things that matter

Texas Just Made It Harder For Undocumented Latinas To Get A Safe Abortion

CREDIT: ANN HARKNESS / FLICKR

As if it weren’t already hard enough for undocumented immigrants to live in this country, Texas is making it a bit harder with the new pro-life law HB 3994.

The law requires abortion clinics to request proof of name and age with a U.S. or Canadian-issued ID. This new requirement is meant to prevent minors from getting abortions without parental consent. However, it hinders the 1.8 million immigrants living in the state because they’re not likely to have any acceptable documents.

“It’s patently discriminatory,” said Heather Busby, executive director of the reproductive rights organization NARAL Pro-Choice Texas. “By saying you can have a Canadian ID, it is discriminating against all other countries. The reality is we know it’s people from Latin America who are hit the hardest.”

Before HB 3994, there was HB 2 — currently being contested in the U.S. Supreme Court — which forced 41 clinics to close due to the law’s restrictions. So traveling to another clinic for abortion services is almost out of the question for undocumented immigrants, not only due to the lack of clinics, but because they’d also have to cross Border Patrol checkpoints and risk being deported.

This situation has forced many to seek unsafe alternatives. “At one clinic, a client called and said, ‘Tell me what in my medicine cabinet [or] under my kitchen sink I can use,'” said David Brown, staff attorney for the national Center for Reproductive Rights. “When you drastically reduce access to safe and legal abortions, you see more women turning to self-abortion or illegal abortion. The harder you make it for women, the more of that kind of conduct and desperation we’re going to see.”

Get more details on HB 3994 from Vice’s in depth report here.

READ: Ahead of Major Abortion Rights Hearing, Dascha Polanco Speaks Out

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Opium, the New Legal Drug in Mexico?

Things That Matter

Opium, the New Legal Drug in Mexico?

Credit: Anna / Flickr

In an effort to control the cartel violence around drug trafficking, Mexico is contemplating making the production of opium legal for medicinal purposes. No joke.

“Let’s do some sort of pilot scheme, provided it’s used for medical issues,” said Hector Astudillo, governor of Guerrero, one of the most violent states in Mexico, told Milenio television. “It’s a way out that could get us away from the violence there has been in Guerrero.” Astudillo has not given any details of the plan.

How dangerous is the Guerro? One example is the disappearance of 43 teacher trainees in 2014. The Mexican government has said that the young teachers were victims of drug cartels who had the support of corrupt government officials and cops.

The argument for making the production of opium legal is the possibility it can lessen the stronghold drug cartels have on local farmers and reduce the extreme competition in the country for the American drug market.

It’s not the first drug to be considered for legalization. Mexico is currently reviewing its policy on marijuana after the Supreme Court gave an advocacy group the right to produce it for medicinal purposes. If the production of opium is legalized, it can be used to make painkillers like morphine. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, however, is acting cautiously towards legalizing opium.

Get more details on the legalization of opium from Reuters report here.

READ: First Makes Aids Drugs Crazy Expensive, Now Makes Chagas Drugs RIDICULOUSLY Expensive

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