Texas Legislature Takes Women’s Rights Back Decades

SB 8 creates opportunity for states with anti-abortion majorities to also take advantage of the law.


Photo Grace Hilton

An infographic depicting the progress of women’s abortion rights.

Grace Hilton, Staff Writer

Fear is the feeling of many Texans looking at their futures. A reasonable fear, due to women’s rights being directly taken away. Texas’s long pondered bill has finally become a reality.

As of September 1, Texas’s legislature has passed numerous laws on topics such as gun carry, alcohol purchase, and critical race theory. One of the 666 laws being passed that week, their abortion law, is bringing the most worry among citizens. SB 8 or the “Heartbeat Act” removes abortion access to all pregnant individuals, excluding minors. The law claims, contradictory to public opinion, that it does not violate the constitution. Yet, Roe v. Wade prohibits states from banning abortion because it goes against the 14th amendment.

This law is absolutely disgusting in all aspects. For starters, it doesn’t exclude victims of rape or incest, violating the safety that they should be given. On a more broad level, women (or any person with a uterus) are losing their access to choice. Years of fighting for women to gain control of their own bodies will be thrown away for SB 8. Abortion laws have been outlawed for less than 40 years and have been fought against for many years before that. And with little time, a woman loses her life to the choice of a man. You can argue that there’s a deadline for the procedure, that the fetus can feel pain or even that you are murdering a child. I will not dismiss that at all. But any abortion restrictions are anti-women.

You may be wondering, “how does a law violate the constitution?” It’s impossible, isn’t it? Sadly, the legislature found a way around the supreme court’s previous decision. In the case of most laws, a person or group of people can be sued for enforcing a law. However, the law is not enforced by Texas, itself. It specifies, “any person, other than an officer or employee a state or local governmental entity in this state, may bring civil action against any person who: performs or induces an abortion.”  Meaning the citizens enforce the law, which is common considering the conservative population. What this does mean is that a loophole has been found to enforcing abortions, and conservative states like Florida may have to look out for this.

Texas’s new laws are currently the harshest abortion laws in America. What is going to happen going forward? Well, women will be forced to give birth to children they aren’t ready for or don’t want. Adoption centers will become overly populated. Children will often be faced with less ideal living environments. Women’s lives will be changed forever, and their children may not ever have the life that they could have had if the mother was ready. Yet, it is more valuable to worry about a detectable heartbeat? Instead of pushing motherhood onto women, we should focus on caring for them and not their undeveloped fetuses. It’s their choice.

Another worrying idea to consider is the people voting on these laws. Less than 30% of the Texas legislature is women. That means exactly what you think it does: mostly cis-gendered men (without the ability to have a baby) drafted SB 8. Is the law for the good of women? Is the law protecting the morals of this country? Or, are the women of Texas being poorly represented in their state government?

All in all, the law is currently active and being protested widely. Consider before you click off; we all have views and ideologies. Some of us are religious or swear against any worship. Some of us like to dress modestly, while others like to show off as much as they can. We all exist together in America without any laws stopping us from being different. So next time you go to object abortions just think: What are you really fighting for?