On September 1, 2021, Texas took a step backward from our Nation’s progress toward freedom and equality when it passed Senate Bill 8. This law is known as the Texas Heartbeat Act and it bans abortions after about six weeks into a pregnancy when a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
A woman is around four weeks pregnant when she misses her period, as defined by most doctors. This law would allow her just a two-week period to confirm her pregnancy, make a decision, then schedule and obtain an abortion. This is hardly realistic, considering that most medical appointments can only be scheduled days or weeks in advance.
The law sidesteps the 1973 Row vs. Wade court ruling which asserts that access to safe and legal abortions is a constitutional right. An annotation provided by the Legal Information Institute, states that “the Court established a right of personal privacy protected by the Due Process Clause that includes the right of a woman to determine whether or not to bear a child,” and that “the word ‘person’ as used in the Due Process Clause and in other provisions of the Constitution did not include the unborn, and therefore the unborn lacked federal constitutional protection.”
So then what gives? Why does it get to be decided that an unborn fetus has more precedence over a mature living person? Even in cases of rape or incest, the law persists. The only exception is made when her life is in danger, as written in the Bill. However, specifics on what types of conditions would be exempt are not clearly defined. Evidently, the health and safety of women are being casually overlooked by The Man.
The New York Times claims that the state won’t actually enforce the law, but rather, they’ll depend on private citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone involved. This is a cunning little tactic that makes it difficult to challenge in court. Sure, why don’t we deputize the people, and put them against each other? Plaintiffs are incentivized with a minimum $10,000 reward if they win a lawsuit. Very clever, Texas. I’m onto you.
Thankfully, some entities are not tolerating this madness. The Biden Administration sued Texas earlier this month, and shortly after, the U.S Justice Department requested a preliminary injunction in an attempt to block the law from being enforced, as reported by The Dallas Morning News. A hearing is set for Oct. 1 to consider the request.
Additionally, hundreds of rallies are being held across the country, in affiliation with the Women’s March Network, where pro-choice activists will demonstrate their distaste for Texas’s attack on women’s rights. The San Diego Women’s march will be held on Oct. 2 at the Waterfront Park. Join the resistance and march with us.