Over the past few weeks, the Texas Heartbeat Act has divided communities both in the American state and around the world. This extreme abortion law came into effect on September 1, 2021 becoming the strictest law against abortion in the United States to date.
What is the Texas Heartbeat Act?
The Texas Heartbeat Act came into effect at the start of September and prohibits abortions performed in the state of Texas from as early as six weeks. At this time, many women don’t even know they are pregnant, which is why it has caused so much shock and anger in the state and the U.S. as a whole. The bill essentially bans the right to an abortion when a heartbeat is detected by an ultrasound procedure, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
However, there was plenty of support for this decision, and the Texas Heartbeat Act is a milestone moment for opponents of the procedure. They include predominantly Evangelical Extremists, approximately two-thirds of Republican supporters, and Pro-Life groups.
Roe v. Wade (1973)
In 1973, the Supreme Court made a landmark decision ruling that the Constitution of the United States would protect a pregnant woman’s choice about abortion. It supported a woman’s liberty and gave them the choice to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. The state of Texas has taken a unique approach to disregard the Roe v. Wade ruling. It’s estimated that over 85% of the abortions that were previously performed in the state are now outlawed, due to the fact that those who aided in the procedures are now subject to lawsuits. Some providers have been forced to stop these operations altogether for fear of financial ruin. Although, there are no known lawsuits since the law came into place, there is much fear as it’s only a matter of time.
Reactions from Across the Country
The news of the Texas Heartbeat Act spread quickly across the world, creating shock and devastation within communities. U.S. President Biden spoke out to say that the bill, “blatantly violates the constitutional right established under Roe v. Wade,” and that it will impair a woman’s access to healthcare. He is aware of the challenges that women of color and individuals with low income face with this new law, and he says that his administration is committed to defending and protecting women under Roe v. Wade. Medical experts were also shocked by the decision due to the fact that the term ‘heartbeat’ is incredibly misleading because, during that early stage of development, embryos don’t even possess a heart.
As someone who lives outside of the United States, this news has still shocked women such as myself. As reiterated earlier, while it seems no court cases have currently taken place as a result of the Texas Heartbeat Act, it’s only a matter of time. I can only hope that the country as a whole will protect women in Texas and override these laws that have come into place there. It’s a tragic story to witness in this day and age, and one we can only hope won’t repeat itself elsewhere in the country, or even reverberate around the world.
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