An “abortion video game” designed to show the obstacles Texan women face when pursuing the procedure has sparked controversy, with pro-life supporters noting it completely fails to acknowledge the life at stake and offers no voice to the unborn baby, reports The Christian Post.
The game, called “Choice: Texas, A Very Serious Game,” is in its developmental stages. It involves players embarking on a quest to navigate past Texas’ abortion restrictions to achieve the ultimate goal of having an abortion. Players pick from five characters representing women facing different geographical, financial or healthcare-related obstacles that they must overcome to receive an abortion.
“I am saddened by this game,” Emily Horne, a lobbyist for Texas Right to Life and a Texas native, said in a recent interview with Polygon, as reported by The Post. “It reduces abortion to a dry, simplistic view and it completely ignores the voice of the unborn baby, who obviously has no voice or perspective in this at all.”
One of the game’s characters is presented as a 19-year-old bartender and rape victim, who wishes to terminate her pregnancy, while another character is an excited, expectant mother who faces medical complications with her pregnancy, according to The Post.
The game’s description on the website Indiegogo says “Choice: Texas” is an “educational interactive fiction game.”
“Players will explore the game through one of several characters, each of whom reflects specific socioeconomic, geographic, and demographic factors impacting abortion access in Texas,” the description reads, according to The Post. “Although billed as interactive fiction, Choice: Texas is based on extensive research into healthcare access, legal restrictions, geography, and demographics, and is reflective of the real circumstances facing women in the state.”
The game’s creators are Carly Kocurek, a Texas native and assistant professor of Digital Humanities and Media Studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, and Allyson Whipple, an Austin-area poet, writer, and self-described feminist, reports The Post. Whipple wrote in a blog post on her website that the purpose of the game is to show that some women have “better choice options” than others.
Whipple also told RH Reality Check that she hopes the game can be used as a sex education tool for older high schoolers “with the right teacher in the right school district,” according to The Post.
In July, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a law titled, House Bill 2, restricting abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The law also requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of their clinic, and have their abortion facility meet the same safety standards as ambulatory care centers. Additionally, the law requires the abortion-inducing bill RU-486 to be administered in person.
This new set of abortion restrictions in Texas sparked a national debate, with hundreds of pro-life and pro-abortion protesters flocking to the state's capitol building to offer their support or opposition for the bill. Democratic Senator Wendy Davis successfully delayed the abortion legislation by holding a 10-hour filibuster, but Gov. Perry then called a special session for lawmakers to have the bill passed.