Wed Sep 1st, 2021 at 07:15:00 PM EST
Extremist Republican Party politicians placing patriarchy law above human rights and body integrity of women, the majority stakeholder in the Lone Star state.
The Bible has become an important feature of the legal system of Southern States with its attendant implications for reproductive health and human rights. Like other religious doctrines, Christianity has been used to legitimize conlicting positions on gender and reproductive choice. In some cases, women were being denied rights by those who claimed to be acting in the name of Jesus Christ, some of which are incompatible with internationally recognized human rights. This article identifies selected sexual and reproductive health issues at the intersection of reproductive rights and Natural Law e.g. adultery (zina), gender, marriage, polygny, and violence against women and considers how their shared concerns may prompt actions leading to the elimination of religious and cultural barriers imposed by Bible fundamentalists which impede the implementation of international legal frameworks and consensus documents on reproductive rights.
Intersection between Texas Law, the Bible and Reproductive and/or Sexual Health and Human Rights
The most radical abortion law in the US has gone into effect, despite legal efforts to block it.
A near-total abortion ban in Texas empowers any private citizen to sue an abortion provider who violates the law, opening the floodgates to harassing and frivolous lawsuits from anti-abortion vigilantes that could eventually shutter most clinics in the state.
"Abortion access will be thrown into absolute chaos," says Amanda Williams, executive director of the abortion support group the Lilith Fund, a plaintiff in the suit that challenged the law. "Unfortunately, many people who need access the most will slip through the cracks, as we have seen over the years with the relentless attacks here in our state, unbelievable that Texas politicians have gotten away with this devastating and cruel law that will harm so many."
Senate Bill 8, ushered through the Republican-dominated Texas legislature and signed into law by the Republican governor, Greg Abbott, in May, bars abortion once embryonic cardiac activity is detected, which is around six weeks, and offers no exceptions for rape or incest. Texas is the first state to ban abortion this early in pregnancy since Roe v Wade, and last minute efforts to halt it through an appeal to the US supreme court by Tuesday did not succeed.
While a dozen other states have passed similar so-called "heartbeat" bills, they have all been blocked by the courts. The Texas version is novel in that it is intentionally designed to shield government officials from enforcement, and thus make legal challenges more difficult to secure. It instead incentivizes any private citizen in the US to bring civil suit against an abortion provider or anyone who "aids or abets" the procedure.
The law "immediately and catastrophically reduces abortion access in Texas", say state abortion providers, and will probably force many abortion clinics to ultimately close. It will prevent the majority of Texas women (85%) from accessing abortion care, as most aren't aware they are pregnant as early as six weeks.
'We See Pregnant Women Lose Their Right to Bodily Integrity'
Women's Autonomy, Equality and Reproductive Health in International Human Rights: Between Recognition, Backlash and Regressive Trends | UN OHCHR |
The UN Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice has expressed its concern, throughout its first 6 years of mandate, regarding the severe challenges to the universality of women's rights, in the global community. The challenges have resulted from economic crisis and austerity measures on one hand and from cultural and religious conservatism, on the other hand. This retrenchment has been evident in the passage of HRC resolutions on traditional values and protection of the family2, which have excluded mention of women's right to equality in the family and thus threatened to undermine the guarantees of this right rooted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the human rights treaties.
And this undermines the whole concept of women's equal personhood as, when women are not viewed as equal to men within the family, their full personhood comes into question. The existence of a backlash against women ́s right to equality has in fact been acknowledged by the HRC 2017 Resolution on the elimination of discrimination against women. It is in this context of rising fundamentalisms and backlashes against women's human rights that the current discourse on the termination of pregnancy is taking place at the international level. This is the reason why our expert group feels the necessity to clarify our position with regards to termination of pregnancy.
Polls in 2013 ...
On the surface, at least, the polls don't look promising for a party that's basking in the national spotlight because of a fight over abortion rights. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that 53 percent of Hispanic Catholics say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. That's a lower percentage than white evangelical Protestants and Mormons, but it's higher than all other religious voting groups, including white Catholics, white mainline Protestants, black Protestants, and Jews.
Texas Election Integrity Bill to Be Signed
Drawing Fair Election Districts Instead of Manipulated Maps - Gerrymandering | CAP |
When elected officials are given exclusive, unfettered power to manipulate district lines, voters lose. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are re-elected 97 percent of the time. And in the 2016 election, only 10 percent of the 435 House seats were considered competitive. In addition to creating an electoral process largely free of electoral choice and healthy competition, gerrymandering can insulate politicians from accountability and block communities from receiving meaningful and fair representation.
In 2012, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives received 1.4 million more votes than Republicans, but Republicans won the majority of seats. That election marked the first time since 1972 that the party with the most votes did not get the most seats in Congress. Advances in technology have exacerbated the problem of gerrymandering by making it easier for map drawers to identify neighborhood demographics and voter preferences. Politicians are able to use this technology to slice and dice voters into districts along partisan and racial lines more precisely than ever before.
Masking Policy and COVID-19 Cases
5 Waco Schools Close After 2 Teachers Die of Covid
Central Texas School District Closes After 2 Teachers Die of COVID-19 | NPR |
The Trump Wall Keeping Texans Safe