Women's role in enacting family planning and abortion policies in Texas Assignment Help
Identify an issue that involves federalism, then conduct research on how both the US federal government and Texas state government addressing it (this requires examining the history, application and effectiveness of laws at both levels). Pick one of the following topics: ? Women's role in enacting family planning and abortion policies in Texas ? Public education policy and funding ? Environmental policy and air pollution ? Affordable Care Act and Medicaid funding ? Joint law enforcement efforts to combat human trafficking ? Impact of President Trump's tariffs on business and state revenues in Texas ? Texas Child Protective Services and Foster Families ? Reintegration of veterans in Texas higher education
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In Texas, the current laws have been rather restrictive towards abortion, which has dismantled the control that women had over family planning as well as their own bodies (Grossman, Daniel, et al. 2). The 2013 legislation led to the closure of over half the clinics in the state within just one year, with a decline of around 13% in abortion rates in the first six months of its implementation (Fuentes, Liza, et al. 1). These restrictions have made it significantly expensive for the common people to be able to afford the procedure.
Importance of the policy:
Discussion on the policy pertaining to abortion is important as any other, since it clearly outlines the fact that such restrictive laws are nothing but an outright violation of the rights that women have over their own bodies. There are a large number of women who cannot afford birth control measures to conduct successful family planning, and these policies have clearly put them under threat.
Two policy changes that can be recommended for the state of Texas can be summarized as below -
1. The new law states that clinics and hospitals will have to cremate the aborted fetuses instead of discarding them as biomedical waste (Wang and Bureau). This should change, since most women who undergo abortions do so because they could either not afford to bring up another child or had medical reasons to terminate the pregnancy.
2. The policies state that abortions after 16 weeks of gestation can be performed at hospitals and ambulatory centers. It can be recommended that making it necessary to conduct all procedures in hospitals will be safer for the women.
Reasons for initiating changes:
Firstly, having a funeral or cremation for the aborted fetuses will put the women under a lot of emotional and psychological pressure, which is undesirable. The effect of such a policy is worse for rape victims who choose to not give birth to the baby conceived from the criminal act.
Secondly, allowing all abortions to be performed in ambulatory centers and hospitals will ensure that the women get the care they need before and after the medical procedure. It will be a positive step towards ensuring the well-being and safety of the women in Texas.
Role of women in enacting the policies:
Surprisingly enough, the legislation of Texas is controlled exclusively by white men. There is a gross underrepresentation of women and people of color when it comes to the legislators who are appointed at powerful positions (Ura and Essig). A mere 15 per cent of the committee chairs are occupied by women.
The absence of women in the legislation is even more marked among the Republicans, where barely a 10 per cent of the seats are occupied by them (Ura and Cameron). Thus, the formulation of abortion policies is controlled largely by men, who have little or no idea regarding how a woman's body is supposed to function. The low number of women in legislation has also made it difficult for them to voice their opinions and their views often go unheard.
Pros and cons of the reforms:
The cost of implementing the suggested reforms in relation to the benefits can be said to be nominal. Moreover, allowing all stages of abortions to be carried out in hospitals and out-patient centers might be a little expensive (Colman and Joyce 2) but will definitely increase the safety of the concerned women.
Best option for moving forward:
The best option for moving forward would be to legitimize the performing of abortions in hospitals and ambulatory centers. This will be a huge step towards ensuring the medical safety and health of the women, as the already restrictive laws have made it difficult to obtain the procedure as a whole. Prohibiting the rise of back-alley abortions must be the government's priority and a safe way to do that would be to make the procedure available to women on a safe level.
Summary and conclusion:
To summarize, it can be said that the control that women have when it comes to family planning and abortions is rather restrictive, since the laws and policies dictate most of it. The government must prioritize the health and well-being of the concerned women rather than try and control their bodies and decisions.
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