Opinion: Texas’ New Heartbeat Bill Is Infuriating


Courtesy of The Silversword Media

Banning abortions will not put a cease to abortions in general, but safe and accessible ones. The right to obtain a safe, healthy, and legal abortion is non-negotiable.

[Editor’s note: The Silversword has decided to take the rare step of publishing an anonymous op-ed. We have done so at the request of the author, a student at Chaminade whose identity is known only to the editorial staff. This op-ed was submitted to the Chaminade Silversword, and the student asked for their views to be shared anonymously. We believe publishing this op-ed provides an important perspective.]

I’ve had an abortion. Texas’ new heartbeat bill infuriates me.

On Sept. 1, Texas Senate Bill 8, the most restrictive abortion ban in the United States, took effect after the Supreme Court denied an emergency request to postpone its enactment. The so-called “heartbeat bill” declares that all abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected, which typically occurs around six weeks, is illegal. 

As a woman, I’m already infuriated by this legislation, but as a woman who’s had an abortion before, enraged doesn’t even begin to cover it. This disgraceful, dangerous, and violent attack on the landmark case Roe v. Wade and women’s right to bodily autonomy needs to be nullified, or shall I say aborted, immediately.

The heartbeat bill is an abhorrent violation of women’s right to choice. Women have abortions due to dozens of different situations and circumstances, all of which are valid. It is inexcusable for people who aren’t experiencing the pregnancy themselves to be able to dictate the decision of the pregnant person. They most likely have not the slightest idea of what having an abortion is like, and since it’s not their body being affected, it’s none of their business in the first place. My right to access a safe abortion has made all the difference in my life, and that right deserves to be protected for every single woman no matter what. 

When I read the two little blue stripes from peeing on a stick as a freshly turned 18-year-old, I was mortified. I was about to enter college, and my boyfriend at the time and I had only begun dating that year. The immediate thought that popped into my head was, “My life is barely beginning.” Given that I was financially unstable and possessed bare minimum knowledge of how to even survive in this world myself, the decision to have an abortion was crystal clear. Three phone calls, four days, and $500 later, I had my procedure. 

Upon hearing news of the heartbeat bill taking effect, my body is filled with nothing but seething fury at the audacity of so-called “pro-lifers” and any inconsiderate imbecile who supports it. For anyone who truly cares about preserving and protecting the quality of life of people, they would know that access to safe abortions is a healthcare right. SB8 makes no exceptions to victims of rape, incest, or medical anomalies. Forcing a woman to follow through on a pregnancy from a traumatic experience or a pregnancy that endangers her own life can, under no circumstances, be considered a “pro-life” stance. 

Furthermore, the bill also criminalizes those who “aid and abet” anyone seeking abortion care, and rewards a $10,000 bounty to people who successfully sue anyone involved in the abortion process. Incentivizing the public to out those seeking care is absurd and plain evil. Making the decision to have an abortion is already difficult enough without the scrutiny of external voices weighing in unnecessarily. It further forces women into shame and isolation, which is exactly opposite of what they need during such a significant experience. Being able to confide in loved ones and have people who supported me made my procedure feel far less daunting, and all women deserve that experience as well. 

SB8 will also be a monumental detriment to Planned Parenthood. Despite the organization being infamous for providing abortions, it is responsible for providing general health care to over 2.4 million patients across the United States. Planned Parenthood locations are often in rural and underserved communities. This new legislation will inevitably cost the organization millions of legal fees to fight, so those areas, many of which contain people in need of just general health care, will be negatively impacted as a side effect.

I am appalled at the idea that another state in this country has passed legislation to stick their nose into the business of my uterus and what I do with it. The sheer nerve other people possess to intrude in such a heavily personal decision for women is a concept I simply cannot fathom. I’m overwhelmed with countless emotions for the 12.6 million women this bill affects in Texas. Vehement rage is cemented at the top of my list, but closely trailing that there’s concern, fear, sadness, frustration, and so much more. For so long, passing legislation where women’s bodies are actually being policed like this was unimaginable to me.

I understand that for many the conversation regarding abortion is a religious matter, and I respect that. I am all for people practicing their own faith and encourage people to pursue whatever spirituality they feel is right for themselves. If someone does not wish to have an abortion because of their religion, that is their choice and it is completely valid. However, as someone who does not align herself with any designated religion, there is no reason other people’s faith should be able to dictate what I choose to do with my body. This country was founded on the separation of church and state for this exact purpose. 

Years later, I stand by my decision. I can barely cook, and I’m still financially dependent on my parents. The person who would’ve been the father of that child cheated on me a week after I had the abortion and is completely removed from my life. For these reasons and more, I’m certain I made the best decision with the circumstances available to me at the time. 

Many people will choose to focus on the irresponsibility of my unintentional teenage pregnancy, but in doing that they fail to see that my decision to end it was the most responsible choice I could have made. I was in no position to become a mother at the time, and to this day I’m still not. 

In 2021, Pew Research Center reported that 59% of U.S. adults think abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Although it’s still terrifying for me to speak on this issue due to the obvious taboo, it has brought utmost comfort seeing massive entities step up to denounce Texas’ bill. Lyft, Uber, Bumble, and Match have sprung into action, announcing their solidarity to pro-choice by pledging to cover legal fees, organizing relief funds, and donating to Planned Parenthood. The Department of Justice, led by the U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, has filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas for enacting the heartbeat bill into law. Garland referred to the legislation as “clearly unconstitutional under long-standing Supreme Court precedent.” 

It’s relieving and reassuring to know action is being taken to ensure Texas pays for this deplorable war on women and pregnant people everywhere. 

To contribute to the fight against reproductive rights policing like Texas SB8, please consider looking into the following resources: