‘Outraged, sickened, terrified’: Guardian readers on the Texas abortion ban

The US supreme court voted 5-4 to allow a Texas law banning most abortions to remain in force. The law prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, usually around six weeks and before most women know they’re pregnant.

Nine people share their reaction to the ruling and what they think it means for women’s rights.

We have all these yahoos down here screaming about their rights being taken away (guns, vaccines and maskless), but women’s rights are being stolen out from under us. Abortion should not be a political decision – it is a moral decision. No one has the right to tell me what I can do with my body. One day “I” will answer to my Lord, no one else will stand in place during my judgment day. It is very disheartening. Women’s rights are slowly being taken away. What will they take away next? Michelle, 52, Texas

It’s absolutely not right to have control over a woman’s body like this. I had one abortion when I was 22. My now husband and I had just started dating and we weren’t financially or emotionally ready to have children. If we were not allowed to have an abortion then, our relationship would not have survived. I would have been a single mother, trying to support a baby I wasn’t ready for and didn’t want. How do you think that child would have been raised? We now have two children and we are able to support them with love and everything they need to thrive. To this day my husband and I do not regret the extremely hard choice we had to make. We were both grieving for a while but, it was the right decision and it was my body, my choice.

I had to have two C-sections with both of my sons as they were too large for me to give birth naturally. During my last C-section, I chose to get sterilized and my tubes tied. This was a difficult choice, but it was my choice for a healthy life. I decided for myself that day so no one could for me another day. I live in the USA, it’s 2021, how can I still be afraid of my voice not mattering? Kelsi, 30, Arizona

Saying I’m appalled does not begin to cover it. I am speechless. I just want to emphasize what others have been saying: there are no laws dictating what men can do with their bodies. For there to be full equality under the law, there can be no laws dictating what a woman can do with hers. I will be boycotting Texas in every way I can. The unintended consequences of this law will be deadlier and more horrific than the unintended consequences of Prohibition. This law is deeply and blatantly misogynistic. All women everywhere should be protesting in the streets. Valerie, 69, New York

I am outraged, sickened and terrified. I spent my life fighting for abortion rights, and now I just feel defeated. I’d leave this sick and evil country if I could, but I’m too old and too poor to be able to get out. I’ll stay and battle on, but the future looks increasingly bleak and dark.

I fear for the lives and health of Texas women, and for the future of anyone in America who is not a white, straight, Christian, rightwing male. I am absolutely horrified and feel like a lifetime’s worth of work by so many people just went up in smoke. American women are in grave danger, and not just in Texas. Linda, 71, Maryland

This is Handmaid’s Tale stuff. When I was young, I was a Goldwater Republican, but I left the party after Newt Gingrich was elected speaker. They [the Republicans] see Trump as America’s Viktor Orbán, running a “soft” dictatorship. The abortion ruling is one more step in their plan to eliminate freedom. Their stance on gun control is to ensure that their followers will be armed to the teeth the next time they try to pull off an insurrection. As a retired disabled veteran of the Vietnam war, this is not the country I fought for. Back in 1968 it was a different country – Republicans were the good guys – I’m not sure I want to keep living here if this is the way things are going. Bill, 74, Georgia

An absolute outrage. How dare a white male majority make choices about our bodies? I had two negative pregnancy tests when pregnant with my daughter, and didn’t get confirmation until I was 16 weeks pregnant. I am a social worker and know there are thousands of children who are languishing in the foster care system and will never be adopted. Who will care for these unwanted children? The burden, as usual in the USA, will be on the lower socioeconomic people. We are going backwards and it is beyond distressing. The wealthy will have access to abortions and other women will be forced to carry and bear children they don’t want or can’t support financially or emotionally. What a travesty. Allison, 50, Utah

I am thrilled, though I think the ban starts six weeks too late. I’m hopeful that the supreme court will at least acknowledge a state’s options to set its own standards here. My concerns are that so much of our country is comfortable with the murder of the most innocent lives among us. It’s hard to get anything right as a society when infanticide is acceptable. Michael, Kansas

This is utterly disgusting and abhorrent. Women of all ages should and must be able to make their own choice concerning their body. Welcome back to the dark ages. It’s OK to be against abortion but you don’t get to choose for others – it’s a matter of personal choice. I went through an abortion in my late 20s when I was living in Asia. My then boyfriend was immature and stupid and so was I. Anyway, it was a traumatic experience for many reasons and I wouldn’t go through it again, but that was my choice and I’m glad I had the option. Gally, 40, California

It’s cowardice supreme. Such a twisted law – pitting people against each other. The supreme court can’t even give a good reason for blocking it other than that it’s too complicated. That is such a lazy response. It’s a sad day for women. I can only imagine what other countries think of this. I worry that other states will take approaches like this and effectively ban abortion elsewhere too. Jeremy, 24, Minnesota

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