Karina Tsoy / Staff Reporter
On September 1, 2021, the most restrictive abortion law in the United States came into effect in Texas (SB8). The law bans women from getting an abortion once they reach the six-week mark in their pregnancy, which is the stage at which most women only start to find out that they’re pregnant. The law also allows for almost any private citizen to sue anyone who was involved in assisting with the procedure for at least $10,000. This includes the doctor who performed the operation to the person who knowingly drove the woman to the clinic.
The law does not prohibit Texas citizens to travel outside of state to perform the operation after six-weeks, but this can be highly inaccessible and uncomfortable for many people due to lower-incomes, time off work, places to stay, gas, childcare, and other costs.
Considering that there are only about 20 clinics in the whole 29 million people populatedstate that offer to perform the service and the new law, you could easily say that women’s rights to their bodies in Texas are severely under dealt with.
This law is extremely restraining and in some cases even dangerous. Granting a woman her rightful right to her own body and then taking it away after she reaches a certain “mark” seems inconsiderate and inhumane.
Dr. Bhavik Kumar at Planned Parenthood Center for Choice in Houston released a statement right after the law was implemented. “One patient was very distraught and did not expect to be as far along as she was, and so the staff spent a good amount of time helping her think about other options and places out of state,” said Kumar. “When you’re told your only option is to go to another state and travel and all the logistics involved with that, it’s very distressing.”
Not everyone has the ability to raise a child in a safe and appropriate environment nor do everyone have the required financial stability. It is important to understand that most women get abortions not for what are considered “careless behavior” reasons but for legitimate factors that could have serious potential consequences in the future. The law holding women’s rights to their own bodies in such a tight chokehold is unfair and insensitive.
The Supreme Court originally allowed SB8 to be put into effect in Texas. However, the state’s new law was challenged in court on November 1, 2021, breaking into a heated three-hour argument. The nine justices will continue this discussion in private to resolve the case, which leaves one only hoping for the best.