Opinion: Abortion is a Constitutional Right, Not a Game


Image Source: The Texas Tribune

Analise Bruno, Editor-in-Chief

As of September 1, 2021, the US’s most restrictive abortion ban took effect following the signature of Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, who signed the bill into law. The S.B. 8 is a new law that bans abortion when “fetal cardiac activity” has been detected, even in the cases of rape and incest. Besides the fact that this law is inherently unconstitutional and denies women the right to choose, the six-week grace period itself is compromisable since many seldom know they are pregnant before this cut-off. The exceptions for health reasons (i.e. the mother’s life is in danger) are EXTREMELY narrow and do not cover EVERY instance in which a life may be threatened. The bill also gives leverage to any individual to sue abortion providers, friends, and family who assist in supporting the patient, and even Uber or Lyft drivers who take the patient to the clinic (even if they are unaware of their initial intentions). If the lawsuit were to be successful, the individual who brought forth the lawsuit will be awarded a $10,000 bounty, which, in my opinion, turns abortion into a money contest, and goes against what it means to be “pro-life” if such a thing exists.
The Supreme Court is currently allowing for the law to remain in place with a 5-4 vote. This outrages me for many reasons, with the main one being that this is a clear violation of Roe v Wade. Roe was evaluated and passed in the 70s, and for years, has saved the lives of hundreds of women who were able to get and receive this imperative form of healthcare they needed rather than turn to dangerous methods. It’s been said 100 times, but banning abortion will never get rid of the act itself because when put in tough financial situations or even life and death ones, people will do anything they need to do to survive. This includes succumbing to using unsafe abortion techniques.
When we reach a point where we make Uber drivers liable for aiding in abortion, you come to realize that it’s not so much about saving “the child” but rather just attacking women when the opportunity strikes. What floors me is that the decision made by Texas that bans 85% of all abortions was championed by the Governor, Greg Abbott, who is a male who will never have to deal with the long term physical ailments of pregnancy, nor the financial hardship of raising a child if not ready. Mr.Abbott has made this tough decision a mere game by furthering the incentive with money and other rewards for those who attempt to violate others’ rights. Women don’t owe anyone an explanation on why they may or may not choose to have an abortion, but nonetheless still deserve the right to make the choice themselves.
Planned Parenthood in Texas is currently still open and providing abortions in accordance with the new law, however, spokespersons for them have noted that other centers around them may have to start closing following new restrictions and lack of funding. Medical and bodily autonomy are allegedly things all Americans are to be privy to, and yet, I find this to be discrepant when it comes to women’s bodies that seem to constantly be at the center of a political debate. Abortion clinics in every state are lined with anti-choice protesters who harass women entering the buildings, pose death threats to abortion providers, shame pro-choicers in the media, and work diligently to get state legislators to strip women of their right to choose on behalf of their medical state. It’s unfair, wrong, and abundantly unconstitutional by completely disregarding the implications of Roe V Wade and the protection it provided for women. Our nation’s leaders need to take action.

UPDATE 10/6: Judge Pitman has issued a stay of SB8! The enforcement of the bill has been halted on the grounds that, “A person’s right under the Constitution to choose to obtain an abortion prior to fetal visibility is well established. Fully aware that depriving its citizens of this right by direct state action would be flagrantly unconstitutional, the State contrived an unprecedented and transparent statutory scheme to do just that.” This is certainly a win to celebrate because the it effectively nulls the ban that has disregarded a constitutional  law that PROTECTS women. Yet, our work still must continue until abortion access is equitable and safe for all.

***This opinion article reflects the voice of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of The Viking Times as a whole.  Like most news outlets, The Viking Times is a non-partisan media platform.***