Opinion Of: MIKAYLA STAHL
Since the dawn of time, people have had sex. Thus, they have sought ways to end unwanted pregnancies, and they always will. The only real question in the abortion debate is whether or not we value a woman’s life enough to let her do so safely and legally.
Republican politicians, emboldened by the extremely conservative makeup of the Supreme Court, are laser-focused on ending women’s rights to safe and legal abortions. In May, Texas passed Senate Bill 8 which made it illegal for a woman to obtain an abortion once the electrical activity of cells, which will eventually become a heart, can be detected with an ultrasound. This typically occurs at just six weeks, when many women don’t even know they are pregnant.
On its face, this is unconstitutional. It goes against the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe V. Wade, which legalized abortion up to the start of the third trimester, when the fetus has a chance at viability outside of the womb.
Texas found a workaround to avoid this law getting stuck in the federal courts. Instead of having the state enforce it, the responsibility goes to private citizens by “authorizing a private civil right of action.” Basically, the law will be enforced by the public. Citizens can report anyone who they believe has either performed an abortion or aided and abetted an abortion. If the private citizen can prove this violation of the law, they stand to gain a minimum of $10,000 to be paid to them by whomever they accused.
Healthcare providers looked to the Supreme Court for an emergency intervention, but thanks to former president Donald Trump’s conservative anti-abortion justices, the court refused to block the Texas law on Sept. 1 on procedural grounds.
This is just the latest move in the death to abortion care. Mississippi passed a law to ban all abortions after 15 weeks, but it was blocked. Now, the Supreme Court will decide if all state laws that ban abortion prior to viability are constitutional. If so, then Roe V. Wade, for all intents and purposes, will be overturned in states that pass more restrictive laws. The result for women, especially those who can’t afford to travel to a different state, will be catastrophic. Women will never be at their best in society until they have full control over their reproductive rights.