I have a piece at MSNBC today, about why, though State Senator Wendy Davis has emerged as the most visible figure in the Texan fight for reproductive rights, the fight is far bigger than one person:
But millions of people will be adversely affected when Texas’s new abortion restrictions kick in. The most obvious are women in need of healthcare – either to keep a pregnancy healthy, or to terminate a pregnancy they don’t want or can’t sustain. Texas will now ban abortion after 20 weeks, and while a tiny percentage of abortions happen that late, most of the ones that do are performed to save the mother’s life, or to spare her the pain of giving birth to a fetus with such severe abnormalities that it cannot survive outside the womb.
Then there are the hundreds of thousands of Texans who rely on those clinics for primary healthcare: for mammograms, pap smears, contraception, STI testing, and more. What happens when a person doesn’t have access to preventive healthcare? What happens to a populace when thousands of its citizens no longer see doctors and nurses, no longer get tested for HIV, or breast cancer?
The need for abortion is not diminished with the disappearance of clinics. In their place, expect unsafe, illegal abortion. Before Roe v Wade, illegal abortion was a leading cause of death for women of childbearing age. Sixty percent were already mothers at the time.
You can read the whole thing here.