By: Sofiya Idiyatullina
Texas Senate Bill 8 was passed on September 1, 2021, placing further restrictions on abortion. The law dictates that, after six weeks of pregnancy, a woman cannot have an abortion. Although many doctors disagree with this due to misleading research, lawmakers reason that six weeks is when initial cardiac fetal activity is detected. This law is morally and ethically wrong and will hurt women and the country as a whole.
The law does not make any exceptions, even in severe cases such as rape, incest, or unhealthy pregnancy. The law also tasks citizens with the ability to police the doctors and people who are “aiding and abetting” abortions. This can include people who drive patients to clinics or counselors who recommend abortions. This is a drastic change for all people in Texas. As the citizens of Texas are deputized to police abortion, it essentially clears the Texas government of any liability; citizens who are adversely affected by this law cannot legally sue the State. Supreme Court justices have let this law stand for the time being but have questioned its constitutionality.
In the meantime, women scatter to look for alternatives such as abortion pills. However, another bill is before the Texas legislation that aims to ban these pills in Texas. Women everywhere are speaking out about these issues.
This law targets poor women who do not have the resources to take care of a baby. Women who do not have the financial means or family support to take care of a child are now forced to do so, as they can no longer have abortion as a viable option. This puts both the mother and the child at risk, especially if they cannot afford basic medical help. If a woman decides to pursue abortion, not having access to a safe, legal procedure will force them into dangerous situations. Unsafe abortions are likely to kill the mother in the process. Alternatively, the foster care system is already strained, and many children age out of the system still without any support.
For the foster care system in Texas, this only means more stress. As of right now, the foster care system is in desperate need of reform and resources. The Texas Tribune reported in June 2021, “The state lost at least 1,000 beds for children, mostly from facilities that serve multiple children rather than from individual foster families.” This law can only lead to more children suffering through the foster care system or living in low-income houses without adequate parental support or access to proper education and healthcare.
Senate Bill 8 will not only affect people socially, but political consequences will occur as well. Other Republican states are likely to pass or propose bills similar to this one. In Florida for example, the “Florida Heartbeat Act” has similar parameters to Texas Senate Bill 8. Not only could other states restrict abortion, but also take after Texas’ plan to deputize citizens to defend questionable laws; one could only worry about how this will affect the legal system and state liability.
This law will force passionate citizens to boycott against the companies that donated to lawmakers who sponsored the Texas abortion bill. Democrats have already begun to launch negative campaigns and ads against companies like AT&T, which will most likely lead to a financial decline in their profits. The most dangerous effect, though, will be growing partisanship, leading to a more divided country as Texas initiates a huge step backwards in regards to women’s right to abortion.
The opinions expressed within the content are solely the author’s and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of The Chronicle or of Shorecrest.