Texas Implements Near Total Abortion Ban

Texas’ new abortion law, Senate Bill 8, went into effect Sept 1. after the Supreme Court denied an appeal from abortion providers.

The bill bars abortion after six weeks of pregnancy except in cases of medical emergencies and makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

Sophie Herold ’22 was in disbelief when she learned about the newly implemented law.

“Women’s bodies are their own, not the objects or properties of others,” she said. “While men are allowed to continuously joke about not using proper contraception and legitimately do not, it is ‘taboo’ for women to control how they deal with the consequence of that, inside their own bodies.”

While the bill affects only Texas, the significance of restrictions extends out of the confines of the state, eliciting divided reactions from students. 

For anti-abortion advocates such as Meredith Christy ’22, the imposed restrictions were promising.

“I strongly believe we shouldn’t be allowed to end a preborn person’s life because of how their mother ended up pregnant- even through violent means or a simple mistake,” she said. “I was excited to hear about the new Texas abortion laws, as it was a great advancement for the pro-life community. However, I understand that many people are grieving the news, and hope that they can find comfort.”

Abortion remains legal federally, but states are able to pass laws restricting it without placing an “undue burden” on exercising the constitutional right to medical privacy. This was set after the landmark Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, an often-cited case when discussing abortion restrictions.

“I believe [the new law] is a good idea,” Ben Cuff ’22 said. “You have time before that six weeks if you wish to terminate your pregnancy but afterward, when it gets to more of a late-stage into development, it’s restricted.”

Despite federal protections, Eleanor Hileman ’24 views the Texas decision as a considerable setback.

“Women have every right to do what they want to do with their own body,” she said. “It was devastating to hear that Texas had changed their abortion laws to six weeks after the woman’s last period. It’s crazy that they think they have control over women’s bodies, especially since the majority of the government in Texas is men.”

To educate their friends and peers, many students have taken to social media to spread their opinion. Vibrant graphics, eloquent captions, and text in big, blocky letters adorn temporary Instagram stories. But Herold said the best method of engaging in a productive conversation with opposing opinions is simply listening.

“This is a controversial topic,” she said. “This is why a great amount of understanding and genuine listening to various perspectives is imperative to peacefully and constructively arriving at effective solutions.”