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Editorial: That ‘novel’ Texas abortion legislation is thoroughly un-American

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Whatever your views on abortion, there can be no debate that the new Texas legislation limiting the procedure has one laser-focused purpose: to get around the settled strictures of Roe v. Wade.

This is a lousy and thoroughly un-American way to make laws. It’s indicative of a deeply troubling trend that goes well beyond abortion law, and its rise will come back to bite this riven nation in ways it has yet to understand.

The crafty Texas legislation (or “novel” in Supreme Court parlance) prohibits the abortion procedure in that state once medical professionals are able to detect cardiac activity, colloquially a heartbeat, in the fetus. This is typically at around six weeks of pregnancy, and many defenders of a woman’s right to an abortion have correctly noted that many women do not even know they are pregnant at that point, let alone have had time to make an oft-wrenching decision.

Therefore, it becomes impossible both to have that procedure and comply with the Texas law, which the U.S. Supreme Court allowed to take effect this week by declining to stand in its way. And that is, of course, the point of the legislation.

But the deviousness of the law is found in how it essentially insulates the state of Texas from enforcing its own legislation and thus going to head-to-head with the powerhouse precedent of Roe v. Wade.

As Chief Justice John Roberts noted in his dissent to the court’s 5-4 decision to allow the law to go into effect, at least for now: Texas “essentially........

© Chicago Tribune

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