Texas makes new abortion law with six week cut off


Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

S.B. 8 will have lasting impacts on Texan women’s lives.

Molly Boetsch, Editor-in-Chief

On September 1, 2021, Texas passed a new law known as Senate Bill 8 that makes it illegal to get an abortion after the six-week mark.  Ever since this date, the bill has been a point of conflict in the courts.

S.B. 8 makes it so citizens can sue those who perform an abortion in the state after the cut off; it also allows those who “aids or abets”anyone in getting an abortion in Texas after that period to be sued.

Based on this logic, workers of the driving service can be sued by another citizen for driving a woman to an abortion clinic past the cutoff date. 

“The time period we’re living in is very divisive, plus on top of it it’s really on the citizens to report other citizens and sue them civilly in court. I think you will see some contention between the two groups, two sides of the issue, in the future,” Mrs. Coles, a Del Val History teacher, said. 

Even if you have a miscarriage or a nonviable pregnancy and need an abortion, the doctor could still be sued. 

According to Texas Monthly, “If there is no cardiac activity in the embryo, then the law does not apply. If there are embryonic abnormalities that make the pregnancy nonviable but there is still cardiac activity, then it does.”

This six week cut off is unrealistic and completely unfair to the women of Texas. Women might not even show symptoms at six weeks or know that they’re pregnant.

By the time some women find out they’re pregnant, it could be too late to even consider abortion as an option. That choice is taken away from them. Women typically discover they’re pregnant between four to seven weeks after conception.

Then there are other situations to consider. About 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year. Not to mention that 82% of these victims are females under the age of eighteen. To make a teenager keep a pregnancy that was a result from rape is appalling; having a child is a life-changing choice. Women should have the right to decide when and with whom they have a child, if they choose to at all. 

The average annual cost of infant care in Texas is $9,324. That’s $777 per month. Some women, especially young women, cannot afford to take care of a child. This would greatly affect the quality of life for the mother and the child. 

On Wednesday, October 6, the federal court put a pause on S.B. 8. 

“From the moment S.B. 8 went into effect, women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their own lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution, this court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right,” Judge Pitman said.

While this is seemingly a great relief for the women of Texas, clinics can still be retroactively sued for giving abortions when the law is paused. If the law becomes active again those lawsuits can be put into place. 

As S.B. 8 continues to be disputed, this bill still has the potential to destroy women’s lives by taking away the right of choice over ones own body.