“Republicans are calling women’s bodies ‘Host bodies,'” New York Times author Don Wilson wrote in a tweet on September 3, 2021. For real though, what in the Handmaid’s Tale is going on?
On September 1st, 2021, the Texas Abortion Act went into effect banning women in the state from getting an abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy. Unfortunately, many women don’t know they are pregnant until about 4 weeks, and getting an appointment or paying for medical bills before their 6 week deadline can be very difficult, if not impossible. The law is enforced by Texan civilians – they are allowed to tip off the government about women getting abortions and anyone who aided them. These ‘witnesses’ can receive up to $10,000 as a reward. While the Supreme Court could have prevented this bill from passing, the majority voted for it. This law affects over 7 million women including minors, victims of rape and incest, and those who pregnancy could cause life-threatening conditions for. This means that if a woman or child are victim to incest, their abuser could be the ‘witness’ that gains the monetary reward for tipping off the government. Illegal immigrants and lower class citizens also need to be accounted for, as they may not be able to get time off from work and/or are already busy taking care of themselves and their families.
Although all hope seems lost, online dating companies like Bumble and Match are taking a stand against this new unjust law. The CEO of Match, Shar Dubey, stated her opinion on the state’s legislative choice in an email: “I immigrated to America from India over 25 years ago and I have to say, as a Texas resident, I am shocked that I now live in a state where women’s reproductive laws are more regressive than most of the world, including India.” Both companies are donating funds to help women seeking aid to get abortions in the state.
Companies like Uber and Lyft have also been doing their part to join the fight against this crude law. Both companies released statements saying that they would provide financial aid to any driver under legal prosecution for helping a woman to an abortion clinic. This relieves pressure on drivers that were worried about being fined for assisting these women safely, and there will more likely be more drivers now willing to take the risk.
To add a cherry on top of the list of national companies taking a stand to this new law, GoDaddy has done their part. The state tip-line was until very recently on their website. GoDaddy removed the website saying that it “violated their terms of service.” Even though they have gotten backlash from pro-lifers claiming that they have violated their first amendment right, GoDaddy is well within their own legal rights to take down the site.
There are many more organizations right now advocating for the women in Texas’ rights to their own bodies. If you would like to donate to support these groups that help ensure safety in transportation, the aiding of medical bills and potential legal fees, links to some of these organizations listed below. It is important that we scream and fight for what we believe in against the oppressors that are actively taking women’s rights away not only in Texas but in other states as well. States including Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Kentucky are all fighting to instill strict abortion laws similar to the one implemented in Texas.