Ban on abortion after or around six weeks of pregnancy, unexceptional in rape cases too. The signing of The Senate Bill 8 bars Texas women to go for abortion after the detection of cardiac activity in the embryo.
The bill came into effect on September 1, 2021. After the US Supreme Court refuses to block it, keeping it open for challenges. Texas already had hard abortion laws; the uprising law has worsened the situation for women.
Powers of Senate Bill 8
- It bans abortion post six weeks of pregnancy, irrespective of rape victims.
- S.B. 8 authorises people from all across the country to sue anyone who assists someone in getting an abortion in Texas after six weeks. This may also include doctors, partners, friends, family members, and abortion fund volunteers.
- A reward of $10,000 minimum will be given for every successful lawsuit.
- The law allows an exception for medical emergencies, which require written verification from a doctor. But it does not apply to pregnancies caused by rape or incest.
Crushing Roe v Wade
1973 marked the landmark of legal abortions in the US under Supreme Court judgement, referred to as Roe v Wade. A vote of seven to two passed the law. The court’s ruling was based on the finding of a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy. This fell under the 14th Amendment’s protection of freedom of personal choice in family issues.
The verdict occurred after Norma McCorvey, a 25-year-old single woman who went by the pseudonym “Jane Roe,” challenged Texas’ criminal abortion laws. This prohibited most abortions. The anti-abortion statute was defended by Texas Attorney General Henry Wade.
Then was the “trimester” system coming as a result of the case authorising American women to have an abortion in the first three months of their pregnancy. It allows some government regulation in the second trimester and declares that states may restrict or ban abortions. In the last trimester as the foetus nears the point where it could live outside the womb.
Texas new law of abortion bars the above-mentioned law that still prevails in the rest of the US. This new law has crushed the trimester system in some aspects. Not just the law, but the women and their right to life have been seen in danger. Therefore, many rights groups have rebelled against the law and may challenge it further as the bill passed is open to challenges.
Opponents of abortion rights fought for this Texas statute, expecting federal courts to find it more difficult to overturn. Rather than requiring government officials to police the law, this law empowers citizens to file civil lawsuits against abortion. Which providers or anyone else who “aides or abets” illegal abortions.
The Only Exception
Only medical emergencies are left aside. This means that if a mother’s life is endangered or lead to a significant and irreversible loss of a fundamental physiological function. One can opt for abortion only if one is facing major health issues.
The bill’s signing ushers in a new era in the debate over abortion restrictions, with first-of-its-kind legal features aimed at making the law more difficult to contest set to be put to the test in the courts.
Several legal challenges to the bill are now pending, including several cases in Texas state court. Targeting anti-abortion rights organisations such as Texas Right to Life. In Texas, pro-abortion groups are organising protests and demonstrations in opposition to the law.