Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Global Cultural Studies, BA




World Languages & Cultural Studies Department

Faculty Advisor

Barbara Abrams

Second Advisor

Bobbi Van Gilder


The Texas Heartbeat Act, enacted on September 1, 2021 imposes a near-total ban on abortions after a six week gestation period, with the exception of instances where the termination of a pregnancy is needed to save the pregnant individual. This bill, which does not impact the mostly cis-men who legislated it, has many negative implications for women and people with uteruses in Texas and across the nation. Due to the social context of women’s subordination within patriarchal culture, and the historical context of limiting reproductive rights as a means of maintaining the political power imbalance, it is important to critically examine the bill and its effects. I outline the patriarchal subordination of women, provide a brief history of abortion rights in America and in Texas, and analyze whose rights the bill actually infringes upon. SB 8 exists in a larger fight to limit legal abortions and ultimately overturn Roe v. Wade. Though SB 8 and anti-abortion ideology more broadly claim to uphold the rights of all people, born and unborn, it becomes clear upon consideration that it serves to maintain hierarchical social order as imposed by the patriarchy.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.