Attack on Abortions

A+group+of+Texas+women+protest+the+recent+abortion+law.

A group of Texas women protest the recent abortion law.

Sarah Ireland, Reporter

     On September first 2021, Texas put into effect a new law banning abortions after six weeks regardless of involvement of rape and incest. The law forces all clinics in the state of Texas to comply as well as allows citizens to sue anyone they believe aided a woman get an abortion. The women getting the abortion cannot be sued, but anyone that helps her, including the clinic, is liable and can be sued. 

     The law states that if after six weeks, a fetal heartbeat is dictated, then it is unlawful to get an abortion. According to The Texas Tribune, “Family members, abortion funds, rape crisis counselors and other medical professionals could be open to lawsuits, under the broad language in the bill, according to legal experts and physicians who opposed the measure. People who sued would be awarded at least $10,000, as well as costs for attorney’s fees, if they won.”

     Women’s bodies and choices are being controlled by the dictates of a bunch of men sitting higher up in power. Governor Greg Abbott, male, signed the law into effect. This bill was at the top of republican lawmakers agenda, majority of whom either signed the bill, said they helped to write it, or sponsored it. 

     What does this mean for women in Texas? More than 56,600 abortions were performed on Texas residents in 2019, according to state statistics, most of them in the first trimester. The majority of these abortions were performed after the 6 week cut off that has now been put in place. Just 13 hours after the ban was put into effect, the state of Texas had their first death because of an at home abortion.

     It is expected that Texas will see a steady rise of deaths in similar circumstances. There is a large percent of Texans that have no other means of getting an abortion; this forces women to take action on their own, often resulting in the loss of their life. Professionals predict that Texas will see a strained economy in the coming months and years. Because of the income colleges bring in, and the abortion rate seen in college students, it is expected that college attendance rates will plummet and that transfer rates will skyrocket. It is also expected that a large number of citizens will move out of Texas to more free states. 

     Drucilla Tigner, a policy and advocacy strategist of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said, “A governor’s swipe of a pen can’t change the Constitution.” There are hundreds of people in the process of fighting this new law. It is easy to see that the law is unjust and takes a bias against women. Organizations like Planned Parenthood have released statements informing women that they will still do anything they can to help women get abortions, and they have. They are taking on lawsuits as individual citizens have begun to press charges.

     Elisabeth Smith, chief counsel for state policy and advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights, which has represented abortion providers who have sued Texas officials, said it and other abortion rights organizations are “not going to let this six-week ban go unchallenged.”

     Dyana Limon-Mercado, executive director of Planned Parenthood Texas stated, “When you factor in the time it takes to confirm a pregnancy, consider your options and make a decision, schedule an appointment and comply with all the restrictions politicians have already put in place for patients and providers, a six-week ban essentially bans abortion outright.” Many other health professionals agree.

     All in all, the new law is unconstitutional  and there is a lot being done to fight it. We as a country can only hope that Texas repeals this bill and returns women’s rights to their own bodies and their right to make choices for themselves.