The Taliban is winning everywhere. After taking over Afghanistan, they’ve now conquered American women’s bodies. Texas has banned all abortions after 6 weeks, and our conservative Supreme Court has punted and refused to deal with this assault on liberties.
A Texas law that bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy went into effect Wednesday, as a midnight deadline for the Supreme Court to stop it came and went without action.
Just wait. More abortion bans are coming.
The Texas case comes at a pivotal time for abortion rights, with Republican-led state legislatures around the country having enacted a string of increasingly restrictive laws. The Supreme Court this fall will consider one of them — Mississippi’s ban on most abortions after 15 weeks. Antiabortion activists have urged the court to use that to overturn Roe, the 1973 decision that said women have a constitutional right to abortion.
Federal judges across the country have cited Roe and other precedents to block six-week bans in other states before they took effect. But the lawsuits that stopped those statutes targeted government officials who would enforce the bans, which proponents dub “heartbeat bills” because they say that is when a doctor can first detect a fetal heartbeat. Doctors opposed to the bills dispute that description, saying the fluttering that is detected cannot exist outside the womb.
The Texas law, in contrast, was designed to make it more difficult for abortion rights advocates to win such pre-enforcement injunctions. The statute empowers individuals, instead of state government officials, to bring legal action in civil court against those who help women seeking a prohibited abortion.
That’s a terrifying twist. All those busybodies who screech and march in front of abortion clinics are now empowered to sue doctors and nurses. Finally, we can appropriately describe something as a “witch hunt”!