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Abominable abortion law in Texas

The latest anti-abortion law in Texas is nothing less than an abomination. Not only does it ban abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat — approximately six weeks into pregnancy, before most women even realize they are pregnant — but it allows any citizen, without establishing any vested personal interest, to sue clinics and individuals alike for “aiding and abetting” such abortions. It puts a bounty on the head of everyone involved.

This completely circumvents the normal government enforcement of abortion laws. This is letting any self-righteous right-to-lifer or troublemaker actually sue somebody and earn up to $10,000 doing it. This is legalized vigilantism.

And the worst part? The Supreme Court had a chance to review this law and stop it. (Pro-choice groups had made an emergency appeal.) But by a vote of 5 to 4, the justices allowed it to go into effect. They didn’t rule on its constitutionality; they just let it stand. Small comfort that this conservative court still has the power to rule on the law at a later time. Until they get around to it, if they get around to it, the fate of any Texas woman seeking an abortion is in the hands of godonlyknows.

I am sickened, outraged, and horrified. I fear for the future of Roe v. Wade and the freedom of American women to control their own bodies.

68 Comments »

  1. The vigilantism alone should have been enough to halt it, as it’s blatantly unconstitutional. Of course, the women who can afford it will just go to (likely blue) states that don’t have such a law, while those who can’t will try to do it themselves, or end up in a Texas back alley where there is no medical authority making sure the procedure is safe. Obviously Arkansas’ nutty legislators weren’t thinking big enough.

      • By saying you “fear for the future of Roe v. Wade and the freedom of American women to control their own bodies” you seem to imply that you care about women.

        But apparently you do not care about the millions of American women who are murdered every year through the slaughter of abortion. You apparently do not care about the millions of mothers who go through the rest of their lives burdened by the irreversible trauma of knowing they have killed their child. You see, abortion does not keep the baby from being born. The baby is actually born dead. The woman knows what is happening the entire time she is giving premature birth due to her forced miscarriage.

        And what woman has two hearts? Four eyes? Four arms? Is the abortionist removing part of the woman’s body when he puts the little body back together outside of the womb and makes sure he has the entire baby?

        I personally know several people — five that I can name offhand — who are not supposed to be alive right now. One is a young man in the prime of life, another is a sixty-something-year-old grandfather, one is the mother of four children (one unborn as of yet), another is a happy, energetic three-year-old girl, and the other two are six-month-old twins who couldn’t be more precious.

        These are the people you wanted dead. These are the people you DON’T care about. Stop saying you fear for women or rights or compassion. You do not. You fear that this law will keep more babies from being murdered. You fear that this law will keep more women from a lifetime of regret and unforgettable guilt. You fear that the biblical concept of responsibility and the sanctity of life will be safeguarded.

        Women have a choice. A choice for abstinence. And if you cannot make that choice about controlling YOUR body, you have no right to make a choice to destroy your child’s body.

        (And just a thought — incest and rape are sin. They are evil acts by evil humanity. But the exception does not determine the rule, and one evil act does not justify another.)

        • I’m not “implying” anything. I’m flat out saying women have the right to decide what happens to their bodies. It’s their choice — not yours or anybody else’s.

          What do I fear? I fear people like you making decisions for other people when it’s none of your business.

          Thanks to Roe v. Wade, you have the right to choose to have an abortion or not. It’s your choice, just as it is for every other woman.

          • What about the baby’s body? What about the baby’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

            Until you answer that question, there can be no honest conversation. Yes, Roe v. Wade was a legal court decision. So was the Dred Scott decision that ruled that black people were not equal to other ethnicities. Court decisions can be wrong, and when they are they should be challenged and overturned or voided, as Dred Scott was by the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

        • Prior to birth and viability, a fetus has no legal rights as a person. To give it those rights would be to deny the woman her rights. You cannot force a woman to be an incubator against her will. And as I’ve noted before, you have no right to interfere in another woman’s decision. It’s her body and her decision, not yours.

          • I think the woman in question in this scenario should have thought about her choice and will before sleeping with someone whose child she did not want to carry. No one forced her to do that.

