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U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, makes way for Texas ban

todayJune 24, 2022 99 6 5

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By Preethi Mangadu & Jordan Young  

Chief Editor of News & Web Content Director 

Updated: 7:54 pm

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, meaning that there is no longer constitutional protection for abortions.   

In 1973, Roe v. Wade ruled a set of Texas statutes that criminalized abortion as a violation of a woman’s constitutional right to privacy and set a precedent for laws limiting abortion access. Furthermore, the court established that abortions could be regulated after the point of viability, or the point where a fetus can survive outside the mother’s womb. In the decision of Roe v. Wade, viability was set at about 24 weeks of pregnancy.   

States will now be allowed to set their own regulations and laws for abortions, and for Texas, this means virtually a complete ban on abortions.   

 

What is the current Texas law on abortion?  

The Texas Legislature passed the Human Life Protection Act of 2021, a “trigger law,” last year that will go into effect 30 days after the Supreme Court’s ruling and makes performing an abortion procedure a felony. The only exceptions are to save the life of the pregnant individual or if there is a risk of “substantial impairment of major bodily function.”   

Doctors can face fines up to $100,000 and life in prison for violating this law. The individual receiving an abortion will not be prosecuted, but this law takes away the rights of a woman’s choice to get the procedure.   

  

What impact does the Supreme Court ruling have on the San Marcos community?   

While the exact date that the ban will go into effect has not been announced, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a Post-Roe advisory stating, “abortion providers could be criminally liable for providing abortions starting today” under pre-Roe statutes in Texas Legislation that were never repealed.   

So, what does this mean for San Marcos and Texas State community? Many people, such as college students, women, non-binary individuals, transgender men, people of color and low-income individuals, who do not have the financial means to provide stability and support for a baby; will have to carry the child to full term or leave Texas. Texas residents will have to travel to New Mexico, to get the abortion they may seek when the law is enforced. It has already been announced that some Texas abortion providers are ceasing operations.   

Amy Hagstrom Miller, the president of Whole Women’s Health, the largest independent abortion provider announced that it has temporarily halted abortion services in its four Texas clinics one of which is in Austin.   

Abortion services at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, and Planned Parenthood South Texas have all ceased.  

“We must pause abortion services at our separate organizations while our legal teams continue to review today’s devastating ruling and how it impacts and triggers existing Texas laws, including total abortion bans,” said Jeffrey Hons, president, and CEO of Planned Parenthood South Texas.  

The Texas Equal Access Fund in a statement announced that they have stopped funding abortions in Texas due to the state’s pre-Roe status.  

“Abortion fund staff and volunteers could be at risk of arrest and involvement with the racist criminal justice system. As a Black, Indigenous and people of a color led organization, we are holding the weight of this. Due to the uncertainty and risk of what the decision could bring, we are pausing funding today until we have had a chance to understand the decision,” said the Texas Equal Access Fund via Twitter 

 

Reactions from state officials & citizens

“Today, the question of abortion returns to the states. And in Texas, that question has already been answered: abortion is illegal here,” said Attorney General Ken Paxton. “I look forward to defending the pro-life laws of Texas and the lives of all unborn children moving forward.”  

“Texans deserve the right to make decisions about every aspect of their futures, including their plans to have families and careers,” said Rep. Erin Zwiener, “Restricting abortion rights means restricting economic opportunity for millions of Texans and taking crucial health care decisions away from the people they impact most.”   

Governor Greg Abbott said, “correctly overturned Roe v. Wade and reinstated the right of states to protect innocent, unborn children.”  

“So much more is going to fall on families and neighborhoods and us taking care of one another because we know folks like Governor Abbott, even if they call themselves pro-life, are absolutely against expanding healthcare access, are absolutely against supporting parental leave and paid sick leave and the things that we need to make sure families can succeed and take care of their kids,” said Democratic nominee for TX 35th Casar. “And so, we need to fight and advocate for having legislation and getting rid of the bad legislators who don’t actually want to take care of families.”   

 

What can be done to protect abortion rights  

Democrats, abortion rights activists, and people who are pro-choice know that to combat this Supreme Court decision; they will have to defeat pro-life politicians and candidates in November and enact legislation. Until then, there are several ways to combat the new laws surrounding abortion, according to Casar.

 

“We are going to have to work really hard in the coming days to provide resources so that people can leave our state when they need to access abortion care. People are having to leave Texas to access this really basic right to access abortion which is healthcare,” said Casar. “We need to advocate and push district attorneys all over our state including in Hays County to make sure they do not prosecute people for providing abortion care, and I think it is so important for us to not give up the political fight. We have to undo this horrific decision that sets back people’s rights by nearly 50 years.”  

  

For more information on this decision, refer to the U.S. Supreme Court’s issued opinion.   

 

Written by: ktsw899

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