Controversial Texas law faces challenges

Controversial Texas law faces challenges

By Joseph Ndu, Staff Writer

The controversial Texas abortion law passed on September 1, bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, the latest in the broad push by Republicans to restrict abortions nationwide.

The bill that has passed in Texas bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which is typically when cardiac activity is detected in an embryo. The law doesn’t make exceptions for rape or incest, only in cases where it endangers the mother’s life or leads to irreparable bodily harm. Any civilian can enforce the new law which says that anyone can sue those who perform, aid or intend to aid an abortion after six weeks, regardless of whether they have a personal stake in the matter. According to the NY Times, those who successfully report unlawful abortions are given $10,000 cash reward per illegal abortion.

Opposition argue that many women don’t know if they’re pregnant by that point as it’s too early in the pregnancy, and doctors making them make that type of decision isn’t ethical. They also argue that lawmakers are giving incentives to strangers to essentially act as enforcers of the new law and report abortions with the promise of a cash reward.

Fox News reported that the law “is the strictest law against abortion rights in the United States since the high court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 and part of a broader push by Republicans nationwide to impose new restrictions on abortion.”

An outspoken and involved student at MCC, Ciara Duncan, opposes the new bill.  “I think time restraint on this law is way too early,” Duncan said.  “Most women don’t know they are pregnant by that time. It’s harmful because not everyone’s period works like clockwork. Women should have the right to make decisions about whether or not to have the baby. The idea that anyone can sue mothers for abortion is a perfect recipe to act like bounty hunters which can lead to violation of rights.”

She is hopeful to see the bill challenged in the courts in the near future. “For a fact, multiple people are taking it to court on the grounds that it’s unconstitutional. I think we should have honest conversations about it, share their stories good or bad on abortion. Now is a good time for anyone who wants to start protesting to get your butt into gear because it’s needed.”

According to CNN, so far two lawsuits have been filed to challenge the law including one by Felipe N. Gomez, an Illinois resident who describes himself as a “Pro Choice Plaintiff” in the suit.

Even though Duncan is not personally affected, she still feels invested in the matter. “I think any decision like this is a violation of rights to women everywhere and I take personal offense,” she said. “I think if it happens there it can happen anywhere. I fear for the rights of women in Texas. I could’ve been one of them so why wouldn’t I be scared for them or want better for them?”

Duncan believes that going through the hoops necessary to oppose the bill would be worth it considering the gravity of the situation. “If Democrats want to go through the process it’s their right if they think it’s unconstitutional, they’re fully allowed to do that…Standing up for what you believe is not wasteful.”

Of course, Duncan’s opinion is just one of the many countless ones on the subject. It’s important, in controversial situations like this, to step back and take pause. To listen, and consider the facts of the matter and the opinions of others before making our own judgements.