US President, Joe Biden, condemned Texas’ new abortion law, stating that it ‘blatantly violates’ the constitution.
The bill was implemented at midnight, August 31.
It has been labelled as one of the United States’ most restrictive abortion bills, banning abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy – a timeframe when most people are unaware of their pregnancy.
How did it happen?
The U.S Supreme Court declined to take action on an emergency appeal led by Texas abortion clinics.
This decision delighted conservatives, who have long advocated for anti-abortion laws.
Lawmakers have prohibited abortions from taking place when a foetal ‘heartbeat’ can be detected. However, medical and legal experts have deemed this misleading, as embryos do not form a heartbeat in early developmental stages.
President Joe Biden, along with other prominent Democrats, have expressed outrage, stating that the new Texan law violates the right to abortion access which was established by the Supreme Court in 1973.
Although they are yet to act, Biden affirmed that he and his administration would “protect and defend that right”.
Now is not the time to feel hopeless or helpless. Now is the time to act.
All across Texas, grassroots organizers have been protecting their neighbors and the right to choose.
They need us. We made a split page for 8 key orgs here – 💯% goes to them. ⬇️https://t.co/vnjXRk6RaT
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 1, 2021
Abortion rights activists have said that the abortion ban has not been enacted in any US state since 1973 and that it would affect at least 85 per cent of abortions in the southern state. Consequently, abortion clinics could close down, which poses questions regarding the availability of safe abortion methods.
Professor Lawrence Gostin of Georgetown University’s Law department, implementation of this law would significantly impact the “protection” for people seeking abortions, particularly those from lower socio-economic backgrounds:
“Most women in Texas who can afford it will get their abortions out of state. But for poor and rural women, the effects on their physical and mental health could be devastating.”
According to staff attorney Julie Murray, Planned Parenthood will try to keep clinics open.
The night before the law went into effect, Texan abortion clinics frantically worked until the midnight deadline, when the 6-3 conservative-majority permitted the law.
Roughly 52 per cent of US citizens, say that abortion should be legal in most or all cases. Roughly 36 per cent of citizens believe abortion should be illegal in most or all cases.
Marva Sadler, the senior director of clinical services at Whole Woman’s Health, stated that abortion clinics will have no choice but to start turning patients away from Wednesday. She added that the organisation has struggled to hire and retain clinic employees as the future of Texan abortion rights become murkier.
The ban on abortion in Texas is an abomination.
We want to send a very clear message: RAICES will not obey this archaic and sexist law.
We’ve funded & supported access to abortions for immigrants in Texas for years and will continue to do so.
Some laws are meant to be broken.
— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) September 2, 2021