Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

17 November 2015

Texas women are attempting to self-abort

Hundreds of thousands of Texas women may have attempted to self-induce abortions, according to a “first of its kind” study released Tuesday by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP).  [link]

When I heard this stat today I wanted to puke.

It is actually quite difficult for me to form an intelligent rant about this. I am just. Ugh. I have been active in the reproductive justice movement for a long time and this is as bad as I feel it has gotten. I have heard stories of women resorting to self-induced abortions before. Heard rumbles of the return of back-alley abortions. Known of women who have given birth despite not wanting to add another baby to their family. But to have a study that quantifies how much we are failing women in this country? I'm sickened.

This is exactly the type of work that one Missouri state senator wants to stop by censoring a woman's dissertation.
In a letter to University of Missouri officials, state Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) argues that Lindsay Ruhr, a graduate student in the School of Social Work, is illegally using public funds to conduct her dissertation research on the state's law that requires a 72-hour waiting period before a woman receives an abortion. Ruhr is using Planned Parenthood data to analyze the effects of the law on women's decision making. In Missouri it is illegal for public employees and facilities to use state money towards "encouraging or counseling" a person to have an abortion not necessary to save her life.
In Texas, Latinas who live near the border appear to be more likely to be attempting to self-induce an abortion. This is quite disconcerting. It was also quite predicted by many reproductive justice activists. Bitch Media discusses the many obstacles that undocumented Latinas face at the border when attempting to seek any healthcare services, much less abortion services. Women who do not have access or limited access to healthcare will still attempt to not carry a pregnancy to term if she does not want to become a mother (again).

So while I am heartbroken over the results of the study, I am grateful that we now have data on the hardships that anti-abortion laws are doing to the people of the USA. Research on, feministas!




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