Texas Bans Abortions as Early as Six Weeks

Story by Cassie Clark / Contributing Writer

Texas’s newest abortion bill, SB 8, bans abortions after the detection of “cardiac activity,” which can occur as early as six weeks into gestation. This is often before many women know they are pregnant.

The bill makes no exceptions for incest or rape. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott originally signed the law in May. It took effect on Sep. 1 after the Supreme Court issued an opinion allowing the law to pass, and the vote was 5 to 4. The opinion came after a coalition of abortion rights groups filed an emergency request to block the bill.

According to the NYTimes, 85 to 90 percent of abortions in Texas happen after six weeks of pregnancy. The night before the bill was passed, clinics in Texas rushed to see as many patients as possible. Wait times for procedures were as long as six hours in some places.

SB 8 allows any private citizen to sue anyone who performs an abortion or “aids and abets”. The patient may not be sued, but anyone who assists in the abortion, even the person driving them to their appointment, is at risk. Plaintiffs do not have to live in Texas or have any connection to the abortion, nor prove any injury resulting from it. In addition, they are “entitled to $10,000 and their legal fees recovered if they win,” according to the NYTimes. 

Many are outraged by the decision. Middle Tennessee State University senior Alexa Word said, “I think it’s an abuse of power…just like we can make other decisions for our health, we should be given the same choice for this.”

“It’s inhumane and cruel,” said Grayson Holley, senior at MTSU.  

In Mississippi, a law banning abortion after 15 weeks is looked at as a “test case” for the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court is set to decide on the bill later this year. 

Tennessee passed a “trigger law” called the “Human Life Protection Act” in August of 2019.

The bill would ban abortions in the state should Roe v. Wade be overturned. In addition, the act would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion. The only exception to the ban would be to prevent death or “substantial and irreversible impairment of major bodily function.”

To contact News Editor Toriana Williams, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

For more news, visit www.mtsusidelines.com, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News 

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