Abortion has always been one of the most controversial matters surrounded by moral, legal, and religious status. Last week, one of the strictest abortion laws took effect in Texas. The law prohibits abortions six weeks after a woman’s last period, putting her well-being and life choices under the thumb of the state. So now, we’re going to take a closer look at what Texas Abortion Law is, why it is against women’s rights, and the best feminist movies you definitely should watch to recall the meaning of feminism and how much women have struggled to achieve their right.
What is Texas Abortion Law?
As of September 1, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States made a decision on the Texas “heartbeat bill”, S.B.8, which bans all abortions after just six weeks of pregnancy without exceptions for rape or incest. Texas Governor Greg Abbott defended his state’s strict new abortion law saying that it doesn’t force victims of rape and incest to give birth because it provides at least 6 weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion. However, that’s well before many women even know they are pregnant.
Moreover, the law allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone else who aids and abets a woman to get an abortion. It also includes those who give a woman a ride to a clinic or provide financial assistance for it.
How does it weaken Women’s rights?
Before talking about this, we need to know what Roe v. Wade is first. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.
Roe claimed absolute privacy rights for women with the following arguments:
- The Texas law invaded an individual’s right to “liberty” under the 14th Amendment
- The Texas law infringed on women’s rights to marital, familial, and sexual privacy guaranteed by the Bill of Rights
- The right to an abortion is absolute – women are entitled to end a pregnancy at any time, for any reason, in any way they choose
Being forced to continue a pregnancy puts a lot at risk for women, such as physical health, mental health, financial burdens, and social stigma. Roe v. Wade is not just the case of legalized abortion. It changed the way we see abortion as something that relates to the constitutional rights of privacy of women and protects women’s reproductive rights.
Roe v. Wade has been the law for nearly 50 years and the Texas abortion ban will turn the clock back 50 years for women’s rights. This is why politicians, celebrities, SNS users, Twitter users, and legal experts expressed their horror and shock at the decision.
This is why we all panicked when RBG died. In case anyone was wondering.— Katie Hill (@KatieHill4CA) September 1, 2021
Get ready for 6-week abortion bans in every red state in the country. Roe is effectively dead.— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) September 2, 2021
The Senate Democrats who choose to defend the filibuster and prevent a bill codifying Roe from becoming law are complicit in what the GOP is doing right now.
This is a dark day in history. The Supreme Court has just joined Texas in its decision that women’s lives don’t matter. #saveRoeVWade #SupportReproductiveRights #WomensRightsAreHumanRights #ExpandTheCourt #BansOffOurBodies— Gail Pellerin (@JustGailP) September 2, 2021
This is a full on assault on women’s rights from a radical religious fringe SCOTUS trying to set back the clock 50 years. Women WILL die from this law, esp lower income/minority women. We need to fight back with everything we’ve got- starting by unpacking the stolen court seat https://t.co/HfBIXOUD1a— Alex Hirsch (@_AlexHirsch) September 2, 2021
10 essential feminist movies you shouldn’t miss
| A League of their own (1992)
During World War II when all the men are fighting the war, most of the jobs that were left vacant because of their absence were filled in by women. The owners of the baseball teams, not wanting baseball to be dormant indefinitely, decide to form teams with women. So scouts are sent all over the country to find women players. One of the scouts passes through Oregon and finds a woman named Dottie Hinson, who is incredible. He approaches her and asks her to try out but she’s not interested. However, her sister, Kit, who wants to get out of Oregon, offers to go. But he agrees only if she can get her sister to go. When they try out, they’re chosen and are on the same team. Jimmy Dugan, a former player, who’s now a drunk, is the team manager. But he doesn’t feel as if it’s a real job so he drinks and is not exactly doing his job. So Dottie steps up. After a few months when it appears the girls are not garnering any attention, the league is facing closure till Dottie does something that grabs attention. And it isn’t long Dottie is the star of the team and Kit feels like she’s living in her shadow. (IMDb)
| Bombshell (2019)
When Gretchen Carlson slaps Fox News founder Roger Ailes with a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment, not a soul could predict what would happen next. Her decision leads to Fox News correspondent Megyn Kelly coming forward with her own story, as well as multiple other women, inciting a movement that reverberates around the world. (IMDb)
| On the Basis of Sex (2018)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a struggling attorney and new mother who faces adversity and numerous obstacles in her fight for equal rights. When Ruth takes on a groundbreaking tax case with her husband, attorney Martin Ginsburg, she knows it could change the direction of her career and the way the courts view gender discrimination.
| Hidden Figures (2016)
As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as “human computers”, we follow these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history’s greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Gobels Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes. (20th Century Fox)
| Lady Bird (2017)
Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is a high school senior from the “wrong side of the tracks”. She longs for adventure, sophistication, and opportunity, but finds none of that in her Sacramento Catholic high school. This movie follows the title character’s senior year in high school, including her first romance, her participation in the school play, and most importantly, her applying for college.(IMDb)
| Suffragette (2015)
A drama that tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State. These women were not primarily from the genteel educated classes, they were working women who had seen peaceful protest achieve nothing. Radicalized and turning to violence as the only route to change, they were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality – their jobs, their homes, their children, and their lives. Maud was one such foot soldier. The story of her fight for dignity is as gripping and visceral as any thriller, it is also heart-breaking and inspirational. (IMDb)
| The Help (2011)
Set in Mississippi during the 1960s, Skeeter (Stone) is a southern society girl who returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends’ lives — and a Mississippi town — upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen (Davis), Skeeter’s best friend’s housekeeper, is the first to open up — to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. Despite Skeeter’s life-long friendships hanging in the balance, she and Aibileen continue their collaboration and soon more women come forward to tell their stories — and as it turns out, they have a lot to say. Along the way, unlikely friendships are forged and a new sisterhood emerges, but not before everyone in town has a thing or two to say themselves when they become unwittingly — and unwillingly — caught up in the changing times. (IMDb)
| Frida (2002)
“Frida” chronicles the life Frida Kahlo shared unflinchingly and openly with Diego Rivera, as the young couple took the art world by storm. From her complex and enduring relationship with her mentor and husband to her illicit and controversial affair with Leon Trotsky to her provocative and romantic entanglements with women, Frida Kahlo lived a bold and uncompromising life as a political, artistic, and sexual revolutionary. (IMDb)
| Erin Brockovich(2000)
Erin Brockovich-Ellis is an unemployed single mother, desperate to find a job, but is having no luck. This losing streak even extends to a failed lawsuit against a doctor in a car accident she was in. With no alternative, she successfully browbeats her lawyer to give her a job in compensation for the loss. While no one takes her seriously, with her trashy clothes and earthy manners, that soon changes when she begins to investigate a suspicious real estate case involving the Pacific Gas & Electric Company. What she discovers is that the company is trying quietly to buy land that was contaminated by hexavalent chromium, a deadly toxic waste that the company is improperly and illegally dumping and, in turn, poisoning the residents in the area. As she digs deeper, Erin finds herself leading point in a series of events that would involve her law firm in one of the biggest class-action lawsuits in American history against a multi-billion dollar corporation. (IMDb)
| The Glorias(2020)
The story of feminist icon Gloria Steinem’s itinerant childhood and its influence on her life as a writer, activist, and organizer for women’s rights worldwide. Gloria Steinem is an irreplaceable icon well-known for her activism, and passionate guidance of the revolutionary women’s movement, and her writing that has impacted generations. (IMDb)
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