Governor Trying to Outlaw Abortion Cares About Bodily Autonomy for [Checks Notes] Anti-Vaxxers

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott wants you to know you have “the right to control and secure your own body” — unless, that is, you’re seeking an abortion.

Speaking out against vaccine mandates, Abbott told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Friday night, “This is whether or not somebody is going to have something put into their body that they do not want put into their body. That’s more than freedom, that’s the right to control and secure your own body. And that’s exactly why we’re winning on this issue.”

Abbott signed the nation’s most restrictive abortion ban, S.B. 8, into law this year. The bill allows individuals to sue for up to $10,000 anyone who performs an abortion or helps someone get an abortion after six weeks gestation (before many even know they are pregnant), effectively limiting providers’ ability to give abortion care to their patients in the state. On Friday, the Supreme Court declined to rule on the law’s constitutionality but allowed the law to stand while providers sue the Texas attorney general, judges and health licensing officials. The United States is also suing the state of Texas over the law. But as Julie Murray, an attorney who works with Planned Parenthood, described the court’s decision to ABC News: “The threat of bounty-hunting suits will continue.”

Abbott has been as fervently anti-vaccine as he is anti-abortion. He put in place an order barring Texas employers from imposing a Covid-19 vaccine mandate on employees who qualify for a religious, personal or medical exemption, in response to Biden’s vaccine mandate for private employers. And he announced this week the creation of a hotline where employees in Texas can report “illegal” vaccine mandates to the state. Employees can also get an exemption by simply signing a form declaring they have “medical reasons, including prior recovery from Covid-19” or “reasons of personal conscience or religious belief” that prevent them from getting vaccinated. Many people seeking an abortion, however, will now likely have to leave the state to get one, and that’s only if they are able to afford to do that. The state’s attorney general has argued that’s a good thing.

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