As a human rights activist based in Austin, Texas, I have been defending victims of partner violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking for over a decade. There are countless women and girls who have made difficult decisions about whether to continue or end their pregnancy.
Many made this choice when suffering from PTSD, depression, addiction, and continued abuse. My role was not to guide them to decisions, but to confirm their power of choice.
Recent Passage of New Texas Abortion Ban (SB 8)It is not only unconstitutional to make it illegal for doctors to have an abortion if they detect embryonic cardiac activity. It puts women and girls at risk, especially those who are experiencing reproductive coercion. Reproductive coercion occurs when a partner uses a verbal threat or physical force to attempt to control another person’s reproductive choices. This includes trying to conceive a partner against her will, managing the outcome of her pregnancy, forcing her to have unprotected sex, and interfering with contraception.
According to a recently released guide by Futures Without Violence, 53% of women visiting family planning clinics experience partner violence, and 15% of women with a history of partner violence report contraceptive obstruction. From forced unprotected sex to disturbing contraception, women are experiencing continuous assault on their reproductive rights in their homes. With SB 8, Texas is now making it easier for abusers to manage their victims. For example, abusive partners are known to deliberately impregnate victims against their will as a means of controlling them. When the victim reaches gestation, the abuser often uses his power over the child to increase the power over the mother.
The new law is a form of state-sponsored reproductive coercion. By creating financial incentives to intimidate and harass women seeking to exercise their constitutional rights, the state is acting like an abusive partner by strengthening its power. Moreover, just as abusers communicate through action— “It doesn’t matter what you want. You have no choice and you have no control over what happens to you.” — Let a woman give birth against her will teeth It is compulsory to sue and harass civilians for violence and for helping her to have an abortion, including doctors and family members.
But we cannot easily talk about abortion without talking about violence against girls.Since then 15% of all sexual assault victims are childrenThe new abortion ban makes it possible to file proceedings against individuals who help abused children. Most of them don’t know they are pregnant until it’s too late.
according to A study published by the American College of Obstetrics and GynecologyTwenty-five percent of adolescent women in abusive relationships reported that their male partners were trying to get pregnant by interfering with contraception. Abusive women and children have access to reproductive medicine by providing $ 10,000 to successful civil lawsuits for those who “help and abort” those seeking an abortion about six weeks after their last period. It’s even harder to do. They need it most. This precedent creates a fad of fear for those who are already in fear.
When a woman can no longer control her body, she can no longer control her life. The abuser knows this. That is why they want power over the victim’s reproductive choices.
Some anti-abortion activists claim that rape exceptions are not necessary because emergency contraceptives such as Plan B are available. However, this discussion does not address the ongoing sexual and reproductive coercion of partners’ violence, sexual activity. Trafficking and sexual abuse of children. Victims of sexual assault may not be in time for emergency contraception, especially if the victim is a child.
But even if the new abortion ban includes rape and incest exceptions, that’s not enough. There is no need to assault women and girls to ensure abortion. Also, victims of sexual assault should not be forced to endure the secondary trauma of having to prove that they have been assaulted in order to access their right to reproduction.
In addition, undocumented women are often unable to safely report interpersonal violence due to the risk of deportation. Black women may not feel safe reports As a result of our long history of systematic racism in the American police.Native American women to experience Highest rate of sexual violence in the United States It is also left behind by conflicts between tribal and federal jurisdictions and the general lack of access to assisted reproductive technology near appointments.
about 1 in 6 women are sexually assaulted, No need to prove anything. The epidemic of violence against women speaks for itself. The use of intimidation and coercion to deny the right of all women and girls to have an abortion in Texas is an extension of that violence. Women with unwanted pregnancies are four times more likely to experience violence from their partners than women with intended pregnancies.Overall, partner violence is three times more likely than women seeking an abortion... With SB 8’s aggressive ban, Texas is now far more dangerous to those seeking help.
Abuses should not have the power to force women and children to give birth, nor should democratic governments do so. Under the mandatory law of SB 8, Texas is acting as an abuser who believes he has the right to control the victim’s body.
About the author:
Brook Axtel A writer, speaker, stage artist, and human rights activist.She is the author of her memoirs Beautiful justice When Founder of She is rising.. Brooke spoke at the United Nations, the Institute for Peace Studies, Stanford University, and the 2015 Grammy Awards on trafficking and gender-based violence. Her work has been featured on The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and CNN.