Texas v. Abortion

Texas v. Abortion

Garren Meeker, Reporter

On September first, the Texas Senate approved Bill Eight, also known as the Texas Heartbeat Act, stripping anyone who has a uterus of their reproductive rights to an abortion. 

The Texas Heartbeat Act restricts people from obtaining an abortion once a heartbeat can be detected, which usually occurs six weeks into pregnancy: before many know if they are pregnant.

 Not only does this Act provide no exemption in cases of incest or rape, but it will also charge persons at least $10,000 for each abortion they have or aid in performing. This Act is a violation of rights granted to us by the Constitution, and the Supreme Court deciding this law is constitutional should terrify everyone. 

The Supreme Court has made landmark decisions that have led to the protection of reproductive rights, the start being their decision in the 1965 case Griswold v Connecticut. 

In this case, the court’s decision declared that couples have a right to privacy in the home, and the government cannot dictate their use of contraceptives in the bedroom. The right to privacy is implied in our Ninth amendment, and this case helped pave the way to the groundbreaking Supreme Court decision in Roe v Wade. In 1973, Texas law prohibited abortion unless a medical doctor provided a reason for a woman to pursue it; the courts found this law unconstitutional as it went against the Ninth Amendment implied right to privacy, the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment, and the Equal Protection Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment. Because of these decisions, the Constitution prohibits states from making any law that bans abortion before fetal viability occurs. The courts used the Constitution to reflect one’s right to an abortion and have upheld it in the past, but Justices change, and cases are reevaluated. 

With the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg a year ago, the Republicans solidified their years-long goal to fill the courts. When it came time for Republicans to sift through Judges to appoint to the Supreme Court, they have notoriously chosen conservative Judges, who would most likely agree with them. They currently have a hold on the courts because of this, obtaining a 6-3 majority, they hold power in this country. 

People may think that the power is with the President or in the House and Senate, but Supreme Court decisions made by the courts right now can dictate a completely different future for all of us. Though Supreme Court decisions can change as they are not enforced nor solidified, they control our present lives. Congress can make Amendments that abide by their choices, but the amendment process is complicated, and that is why they are harder to make. Amendments cannot be undone once they are added to the Constitution; the ratification of another Amendment is the only way to repeal them. Because of this, Supreme Court decisions that are happening now directly affect our rights as individuals. This court has the power to ban abortion, rewrite gun laws, and set LGBTQ+ rights back. 

It may not feel like it, but we are entering a different era in this country. Politics have divided us more than ever before, and religion has been used to justify actions such as banning abortions. We no longer can rely on the Supreme Court to reflect the rights in the Constitution nor uphold the safety of our rights. The Supreme Court will be taking these cases on or sweeping them under the rug to show where their alliances lie. Just because we are divided does not mean we can stand aside as others get their freedoms taken from them. These issues are prevalent and can shape the course of our futures, so being aware of how problematic it can be is a pressing matter. Mississippi has asked the Supreme Court to overturn the essential cases that granted us the right to chose to have an abortion, and this case can have endless burdens on generations to come. It can produce outright bans on abortions in some states and move the right to reproductive freedom generations back. Banning abortion doesn’t mean abortions won’t happen; it means the health and safety of women will be jeopardized.