As of September 1, 2021, the state of Texas is forcing pregnant individuals to be legally held liable if they have an abortion. This new law, SB8, referred to as the Heartbeat Act, outlaws almost all abortions if a heartbeat has been detected. This is despite the fact that many do not know that they are pregnant until after the heart has developed. The only exemption to this law is in the case of medical emergencies. Even in such cases, this law does not define what constitutes a medical emergency. This means that if someone believes that the emergency was not a good enough reason to perform an abortion, the people involved in the abortion can still be sued. Rape and incest victims must now physically carry their trauma for forty weeks. Additionally, pregnancy does not only affect cisgender females. One in two transgender folks are sexually assaulted, many of them raped. If a trans man in Texas is raped and ends up pregnant, he is now to carry out the pregnancy unless he chooses a $10,000 lawsuit.
This hot topic should not even be up for debate. Here at Outright Libertarians, we believe in the freedom of medical choice. Whether it is regarding abortions, hormone replacement therapy, or any other medical decision, these should be determined by the individual and their provider. The government needs to stay out of our medical care. These people who are creating legislation are not medical professionals. They have no right to be involved in our medical decisions. Our stance on this aligns with the Libertarian Party platform, stating in Plank 1.5: "Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that the government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration."
Whether or not you agree with abortions on an ethical level, it is important to recognize that the Texas legislators have overstepped. Outright Libertarians acknowledges that everyone has the right to bodily autonomy. We stand with the people in Texas - and other states that have and are now considering this type of law - whose medical rights are being stripped. We see you, and we will continue to work toward the full freedom of all people, regardless of medical condition.
AJ Jewell, Policy Director