N.J. Students Among Those Watching Texas Abortion Law Closely

Sarah Bruno, Staff Writer

In recent weeks, Texas lawmakers have passed a new law which restricts access to abortions. This bill, called SB 8, is the most restrictive abortion law in the country. It was passed on May 19, 2021 and was set to go into effect on Sept. 1, 2021.
This is essentially an abortion ban, because of the short period of time which allows women to get an abortion. Six weeks is well before many women even know they are pregnant, but it would also be too late to consider abortion as an option. When comparing the six-week time limit on an abortion to a menstrual cycle, it could only be one missed period, and many women report their period being irregular.
“It’s absurd, women no matter how long until they’re due, should be able to choose what they want to do with their own body,” said Jennifer Haase, a Brookdale student from Howell. “It is recorded by a study taken at Marquette Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that ‘Fewer than one-third of Americans want to see Roe v. Wade overturned.’”
If this bill was so unpopular, then why was it signed into Texas law? The answer is that it is a partisan bill. It was voted on by Republicans with a decision of 90-1. The Texas law has no exception for sexual assault or incest.
“It’s a life-changing thing to carry out a pregnancy or to choose not to,” Haase said.
According to a study from Quinnipiac University, 48 percent of people in the study said that the Supreme Court should make it easier to get an abortion. Those who opposed more accessible abortions make up 38 percent of the same study.
With the restrictions Texas has put in place, the law enforcement falls upon private citizens. If a private citizen found out someone was having an illegal abortion, they could win up to $10,000 in court if there was a successful lawsuit.
Many companies have shown their support for abortion rights by providing funding. The dating apps, Bumble and Match, have launched funds to cover abortion costs in Texas after the law took effect. Uber and Lyft have also offered to pay the legal fees of their drivers who may be sued for transporting clients to abortions.
In the Supreme Court, on Oct. 14, the Fifth Circuit formally blocked a trial court’s decision on the SB 8 bill. The decision was 5-4, which allowed the Texas law to take effect. This legislation was crafted with the intent of evading judicial review. Citizens are allowed to sue a state if they sue the state official who enforces that law. Written in SB 8, it employs private citizens to police women with the intent of finding out who has had an abortion past six-weeks. Nonetheless, in this case, there is no state official to sue.
However, the Supreme Court is getting another chance to decide on the fate of the bill and determine whether or not it is constitutional.