill is a stand against playing God with life, why are you playing God yourself?

Taya Coates is a junior studying fashion merchandising and minoring in journalism. She hopes to pursue a career as a fashion editor and eventually start her own publication. She is passionate about covering stories on style, social activism, and culture.
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