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It is time to abort Texas’s abortion law – and much more

15 9 9
20.09.2021

On September 1, the state of Texas implemented Senate Bill 8 (SB8) banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, including in cases of rape and incest.

Given that most women are not even aware they are pregnant at six weeks, SB8 amounts to a near-total abortion ban. It is the most restrictive such law in the entire United States, where the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe vs Wade ruling ostensibly offers constitutional protections for abortion rights.

In addition to being criminally invasive, the Texas law is totally unhinged. For starters, its enforcement is delegated not to agents of the state but rather to individual citizens who stand to win $10,000 or more by bringing lawsuits against doctors, abortion clinic staff, Uber drivers, and any other witting or unwitting accomplices to abortions performed after the six-week cutoff.

Plaintiffs need not be from Texas nor have any relation to the defendants. Presumably, SB8 will not only encourage run-of-the-mill American religious zealots to further unleash their inner policemen but also incentivise assorted other demographics to capitalise on efforts to dismantle the semblance of women’s rights that has been attained under patriarchal capitalism.

As NPR notes, the Texas Right to Life organisation has already “set up what it calls a ‘whistleblower’ website where people can submit anonymous tips about anyone they believe to be violating the law”.

While the Justice Department has sued the state of Texas over SB8’s alleged unconstitutionality, the US Supreme Court has refused to block the law. Reuters reported that “in an unsigned explanation, the court’s majority said the Texas law’s unusual........

© Al Jazeera


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