This past Friday, the Texas Senate passed one of the strictest anti-abortion measures, HB2/SBI, banning abortions beyond 20 weeks and mandating upgrades in abortion clinics comparable to the standards of hospital surgical centers. This was one tragedy in a weekend pregnant of events that made me question our nation’s commitment to democracy and freedom.
So, why do we still fight? What’s the point of all the protests, 11-hour filibusters, twitter hashtags, and pithy t-shirts and signs?
We fight because we must.
We fight because our bodies are not public domain.
We fight because staying home lets misogyny win.
We fight because we will not return to a past wrought with back-alley abortions, dull knives, and wire coat hangers.
We fight for those who are voiceless.
We fight for our mothers who fought for us and for our children who will continue to fight long after us.
Women and their allies are rising in Texas. We must rise with them.
Sarah Slamen, who was forcibly removed from the Texas Senate session by state troopers while testifying last Monday, says it best as she “thanks” her legislators:
“Thank you for finally working against us women so publicly and not in the shadows like you’re used to. Thank you for every single bad press conference with your bad information. Thank you for every hateful statement, degrading women and girls to sex objects and broodmares and bald eagles and leather wallets, like your eloquent pro-life supporters have done today. Thank you for being you, Texas legislature. You have radicalized hundreds of thousands of us, and no matter what you do for the next 22 days, women and their allies are coming for you.”
I have to believe that #StandwithWendy and #StandwithTXwomen are more than just hashtags. I have to believe that there is hope for women in this nation.
-Tanya Singh, Contributor