• Nathan Steinmetz

Current Events: Texas Abortion Ban

On September 1st, Governor Greg Abbot signed a new bill into Texas law, which set the new maximum time available to get an abortion to six weeks. As a result of this, the Texas legislature according to SB8 (senate bill 8) has made it practically impossible for women to get an abortion in the state.


Despite the bill having been on hold for two days, after Texas had removed the “administrative hold” on the bill that was issued by the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals which caused this initial hold up, it was shortly accepted into Texas law by a majority vote of 5 to 4.


Legally, this bill is tiptoeing its way around the notorious supreme court case of Roe vs. Wade, after which, a new law was created to mandate the appropriate and legal time that a woman could get an abortion. The time that was decided upon was that during the first twenty-two to twenty-four weeks of being pregnant, abortion is completely legal without any special exceptions. Despite this Texas has declared this ban into law.


SB8 shows direct opposition to the ruling of this case, however, due to certain, complicated legal loopholes, the senate has found a way around this decision.


Texas’s Justification for this six-week time period is that most babies will develop a heartbeat after the first six weeks, indicating life. However, this makes it incredibly hard to tell if someone is pregnant before time is up.


Even before the carrying out of this bill, the debate behind pro-choice or pro-life has been a heated one involving many different angles and political complexities. However, typically, if one is a more conservative Republican, that has strict Christian values then you would be against abortion saying that it is immoral to end a human life. If one is more liberal in practice and is more left-leaning then you would typically be in support of pro-choice because you believe that women should have the right to choose what to do with their babies.


This ban has already received significant out-lash from activists, feminists, abortion clinics, and the everyday American citizens that support pro-choice. The reason behind this is because opponents of the bill say that it limits the right of a woman to choose what she wants to do with her baby and is not only unconstitutional but immoral to potentially put the mothers’ life at risk to give birth to a child.


Quickly after the passing of the ban many abortion clinics, to avoid dozens of separate lawsuits, have shut down entirely. Not only are the clinics and physicians at stake, but also people who worked for and with these clinics are also at risk of litigation.


The consequences of assisting with abortion and the almost instant shutdown of many abortion clinics in Texas led to massive panic and confusion.


This left many people, either the patients of these clinics or people on the fence about getting an abortion, wondering what to do.


In response to SB8, many people are flooding out of the state. This is what many pro-choice advocates would argue which is that people who don’t have that option to have a kid are stuck with a child that may come from an incident of rape or incest that the parent may or may not be able to afford to raise.


It is for these reasons why some would argue that this bill actually hurts rather than helps because they believe that SB8 actually puts more lives at risk.



This bill is also incredibly concerning to parents that are treated poorly because they fall into a minority group that cannot get top-of-the-line healthcare and “make ends meet” in terms of taking care of their child.


Currently, the supreme court is working on providing more relief to these now out-of-business clinic workers, however, as it stands of late the supreme court does not seem like it will be challenging this bill anytime soon.


More than likely however the bill will be reviewed by the supreme court as it was accepted into law “not based on any conclusion of Texas law” and instead because of SB8’s “complex and novel.”


Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/12/politics/justice-department-texas-abortion-ban-fifth-circuit-what-is-happening/index.html

https://www.npr.org/2021/10/08/1044512475/texas-abortion-ban-reinstated

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.texastribune.org/2021/05/18/texas-heartbeat-bill-abortions-law/amp/

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/08/politics/texas-abortion-appeal/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/01/us/supreme-court-texas-abortion.html


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