by Sunsara Taylor | March 17, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
On March 6, the last abortion clinic in the impoverished Rio Grande region of Texas stopped providing abortions. Today, any woman there who needs an abortion must make a 300-mile round-trip to the next closest clinic. Many will never make that trip. Instead, they will be trapped in abusive relationships, be driven (deeper) into poverty, or take desperate measures—like prostitution—to support a child they did not want. Others will die attempting to self-induce abortions.
Just last year, Texas had 44 abortion clinics. By September, if nothing changes, there will only be six. But, as harrowing as that is, this problem is not restricted to Texas.
It’s WORSE Than You Think
203 abortion restrictions have been passed in the last three years. Three abortion clinics have closed in Ohio since last summer. Two have closed in Virginia. Michigan went from 19 abortion providers in 2009 to just six by 2011. Arizona lost 12 abortion clinics since 2010. Pennsylvania lost five. Five states have only one abortion clinic left and one of those states—Mississippi—is in danger of losing even that clinic; on April 28, the same Federal District court that upheld the clinic closures in Texas will rule on a similar law which would close the last clinic in Mississippi.
On March 3, a clinic in Montana was so viciously vandalized that it has been closed indefinitely. Last year, a man attempted twice to burn down a Planned Parenthood in Missouri and another man was convicted of planning to assassinate an abortion doctor in Wisconsin. In total, eight doctors and staff have been murdered for providing abortions.
Already, women across the country who cannot access safe abortions are attempting to self-abort. They are inserting sharp objects up their vaginas, taking pills, asking their boyfriends to beat them up, throwing themselves down the stairs, drinking dangerous amounts, and more. A study done in 2012 found that 12 percent of women near the Mexico border who came in for abortions had already attempted to induce their own abortions but failed. Now, with the clinics near them in Texas closed, that number will inevitably rise.
This Must Be Stopped!
If this war on women is not directly confronted in its totality, if it is not called out and opposed in uncompromising terms, and if it is not massively resisted and decisively defeated very, very soon, a new and horrific “normalcy” will be hammered into place. Backed up by the weight of thousands of years of tradition’s chains on women, the growing strength of Christian fascist theocrats, and the crushing force of the state, women’s lives are being foreclosed and broken and the future of all women is at risk.
What is needed right now is a massive outpouring of rage. Everyone who does not want to see women forced to have children against their will, who does not want to see women forced into a position that is tantamount to slavery, must act to stop this now.
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