On Wednesday morning Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott was closely surrounded by fifty men, merely eight women and a startling lack of diversity, as he signed a bill for a ban on abortion into state law.
The bill Abbott signed bans abortion at six weeks gestation, earlier than when most women know they are pregnant. It also made no provisions for those impregnated via trauma such as instances of rape or incest.
Twitter users likened the scene to one from the show The Handmaid's Tale.
This abortion ban was an interesting take on healthcare for the conservative GOP governor.
Just the day before when he signed an executive order banning mask mandates he stated:
"Texans, not government, should decide their best health practices."
Abbott declared during the anti-abortion bill signing:
"Our creator endowed us with the right to life and yet, millions of children lose their right to life every year, because of abortion."
His statement fell under the category of "alternative facts" as abortion rates nationally are at a decades-long low.
Actually the lowest since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade in 1973.
Birth control and other contraceptive methods have become more widely available during this timeframe. That coupled with comprehensive sex education teaching the importance of safe sex for those active—versus the traditional abstinence-only approach—the abortion rates have steadily gone down.
Conversely, areas with little to no access to birth control or comprehensive sex education have higher rates of teen pregnancy and abortion.
The ability to obtain contraception is greatly impacted by the availability of health insurance to those seeking these prescriptions. In all categories, Texas is failing.
In July, a report by NPR stated:
“Before the pandemic Texas already had the highest rate and largest number of people without health insurance in the country. And 20 percent of all uninsured children in the U.S. live in Texas."
"This year the coverage gap in Texas has only gotten worse: 29 percent of Texas adults under 65 don't currently have health insurance."
The lack of support to expand the health insurance coverage that prevents unwanted pregnancies in the first place marks a major oversight in the conservative state's war on abortion.
People from all over found humor and horror in the paralells between GOP Governor Abbott's signing scene and the ultra conservative country of Gilead from the television show based on the titular book by Margaret Atwood.
Most fans of the fictional show weren't expecting to be watching a similar process unfold in real life.