Capitalists are inherently opportunists and will stop at no lengths to use any crisis plaguing the working class to further exploit people.
This past Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton used fears of coronavirus to support Governor Greg Abbot’s mandate to ban abortion, stating “no one is exempt from the governor’s executive order on medically unnecessary surgeries and procedures, including abortion providers.” He also includes that any abortion provider in violation could be fined up to $1000 or jailed for up to 180 days.
While Travis County announced Wednesday they are allowing people with certain low-level, non-violent felonies to be released from jail, the Texas Attorney General is threatening to cage healthcare providers who don’t want women to be forced to give birth during an economic crisis. This is under the twisted guise that that hospital beds are needed for COVID-19 patients and women’s rights are “unnecessary.”
An objective analysis of the risk/benefit factor of a woman being forced to carry a child to term in the midst of a serious economic crisis can only be seen as an opportunistic maneuver to accomplish something that the Texas Republicans have been trying to push through in various different forms since Roe V. Wade.
With the uncertainty and instability of the national economy, the fears and danger of carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term are magnified. A family who is ill-equipped to provide for a new baby is more exploitable, which is the perfect situation for the capitalists who want cheap labor and higher profits. Additionally carrying a baby to term requires more medical attention and carries a higher risk to the health of women than abortion. The ruling class and their media inundate the workers with fear and doomsday speculation, raising anxiety about their health and financial stability. This type of stress has been shown to have negative consequences on the health and wellness of a fetus ESPECIALLY in the first term of pregnancy. With increased anxiety, pregnant women face higher rates of birth defects and even miscarriages. Ultimately, there is no benefit to women or society as a whole to enforce such a ban on abortion.
Yesterday the Senate approved a $2 trillion dollar stimulus deal, the largest emergency aid package in US history. The proposal would set aside $250 billion direct payments to individuals and families, $350 billion in small business loans, $250 billion in unemployment insurance benefits and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies. Under the plan, individuals who earn $75,000 in adjusted gross income or less would get direct payments of $1,200 each, with married couples earning up to $150,000 receiving $2,400 — and an additional $500 per each child.
This stimulus package is a band aid on a bullet wound. 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. In Austin, a one-bedroom median rent would be $1,165 (according to Abodo, which bases its numbers on analysis of its listings). This package would only help a single mother pay rent for just one month. Right now, women are being laid off in hoards, or those with work are expected to work longer hours. Single mothers must grapple with childcare, homeschooling and waiting in long lines for food. While most of the working class are worried about being able to afford rent and groceries, an unexpected pregnancy during this crisis can be devastating.
To declare an abortion ban at a time when workers have already been stripped of so much of their agency is a crime against women. The ban seeks to take away women’s ability to decide whether they are equipped to become a parent. This act against Texas women cannot be ignored or justified.
This is an outright attack on women and should be met with fierce resistance!
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