I Am Thinking Today About The Women In Texas

Whether or not to have an abortion is a decision no woman wants to make.

pro abortion protest Koca Vehbi / Shutterstock

How many women in the U.S. found out today that they are pregnant? Hundreds? Thousands maybe?

Of those women, how many live in Texas?

Today I am thinking about those women.

For some, this is joyful news. Some of these women probably have been trying for a baby for months or years. Some probably didn't expect or plan for it, but are still excited despite it being a surprise. I am of course happy for all these women.


RELATED: If Texas Republicans Really Care About Reducing Abortions They Need To Stop Blocking Access To Contraception

For other women, though, today is the worst day of their lives. However they came to be pregnant, they do not want to be pregnant. And their state government has put a bounty on their heads if they decide to do anything other than carrying to term. Their state government has given their neighbors 10,000 reasons to remove their bodily agency and make their lives hell. The question of with whom to share this news just got a lot more complicated. 

Let's get one thing straight: Whether or not to have an abortion is a decision that no woman wants to be in a position to have to make. 


Being grateful to have a choice is not the same as enjoying making it. I don't think it's wild to suggest that if it were possible to travel back in time and not get pregnant vs. have an abortion, most (if not all) women would choose the former. The barriers of time and space, however, result in many women having to make a decision they would prefer not to have to make. 

Still, nearly all women who make the decision to get an abortion don't regret it. The few who do make a lot of noise. I don't want to discredit their pain. It's real, it's their truth. But given that it is such a slim minority, it is what researchers would call statistically insignificant and should not be the focus of the debate. 

Another thing: Banning abortion will not make abortion obsolete.

Women with money and privilege will still get them. So restricting access to abortion only harms poor women. The women who can't afford to take off work to cross state lines. Who can't afford the procedure. Who can't get a ride. Who can't arrange childcare. It only makes dangerous abortion drugs and procedures more common than safe ones. 

Almost 1 in 4 women in the U.S. will get an abortion before age 45. How these unplanned pregnancies occur should not, from a policy standpoint, matter.

The woman who was raped is no more or less deserving than the woman whose partner's condom broke, or who forgot to take her birth control pill, or who grew up in one of the 26 states where sex education is not mandated (or one of the 5 states where abstinence is the only method of pregnancy prevention that is allowed to be taught). It doesn't matter if you're 14 or 40.


My only tattoo which I got right after Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court. 

I was 25. I was living in New York and I went to a clinic referred by my OBGYN. It's not a particularly remarkable or harrowing story. And I'm in the 95% who do not regret the decision I made.

But this isn't about me; I only share this information because I don't think it should be taboo to talk about or that anyone should feel ashamed about having gotten an abortion for whatever reason.

Bottom line: If a woman is pregnant and does not want to be pregnant, she should be able to get an abortion if she wants one.

The End, thanks for coming to my TED Talk. 


Finally, an existential question that might seem crazy to ask: Is it always better to be born?

I'm thinking of babies born to people who don’t want to be parents, who don’t have the means or skills to properly care for a child. Who don’t have a stable, safe environment in which to raise a child. Who struggle just to feed and take care of themselves.

I think of the struggles facing the children born to those parents. Who may end up being emotionally or physically abused or neglected, who may come to understand that they were/are unwanted. Against all odds, yes, some of them will thrive. But some most definitely will not. 

RELATED: Texas Law Effective Today Bans Abortion At 6 Weeks & Offers $10,000 Bounty For Suing Anyone Aiding An Abortion

Not to mention we’re also in the middle of a mass extinction event. We feel like the world is ending because, well, it is. The planet is literally dying and the earth's ecosystems are collapsing. I'm thinking of the tremendous challenges ahead for future generations. Do we really want to be making it harder for people to decide whether to bring children into this world we are in the final stages of destroying?


Anyone born now is going to grow up dealing with the catastrophic repercussions of our climate science denial (not to mention other reckonings coming like the backlash of unchecked capitalism and the hard work of dismantling white supremacy and systemic inequality, etc).

The unborn that some want so desperately to protect — I wonder, are we essentially consigning them to an existence defined by pain and struggle? Dropping them into a hopeless, unsalvageable situation they cannot fix?

These are questions I think about when I think about having children. The future of our species is an open question, but I'm pretty sure policing reproductive health and forcing women into motherhood is not the solution.

There are people alive right now who are suffering due to a lack of resources, from healthcare to clean water to housing to education, who are more deserving of our energy and attention.


So I'm thinking today about the women in Texas. They need more than my thoughts, however. They need all the help and protection they can get, so here are some places I am sending my money:

TEA Fund
ACLU Texas
Fund Texas Choice
Whole Woman’s Health Alliance
The Lilith Fund
National Abortion Federation
Center for Reproductive Rights

RELATED: Could The New Supreme Court Case On Mississippi Abortion Ban Overturn Roe V. Wade?

Katie is a writer, poet, and educator. She has been published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Verge, and Time Out New York/Boston/Chicago. Follow her blog.