Texas’ six-week abortion ban is a tragedy for all women


Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court refused to overturn Texas’ six-week abortion ban because the plaintiff did not have a proper writ of certiorari.

Ari Dolgin , Staffer

The United States Supreme Court voted in a 5-4 decision to refuse to block Texas’ six-week abortion ban at midnight on Thursday, Sep. 2. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the dissenting opinion, saying that the court’s order was “stunning.” The majority opinion argued that the petition to block the law was done improperly. The ban, signed into law by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, is the first major piece of legislation to go against the 1973 landmark Supreme Court case, Roe vs Wade. This ban will not be enforced by the state, but by the people. The bill states that any citizen in the state of Texas can sue anyone who aids or abets a woman in getting an abortion after the six-week deadline. This includes but is not limited to Health Care workers, Clergy, Rideshare Drivers, etc. If someone successfully reports a case of someone violating the law, they will receive a $10,000 reward. These so called “bounties” can report a violation of the law to prolifewhistleblower.com, a website set up to help enforce the bill.


This law is a huge blow to women in Texas, and a huge blow to the progress this country has made in the last 48 years. There are several problems with this bill. About 85% of women who are six-weeks pregnant do not even know that they are pregnant, which gives them little to no time to consider an abortion. The bill does not include any exceptions for victims of rape and incest, which means that women who are impregnated against their own will would not be able to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. 


It also doesn’t make sense that the law allows anyone to sue an abortion clinic when they haven’t caused any damage to the person that sued. Good reasons to sue someone would be because of compensation for damages, breach of contract, breach of warranty, etc. The business between the woman seeking an abortion and the abortion clinic have nothing to do with these so called “bounty hunters.” Why is anyone able to sue an abortion clinic over something that is none of their business? 


The supporters of this bill argue that no person shall get an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually around six weeks into pregnancy. What they fail to understand is that what they consider a heartbeat at six weeks is not really a true “heartbeat.” What they consider a “heartbeat” is a fetal pole cardiac activity. It is in no way a fully functioning cardiovascular system, and instead are just clusters of cells with an electrical pulse. This argument is nothing more than an emotional appeal based on misleading information.


The argument that “abortion is murder” is also wrong because in order something to be classified as “murder,” it has to be malicious. Women who seek abortions are not seeking malice, but instead are seeking to make a private medical decision for their own good. It also has to do with the question “when does a fetus develop personhood?” A six-week-old embryo cannot survive outside of its mother’s womb. It usually takes until the end of the second trimester-which is around 22 to 24 weeks-for a fetus to achieve viability and to survive outside of the womb. Most abortions happen before the end of the second trimester, which completely debunks the lie that the Pro-Choice side supports “late-term abortions.” 


The Supreme Court now must decide whether the law unduly restricts abortion. Roe v. Wade is the law at this point in time, so the heartbeat bill is currently unconstitutional. However, if the Supreme Court votes to overturn Roe v. Wade, the law will become constitutional and the upcoming case “Plaintiff v. Texas” will become the law. The court voted 5-4 to refuse to block the law because it did not have a proper Writ of Certiorari but said that they would accept the case after an appeal of a lower court’s decision. 


The four justices who voted to block the law will most definitely vote to strike it down when the time comes, but is any other justice willing to join them? The justice that everyone should be speculating is Amy Coney Barrett. Appointed by President Donald Trump in 2020, Barrett gave the Supreme Court a 6-3 conservative majority, exciting the conservative base for the possible end of Roe v. Wade. Barrett now must make a consequential choice. If she votes to strike down the heartbeat bill, she could become a champion in the fight for women’s rights. It would be a tragedy if she, a woman, voted to take away not only her own constitutional rights, but those of every woman in America.


Until then, millions of women in Texas will lose their right to bodily autonomy and will have to go through many obstacles to get an abortion. The heartbeat bill basically turns the State of Texas into a “rape-to-win” society. With this law now in effect, a man can technically rape a woman and can then sue anyone who helps her get an abortion after six weeks. If he wins the dispute, he receives $10,000. Not only will he get the money, but he will most likely get away with the rape since about 94% of all rapists never spend a day in prison. When the punishment for rape is less than the punishment for abortion, it is obvious that this bill is not about “protecting the unborn.” It is a war on women.