Legislation banning abortions after about six weeks is now the law in Texas, effectively ending Roe v. Wade protections in the state, NPR reported.
Late on Sept. 1, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block the law. The vote was five to four, with three Trump-appointed justices joining two other conservative justices. Dissenting were conservative Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's three liberal justices.
Texas' Senate Bill 8, passed in May, bans all abortions in the state after about six weeks of pregnancywell before many women even know they are pregnant. The policy conflicts with the Supreme Court's precedents, which prohibit states from banning abortion prior to fetal viability, usually between 22 and 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Texas' new law is one of the most strict abortion bans in the nation.
In a press release Windy City Times received, Lambda Legal Chief Strategy Officer and Legal Director Sharon McGowan said, "Abortion is essential health care and it is inappropriate and unacceptable for the government and politicians to be interfering in the deeply personal decisions made by patients, with the help of their health care providers, about their own bodies. The right to decide if, when, and how to have a family is incredibly important in its own right, and is also inextricably intertwined with the right of all peopleand particularly LGBTQ peopleto define who they are, because, at their core, these rights are about personal autonomy and self-determination.
"Texas' Senate Bill 8 is just another example of the outrageous lengths that anti-abortion politicians and state officialsmany times the same people who support bills that criminalize life-saving gender-affirming care for transgender young people will go to subvert our Constitution in order to control the bodies and lives of others. This bill, and the Supreme Court's inaction, flouts nearly 50 years of Supreme Court precedent affirming the right to abortion prior to viability.
"By doing nothing, the Court has allowed chaos to take hold in one of the largest states in our union, basically overnight, by banning nearly all abortions in the state, and unleashing vigilante justice."
President Joe Biden criticized the Texas statute, saying, "This extreme Texas law blatantly violates the constitutional right established under Roe v. Wade and upheld as precedent for nearly half a century," according to Politico.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker also slammed the abortion measure. In a statement, he said, "An attack on reproductive freedom in Texas is an attack on reproductive freedom in Illinois and every state across the country. I'm proud that we passed the most comprehensive law in the nation to protect women's rights to make their own health care decisions no matter what happens at the Supreme Court. But make no mistakeabortion rights are on the ballot in 2022 and Republicans will do everything in their power to strip them away. That's why it's so critical to elect Democrats up and down the ballot across Illinois." In 2019, Pritzker signed The Reproductive Health Act, the most comprehensive abortion-rights bill in the country, into law.
Planned Parenthood Illinois Action President and CEO Jennifer Welch said in a separate statement, "Access to abortion is hanging by an increasingly thinning thread. With the six-week abortion ban taking effect today in Texas, we can expect many other states to follow their lead. … People who have abortions are our family, friends, and neighbors. Everyone deserves the freedom to make their own medical decisions, in consultation with their families and their doctors and free from political interference. Access to essential care should never depend on where you live or how much money you make."