The Texas Abortion Law is an Attack on Women Everywhere


Photo Courtesy NBC News

In early September, Texas passed The Texas Heartbeat Act, a law that has now become the strictest abortion law in the nation and marks the beginning of an open attack on the right to abortion in the United States. The law effectively bans abortions after 6 weeks; a time frame in which most women do not even know they are pregnant. In fact, before the act was signed into law, only 10% of the state’s abortions took place prior to 6 weeks. This law has the greatest impact on low-income women, women of color, and women in their teens and early twenties. There are no exceptions granted for rape or incest. 

Perhaps what makes this law unique is that it is enforced by private citizens, who are incentivized to sue anyone who aids a woman in gaining access to or gives a woman an abortion. This even includes the person who drives the woman to the location where she receives the abortion. The reward for the plaintiff is $10,000 paid by the defendant. The strange setup of this law ultimately increases the likelihood of the law’s effectiveness, fortifies the legality of religious right, and creates greater restrictions on abortion facilities by inciting fear. 

The law is an insidious attack on the future of reproductive rights in the United States. By signing the act into law, Texas directly undermined the Constitution through its disregard of Roe v. Wade, which established that states may not interfere with a woman’s right to abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy. In spite of this unconstitutionality, the Supreme Court decided to let the law stand in a 5-to-4 decision and has in turn opened the doors for the re-evaluation of Roe v. Wade. This has been made possible by the Republican party’s encroaching attacks on abortion rights and Trump’s three Supreme Court Apointees who are known to vote in favor of restricting women’s access to abortions. This open defiance of the Constitution, regardless of personal views on abortion, undermines the core foundations of the American legal system and is detrimental to the future of women.

By restricting abortions to the point of a total ban in Texas, women are in danger of being harmed everywhere. By ending legal abortions, illegal abortions will only occur and get shoved under the rug and out of the public eye. These abortions will be more dangerous to the safety and wellbeing of the women who receive them. On top of endangering women’s safety, this law’s impact on mostly low income communities will push them deeper into poverty due to lack of financial resources needed to care for a child. Ultimately, the law is a violation of women. It infringes upon the right to control one’s own body and health information and therefore, violates the freedom of women everywhere.