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The Double Fun of the American Stasi State


Texas wins in the national case for cruelty. See, what happens if you are undocumented and need an abortion? Either way, the horrible people in Texas win and the regular people lose. Alanna Vagianos explores this issue in the Rio Grande Valley:

For someone seeking an abortion after their sixth week of pregnancy in Texas right now, the answer is simple: leave. Travel to a different state where you can access an abortion after six weeks, which, in Texas, is illegal under S.B. 8. It’s the only option left, even if it’s a logistical and financial nightmare.

But what if you can’t travel out of state? What if traveling at all ― whether to go to the grocery store or the nearest clinic three hours away ― puts you at risk of being detained or deported? That’s the reality for undocumented people trying to access abortion care in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.

Home to around 1.3 million people, the Rio Grande Valley is an “abortion clinic desert,” said Cathy Torres, the organizing manager at the Frontera Fund, a reproductive justice organization that provides financial and logistical support to undocumented people in the valley seeking abortions. The region, which includes four counties, only has one abortion clinic, Whole Woman’s Health in McAllen — the only abortion clinic from San Antonio, Texas, (four hours north of the valley) to Mexico City (eight hours south).

The valley sits at the southern tip of Texas, an area bordered by the Gulf Coast on the east and the Rio Grande River along the U.S./Mexico border on the west. Within 100 miles of the border, the valley also contains nearly 20 internal immigration checkpoints run by the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Patrol. If an undocumented person comes across one of these checkpoints and is asked to show documentation but doesn’t have it, they will be immediately detained.

“You can’t go to Mexico if you’re undocumented and you also can’t leave the valley because an hour north of you there’s another man-made border crossing,” Torres said. “You’re either forced into parenthood or risking deportation. Those are your two options if you’re undocumented and pregnant and don’t want to be.”

If you are a racist misogynist, you win either way!

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