The U.S. government killed Rosie Jiménez. She was a young Latina mother with an unwanted pregnancy who was six months shy of graduating college when she ran into a lethal roadblock. Abortion in Texas was legal, but public funds to pay for one had just been cut off. Seeing no other option, Jiménez turned to a back-alley butcher and died from septic shock on October 3, 1977.
Rosie is the first known victim of the infamous Hyde Amendment, which denies federal funds for abortions. These restrictions are still in place today.
When Roe v. Wade first went into effect in 1973, poor women could use federal Medicaid funds to end a pregnancy. But this ceased when the Hyde Amendment passed in 1977 — with bipartisan support.
Today the battle over abortion rages. State legislatures are searching out methods to prevent the procedure through “viability” deadlines, travel penalties and prison terms. Little do the right-wing hysterics care for the deadly effect that banning abortion has on human lives.
¡Basta! The time is ripe for a movement that fights for full reproductive justice and bodily autonomy. Waging this battle is the best way to commemorate the life of a young Latina who died too soon. ¡Rosie Jiménez, presente!