OPINION: New trigger law joins growing list of policies limiting abortion services


Mira Rincon / Hilltop Views

The outside of an inoperative Planned Parenthood center located off of Ben White Blvd. in Austin. When it was offering services, this location was the closest facility for students attending St. Edward’s.

On June 24, Roe v. Wade — the Supreme Court case that gave women the right to an abortion — was overturned. Many people have been outraged since this and have been asking the question, what does this mean for the country? Moreover, what I’m asking is what does this mean for the state of Texas? 

Gov. Greg Abbott and his party passed a trigger law on Aug. 25, which meant we no longer have access to safe abortions in our state — a place many of us call home. This trigger law makes performing or receiving an abortion a felony. The law makes no exceptions in the cases of rape, incest and financial instability. The only exception to this new law is if the pregnant person is facing a life-threatening emergency and needs an abortion to survive. Other than this, you cannot legally receive an abortion in Texas.  

This trigger law infringes on our rights. Abortion is basic healthcare. The politicians who played a role in passing this law were elected to do what is best for us, not what is best for them and their beliefs. We voted them into office expecting them to keep their promises to listen and keep us safe. We elected people who we thought would pass laws and put policies in place that would benefit the citizens of Texas. This trigger law does not benefit us; it harms every Texan who is able to get pregnant. As long as this law stays in effect, it will not only affect our lives but our children as well. 

As a woman, someone with a reproductive system, I am deeply saddened by our government. They are stripping our rights away without a second thought. Women who are pregnant, especially lower-income mothers, are receiving less care now than ever before. 

When people become pregnant, they’re less healthy than they should be,” Elizabeth Sepper, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, said in an interview with KVUE when the trigger law first went into effect. “So, lots of low-income people — when they become eligible for Medicaid, when they become pregnant — have a really long delay. They might not see a doctor even until they’re five months into their pregnancy.” 

This trigger law is affecting our community by making health care more inaccessible. I already have enough trouble trying to get a doctor’s appointment for a routine checkup, let alone for a pregnancy scan. 

Where do we go from here? The first thing we need to do as a community is vote. The gubernatorial elections are coming up on Nov. 8 with early voting starting Oct. 24 The best way for our voice to be heard is through voting and electing an official, like Beto O’Rourke, who will listen to our concerns and do what is best for the citizens of Texas. If we scream loud enough, someone will listen and incite change.