Texas vs Abortion Rights

By: Sam Marquez

Texas recently implemented a rule that when a fetus is aborted it must be disposed of properly. Which in retrospect, isn’t so bad, though many protests have begun to rise and this situation has social media on the edge of their seats.

The result of this out roar is due to only allowing burial or cremation of remains instead of disposing of remains in sanitary landfills (which until December 19th is still mandated).

Most sources quote officials saying things about protecting the health of our society, yet they don’t explain how properly disposing of a fetus in a sanitary landfill is harmful to the residents of Texas.

Many people agree with:

A senior counsel member for the Center of Reproduction Rights, Stephanie Toti, said in a statement, “Texas politicians are at it again, inserting their personal beliefs into the health care decisions of Texas women.”

While others see it from this perspective:

“For far too long, Texas has allowed the most innocent among us to be thrown out with the daily waste,” state Sen. Don Huffines said. “Life begins at conception.”

Which are completely opposing viewpoints, one side being pro-choice and the other being pro-life.

To understand the perspective of pro-choice activists, we must first put our shoes in that of a woman’s.

These people see it as the woman’s right to decide to put her body through drastic changes and to spend countless dollars to maintain a healthy pregnancy.

People often say things like:

If you’re not in the position to have a baby, don’t engage in sexual activities.

Though entitled to your opinion, this thought process is completely outrageous. Shaming people, especially women, for engaging in sexual activities is idiotic. In today’s terms, it’s referred to as slut shaming, according to urbandictionary.com.

Pregnancy shouldn’t have to be a punishment for wanting to embrace your sexuality.

In fact, sometimes pregnancy is an accident.

  • Forgetting to take your pill
  • Chance
  • Condom breakage

Whatever the situation, I feel a mishap should not drastically change your life in the way pregnancy does. Some people aren’t financially stable. Sometimes it’s not the right time for them, or they simply do not want to be a parent. People are entitled to their opinion, but their opinions should not have to affect people this drastically.

To those people who say adoption is the only acceptable option, expand your mind a little more. Would you be willing to take in a foster child? The truth is most foster children don’t live great lives. Sure they have the potential to do amazing things, but the foster care system is a corporation looking out for it’s own interest, not the children.

According to thechildrenarewaiting.org the average foster child struggles:

  • Children may not be able to learn at the same rate as their peers and they may struggle with emotional difficulties.
  • Children can suffer from long-term health problems, and even death.
  • Children who are shuffled between foster homes are more likely to fail classes and fall behind in their learning and socialization.
  • Few foster children receive normal physical examinations and  are the most vulnerable to experiencing poor health compared with any other group of children in the United States.
  • For foster children who never find a permanent home and simply age out of the foster care system, the consequences are significant and long-term: only 50% will complete high school, 25% will be homeless, 40% will depend on some form of public assistance, and 27% of males and 10% of females will be incarcerated at least once.

According to liftingtheveil.org, over 28% of children are abused by foster parents, these statistics only include children who have spoke out about the abuse.

To conclude, adoption isn’t as bright as it seems. However, it should be noted that it is much easier to put a baby up for adoption and to get a decent family for them, because babies in the system are highly demanded.

Which leads into later trimester abortions, a fetus has the ability to feel pain and pleasure (sentience) at about 23 weeks. Many people feel like it is wrong to abort a fetus when it has the ability to live on it’s own outside of the womb.

This long held debate has the underlying meanings of personhood.

Many pro-life activists agree with John T. Noonan’s: Genetic Criterion, basing personhood only on having human DNA. Which is simplistic in a way, but rules out moral being such a Superman. What is wrong by this is, a human is only a biological term. A person is a moral term. You don’t have to be human to be a person you just need to be an understanding moral being.

Personally I agree with Mary Anne Warren’s cognitive criteria for personhood. (www.qcc.cuny.edu)

5 Necessary Conditions on Personhood

  1. Consciousness (of objects and events external and/or internal to the being), and in particular the capacity to feel pain.

  2. Reasoning (the developed capacity to solve new and relatively complex problems).

  3. Self-motivated activity (activity which is relatively independent of either genetic or direct external control).

  4. The capacity to communicate, by whatever means, messages of an indefinite variety of types, that is, not just with an indefinite number of possible contents, but on indefinitely many possible topics.

  5. The presence of self-concepts, and self-awareness, either individual or racial, or both.


Peter Singer’s Sentience Criterion which states: sentience (the ability to feel pain and pleasure) makes you a person, appeals to me just as much as the Gradient Theory. It entails later trimester fetuses because they have the ability to feel pain. This can appeal to many pro-lifers just as much as pro-choice activists.

Others agree with the Gradient Theory. That personhood is developed over time and is on a scale, it can also be taken away. In this case, a fetus is less of a person than a newborn which is less of a person than a toddler and so on and so forth. Which is why it is easier for some to vote pro-choice.

In the end, Texas is making it harder for women to get abortions which is being heavily misguided by people’s unwillingness to see things from a different perspective.

What do you think, what’s your opinion? Let your voice be heard


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