ALERT: Is New Texas Abortion Law First Note in the Death Knell for Roe V. Wade
While many on the right are applauding the new law effectively banning abortions in the state of Texas, Liberals and Democrats see it as the first major blow that could lead to the death of Roe V. Wade.
The new antiabortion law in Texas, known as S.B. 8, bans abortions in Texas any later than six weeks into pregnancy. At six weeks, many women do not even know that they are pregnant, and the vast majority of people who obtain an abortion in Texas are at least six weeks pregnant. As a result, according to the Left, the new law will prohibit nearly all abortions in the state. What also has Pro-Choice organizations such as Planned Parenthood up in arms is that the new Texas law does not provide any exceptions for cases of rape or incest, and it also “deputizes” persons to “turn in” anyone who assists in a woman obtaining an abortion anywhere in the state.
The law took effect at Midnight on Aug 31., but the Supreme Court has yet to act on an emergency appeal to put the law on hold. If the new Texas antiabortion law is allowed to remain in force, the law would be the most dramatic restriction on abortion rights in the United States since the high court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion across the country in 1973.
The Texas law, signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in May, would prohibit abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually around six weeks and before most women even know they’re pregnant.
Abortion providers who are asking the Supreme Court to step in said the law would rule out 85% of abortions in Texas and force many clinics to close. Planned Parenthood is among the abortion providers that have stopped scheduling abortions beyond six weeks from conception.
At least 12 other states have enacted bans on abortion early in pregnancy, but thus far, all have been blocked from going into effect.
What makes the Texas law different is its unusual enforcement scheme. Rather than have officials responsible for enforcing the law, private citizens are authorized to sue abortion providers and anyone involved in facilitating abortions. Among other situations, that would include anyone who drives a woman to a clinic to get an abortion. Under the law, anyone who successfully sues another person would be entitled to at least $10,000.
Abortion opponents who wrote the law also made it difficult to challenge the law in court, in part because it’s hard to know whom to sue.
Texas has long had some of the nation’s toughest abortion restrictions, including a sweeping law passed in 2013 that the Supreme Court eventually struck down but not before more than half of the state’s 40-plus abortion clinics closed.