            And as I said before, rape and incest are sin and evil acts. But one evil act does not justify another.

            Prior to the end of slavery and the civil rights granted by the Constitution being upheld in the case of black Americans, a black person had no legal right as a person. Moral, absolutely — but not legal. When evil laws are in place, we must overturn them or render them void. There are several places, entire countries, in this world today where certain groups of people are not acknowledged to have the rights God gave them. As I said, black people have always had God-given inalienable rights, but these were not acknowledged until the Constitutional promises were fulfilled, as Fredrick Douglass correctly stated.

            And until you have an answer as to why Roe should stand while Dred Scott should not, you have no argument.

        • Annsley, your ignorance is astounding. You seem to assume that we WANT abortions. No woman (okay, the vast majority of women) WANTS an abortion. I don’t want to see anyone have one. BUT IT IS NOT THE GOVERNMENT’S PLACE TO MAKE THAT DECISION FOR ANY WOMAN! Especially when the government is largely male-based.

          Let’s look at something I’d like to see these same men vote on…. removing their prostates. It is a fact that prostate cancer is on the rise. https://www.urologytimes.com/view/cdc-warns-incidence-of-metastatic-prostate-cancer-on-the-rise

          It is also found that men who have family members diagnosed with prostate cancer have a greater chance of one day being diagnosed themselves with prostate cancer https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html#:~:text=Prostate%20cancer%20seems%20to%20run,risk%20of%20developing%20this%20disease..

          So, in order to SAVE LIVES, as you are a firm believer that all lives must be kept alive at all costs by our government, those men who are at a greater risk are to have their prostates removed no later than age 50 (at least let them have kids). Well, if it’s that important to keep ALL PEOPLE alive, then perhaps we should just have all prostates removed post-puberty, say, by age 20.

          No prostate, no cancer.

          I can guarantee every… single…. man…. who has voted to take away women’s rights to choose what to do with their body would never vote to have their prostates removed, even if it means saving their lives.

          Now, breast cancer. Same type of facts are found for breast cancer. Women who have family members diagnosed with breast cancer have a much higher chance of getting breast cancer themselves. In fact, there is a gene that is found that correlates to a very high chance of getting breast cancer. Angelina Jolie has her breasts removed when she discovered she has this same gene.

          So, following the same logic, save lives at all costs, when either a woman has a family member diagnosed with breast cancer, and/or they carry this “breast-cancer gene”, then we need to pass a law that these women must have their breasts removed by age of 20, or within one month of another family member’s diagnosis or finding this gene.

          How would you like it if the government made you remove your breasts?

          ———

          Let’s looks at a different argument here. I am an atheist. You’ve heard this before… “separation of church and state.” I, myself, do not believe any fetus is considered a “person” until they are viable in the 3rd trimester – and even then, technically, a fetus is nothing more than a parasite up it is born. And I’m talking about being able to live outside the womb without medical help – not being hooked up to life-saving devices. How DARE YOU push your religious beliefs on me. If you don’t like abortion, then don’t get one. YOU HAVE NO SAY IN ANY OTHER WOMAN’S BODY! It is not your place, certainly not your business. If you believe it is, then I sure as hell want you to have your breasts removed as well as all your “female parts” because if you have any female-only disease in the future, it could very well affect my insurance premiums.

          Just so you understand, these anti-abortion laws are not about saving lives. Hell, most Republicans are avid, and many radical, gun-supporters – any gun, even military-grade guns meant solely to shoot and kill men. And it’s the Republican Party that wants to control women’s bodies in order to “save lives” – yet they want free access to all guns, right to carry guns, etc., so they can shoot the next person that looks at them wrong. The hypocrisy is so thick here. It’s all a matter of wanting to put laws in effect solely based on their own PERSONAL beliefs, which is not what law-making should be.

          ———

          So, since you so emphatically want to save lives, then get your breasts and reproductive system removed, as well as those of your daughter’s, nieces, etc. so we can save their lives from future cancer. And the men. Let’s remove your husband’s prostate, or son’s, brothers, etc. so we can do all we can to keep them from getting cancer and dying.

