Is TX law banning most abortions past six weeks right?
Texas SB 8 is fundamentally medically inaccurate. Texas Republicans have conflated electrical pulses, which stimulate muscle cells within a fetal body, as a heartbeat, ignoring the fact that embryos do not have a heart at this stage of development. Elected officials have no business masquerading as medical experts to pass an extremist agenda outlawing abortion long before fetal viability and before most women know they are pregnant.
The most ridiculous provision in the Texas law allows private citizens to sue nearly anyone believed to be assisting a woman in terminating her pregnancy. This goes far beyond restricting medical operations to deputize the entire state into anti-abortion vigilantes. Those suing don't even require having direct connections to their defendants and could receive a minimum of ten thousand dollars plus attorneys' fees from the suits. Under this bizarre legislative overreach, a passerby who happens to see a woman step out of a car at an abortion clinic could sue the driver of the car for thousands in damages without even knowing any of the parties involved.
While the concept of turning private citizens into an army of overly litigious anti-abortion tattletales is strange enough, it is also clearly wasteful. Without knowing the full facts of any potential case, many suits will be brought only to waste both the defendants' and the judicial system's time. Further, while new anti-abortion bills are often crafted to be intentionally challenged in high courts, this latest attempt seems too ludicrous to merit time in the high court. Sadly, the courts will have to address it eventually, and women everywhere will be left waiting, wondering if their rights to control their own bodies will be further trampled.
The recent Texas law restricting abortions after six weeks of conception is an outstanding pro-life win, making it now the most restrictive state in the nation. Naturally, there has been pushback from pro-abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. President Joe Biden claimed the law 'blatantly violates the constitutional right established under Roe v. Wade.' Unfortunately for this argument is that abortion rights are not explicitly stated in the Constitution, and Roe itself is under current scrutiny within the US Supreme Court. Texas also has the right to determine state laws that align with its values so long as they do not supersede the federal government.
To the argument that this is unfair to women who might not know if they are pregnant by six weeks: if concerned, there are other ways to find out other than simply waiting additional weeks for recognizable pregnancy symptoms to set in. While this may sound harsh to a woman with an unplanned pregnancy, it is incomparable to the bloody horrors unborn children endure during the intentional demise of their lives through abortion. Additionally, the law permits exceptions when a mother's life could be at risk and does not prevent women from obtaining an abortion in another state.
While no abortion is ever truly ethical, there is possibly an argument about earlier-term abortions being slightly less evil than late-term ones in considering the baby's viability. However, punishing innocent human life by terminating his or her existence at any stage is not morally comparable to the inconvenience of carrying an unintended pregnancy. The science is concrete: human life begins at conception. It is never right to intentionally end an innocent human life.
- On September 1, 2021, Texas’ new law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnacy went into effect. Citizens are given the right to sue abortion providers for assisting women in abortion procedures.
- The Supreme Court did not challenge Texas’ law because Roe v. Wade is currently being challenged nationwide with arguments coming in by October. The high court agreed to dispute Mississippi’s case, Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 19-1392, in May of 2021.
- According to Guttmacher Institute, there were 862,320 abortions in the United States with 55,440 from the state of Texas in 2017.
- Healthline reports a fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as 5 ½ to 6 weeks of pregnancy by internal ultrasound. By 6 ½ or 7 weeks, a heartbeat is more assured.
- World Population Review records that 43 states prohibit abortion after a specific point in a woman’s pregnancy; 21 states prohibit partial-birth abortion; 12 states restrict private insurance plans from covering abortions.