Last night, an oppressive and blatantly unconstitutional Texas law went into effect that would ban nearly all abortions in that state. The Supreme Court refused to hear a plea to intervene and block the implementation of this law, despite its clear contravention of the constitutional standards dictated by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Make no mistake: this draconian law puts millions of bodies in direct risk; it will be replicated in other states; it sets the state of women’s health back decades and will particularly affect low-income communities and communities of color who already face incomprehensible hurdles in access to reproductive healthcare. Many of the same people chanting “My Body, My Choice” to protest mask and vaccine mandates that exist to save the lives of the currently living, are pushing this law to deny that same right to millions of others. If you are not shocked and horrified, you are not paying attention.
The law in question, known as SB 8, is the most restrictive abortion law in country, effectively banning abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy, a time when many people may not even know they’re pregnant. The structure of the law is cynically and tactfully designed by anti-abortion activists to uniquely shield the state from liability and callously turns citizens into pseudo-vigilante enforcers of the oppressive law. Disgustingly, this law incentivizes normal, non-pregnant citizens to sue individuals ostensibly “aiding or abetting” abortions –– including anyone driving a pregnant person to a doctor’s office, clinical staff, counselors, or friends who help pay for what could be a lifesaving medical procedure. The abortion providers challenging S.B. 8 say that it will bar at least 85% of abortions in the state and will likely cause many clinics to close – putting the health and safety of Texans at profound risk.
S.B. 8 makes a mockery of any individual who claims to care about the rule of law, which, in the United States of America, is enforced by officers of the law and the judiciary, not random individuals with personal political agendas. This law turns citizen against citizen. Neighbor against neighbor. It allows people with zero qualifications to impose their personal views on the bodily autonomy of a fellow Texan. This precedent it sets is earth-shattering, not just for women, not just for healthcare, but for American democracy.
Zioness remains vigilant in the urgent and never-ending fight against people who wish to control the bodily integrity and autonomy of anyone who can get pregnant. Like women’s rights, reproductive rights are human rights, and we will continue to center our work on those who will be most negatively impacted by today’s perilous, unprecedented news. This misogynistic, violent and discriminatory abortion ban must be reversed, and abortion much be accessible, legal, and safe for EVERYONE, if America is to ever reach its highest ideals.
The Supreme Court can and must act at any time to halt this draconian law. Every additional minute and every additional hour that they don’t act, Texans’ constitutional rights are infringed – and they’re exposed to dire health and psychological repercussions. The politicization of the Supreme Court will not end well for America or its citizens, and the justices should act immediately to protect its integrity, public trust in the institution of the judiciary, and the millions of Texans at risk.