5 to 4: Supreme Court keeps Texas abortion ban intact


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American women across the country, not solely Texans, currently wonder what becomes of their individual right to their bodies. The battle between a woman’s individual choice to themselves and the demands of religion clash constantly, however the recent ruling (or lack thereof) of Texas’ recent abortion ban fans the flames and teeter on the edge of morality and legality. “This extreme Texas law blatantly violates the constitutional right established under Roe v. Wade and upheld as precedent for nearly half a century,” President Joe Biden said.

Zioni Moore, News Editor

Early morning on September 2, the Supreme Court released their ruling on Texas’ ban deeming abortions illegal, upending the 1973 court ruling of Roe vs Wade. The latter court ruling fundamentally reshaped America’s reaction and behavior to women’s rights. The hearing granted pregnant women access to safe abortions, along with the ability to do so as a constitutional right. Texas’ nullification of the nearly 50-year-old landmark decision grips the vast amount of Americans today. An iron fist splits their opinion and reactions into two, similar to the close call with the recent decision. However, as legislatures seek to integrate religious beliefs into individual sovereignty, the resulting effects from Texas’ law lead well into the continuing battle between the protection of civil liberties for women. 

“[The] governor’s swipe of a pen can’t change the Constitution,” Policy and                                   Advocacy Strategist of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, Drucilla Tigner said.

The new law in itself closely resembles other anti-abortion laws rolling out in the Bible Belt. The law now requires pregnant Texan women hoping to receive an abortion to carry out the procedure before their pregnancy reaches 6 weeks. An abortion carried out after this time period remains illegal. Because fetuses over 6 weeks typically carry heartbeats, similar laws carry the name Heartbeat Bills. The only difference in the laws narrows down to a majorly conservative Supreme Court and the hefty fine of $10,000 should any Texan woman decide differently.

Without exception for pregnancies as a result of incest, rape or fatal fetal conditions, plenty consider the ban not only unconstitutional and religiously biased, but generally morally wrong. The purpose of Roe vs Wade, along with the nature of the case itself, came about from Norma McConvey, a then 22-year-old Texan woman faced with the forever difficult task of aborting her unborn child without the means or funds to actually attempt a safe one. Falling under the pseudonym of Jane Roe, McConvey’s case became a symbol representing millions of American women’s lives, even more so the working one.

Many women do not even know they are pregnant at six weeks, [and] at least 85% of abortions in Texas happen after that point in pregnancy. The ban’s impact will fall most heavily on lower-income people, who don’t have the time or resources for such trips, as well as people of color. Taken together, Black, Asian and Latina individuals made up most of the people obtaining abortions in Texas,” Elisabeth Smith, Chief Counsel for Texas State Policy and Advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said

Despite 79% of Americans not wanting Roe vs Wade to become nullified and the increasing generational support for women’s autonomy over their bodies, offensive efforts have not slowed down at all. Certain individuals argue the most recent court opinions result from the consequences of former President Trump’s reign, particularly his replacements in the Supreme Court creating a conservative majority. “I think this is absolutely the blueprint for how you get around Roe v. Wade,” Planned Parenthood CEO Barbra McQuade said. (Peter Kegann)

Texas’ new law requires those who do want an abortion after six weeks to travel to surrounding states. The results for those who cannot afford to travel out of state could result in lethality for both mother and child alike. Examples include an increase of dangerous abortion methods including attempts to destroy the amniotic sac with unbent wire hangers missing their mark, puncturing vital organs instead. Additionally, factoring in the historically increased risk of children from unprepared parents becoming victims of abuse and neglect defines the crucial nature of this issue.

“In Texas, we work to save those lives, and that’s exactly what the Texas Legislature did this session,” Texas Governor Greg Abbot said.

However, the ‘war on women’ began August 25 when the law was integrated into practice, and with the bill in place, thousands more could actually die. Nevertheless, while the court’s opinion rightfully spurs fear into thousands of Americans’ hearts, the important factor to remember remains the same: people and the capability to fight. Planned Parenthood includes a sector dedicated to continuing its services, with the action fund remaining a primary force behind protecting women’s ability to choose for themselves. 

“I think that everyone should have access to safe abortions and what Texas is doing is completely messed up; past a certain point, even when the fetus turns into a salvageable child, abortion should be permitted,” NC sophomore Brenna Schmoock said.