Texas Abortion Ban

Mariah Holston, Staff Writer

As of September 1, 2021, the state of Texas put a new abortion restriction in place. The restriction states that abortions are banned after about six weeks into the pregnacy. The ban prevents abortion after cardiac activity is detected in the embryo. Texas governor, Greg Abbott, also banned the use of medication abortion after seven weeks of pregnancy. The New York Times states, “Under the Texas law, then, a woman would have about two weeks to recognize her condition, confirm the pregnancy with a test, make a decision about how to manage the pregnancy and obtain an abortion.” According to NPR, “Texas’ law makes no exception for victims of rape or incest. The only exception to the ban was to save the life of the pregnant person in a medical crisis.”

The ban has created a lot of controversy in many other states. Kxan states, “At least 35 Texas cities were expected to host marches, including Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, McAllen and Abilene. Events were held in 49 other states, including in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Chicago.” The New York Times also states, “Other states — including Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky and Ohio — have also passed “heartbeat” laws that ban abortion once cardiac activity can be detected on an ultrasound scan. Those laws would also ban abortions at about six weeks of pregnancy, 18 weeks earlier than the legal standard set by Roe v. Wade, which allows abortion up until about 24 weeks, roughly the point when a fetus can survive outside the womb. But those state laws have been held up by legal challenges and have not been implemented.” Many abortion clinics are shutting down or enforcing strict limits in order to avoid possible litigation. “The Texas law bars state officials from actually enforcing it, a design intended to make it difficult to challenge in the courts. Usually a lawsuit aiming to block such a law as unconstitutional names state officials as defendants. Instead, the Texas law deputizes private citizens to sue anyone who performs an abortion or “aids and abets” a procedure. Plaintiffs who have no connection to the patient or the clinic may sue and recover legal fees, as well as $10,000 if they win,” The New York Times explains, “But the measure will create nearly insurmountable obstacles for certain vulnerable populations, abortion providers said.

Among them: teenagers, who often don’t realize they are pregnant until later in a pregnancy; low-income people, who need to find about $550 to cover the cost of the procedure; and people of color, including undocumented immigrants.” The Justice Department has called for the Supreme Court to put an ending to the ban. The Washington Post states, “Both the providers and the administration are asking for the law to be suspended, and for the Supreme Court to take up the issue this term, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit considers the merits of the law. The Supreme Court does that only rarely, but Monday’s action indicates the justices at least are considering it.” The Texas Abortion Ban is still being considered if it is a violation to consitituional rights or not.