          Yes, these are extreme examples. But if you want to use the government to “save lives”, then let’s not stop with abortion. Let’s use it to knock out as many forms of cancer as we can by removing those body parts that can be removed without having to be put on life support so that cancer can be avoided.

          And keep your damn religion out of my house. I don’t believe a baby is a human life until the 3rd trimester.

          But I also do NOT want to see abortion. At all. In fact, I’d much rather see all this money, time and effort that you hateful, and ignorant, people put forth put into birth control. Let’s just avoid getting pregnant. Prevention is a much better solution to all problems. Also, put the money, time and effort into helping women who have found themselves with an unwanted pregnancy. So many families out there waiting to adopt. Provide financial support, a place to live, and any and all needs the pregnant woman may have to help her carry the fetus to term then adopt out to a family.

          So much hate among the whole lot of you. Don’t care about the mother – her situation. Only the unborn parasite. Help the mother-to-be. Don’t hate on her. If she has full support, then another family may soon have a baby to adopt.

          But do not tell me what I can and cannot do with my body. And I’ll do the same for you. Until then, I want you to have your breasts, and all reproductive organs removed. Oh, all on your dime, too.

        • You have no right to judge someone you do not know (unless you mistakenly think you possess moral superiority), nor to criticize her decisions to which you were not and should not be privy. You speak of sin and evil — Biblical constructs. Incest and rape are also crimes. Abortion is not. We are a nation of laws, of science and medicine and fact. We are not a theocracy, and injecting religion into laws imposed on everyone is not permitted. (See First Amendment) You are entitled to your beliefs, but they do not supersede someone else’s beliefs or legal rights.

          Again I remind you that Roe v. Wade protects the right to choose for all women — even you.

          • My only question is “What about the baby?” You keep talking about women. What about the women in the womb who are killed through abortion?

            And my argument with slavery is that something can be legal and wrong at the same time. In Afghanistan it is now legal to shoot a woman for not wearing a full-body covering.

            I believe everyone has the right to believe what they want — but if you believe you’re supposed to murder someone, that doesn’t make it right. And morality exists whether you like it or not. Truth exists whether you like it or not. Just because everyone may believe what they want does not mean that everyone’s beliefs are equally true.

          • So what about the baby? There’s a baby, a person, when a viable infant is born. Prior to that there is a fetus, with no legal rights, no personhood. And please, there are no “women in the womb.” That’s a ridiculous statement. There are fetuses, most of which will eventually be born and about half of which will grow into women. Prior to birth and viability, there are only fetuses.

            Legal and wrong at the same time. Okay, I understand now. If you think Roe is wrong, you are free to work to overturn it. But that still doesn’t give you or anyone else the right to violate existing law, which grants to women the right of privacy and the right to have an abortion.

            Everyone has the right to believe what they want. But you just said it yourself: that doesn’t mean you can exercise that right if it infringes on someone else’s right. You are free to oppose abortion; you are not free to impose that belief on another woman. Not unless and until Roe is overturned. And you are free to pursue that end if you wish. In the meantime, stay out of other people’s lawful business.

            Of course morality and truth exist. But what constitutes morality is often subject to interpretation. And your interpretation is no more valid than mine or anyone else’s. Truth is less flexible; truth is fact. Still subject to interpretation, some have said, but much less so.

            But back to the subject of this post: Roe v Wade and the new Texas law. Ultimately the Supreme Court will decide the law and hopefully they will decide based on law, science, and fact — not religion. Separation of church and state, remember.

  2. johnthecook…did you know that there is NO safe abortion, someone is going to die. 99.9% of the time it is the baby in the womb. The time to think about having a baby should come BEFORE sex, not after it. How stupid can we be! The gun is lightyears behind the skillful knife or pill of an abortion Doctor when it comes to taking a life. Sure, there are legitimate reasons for having an abortion and that decision should be between the Doctor and the patient. I would dare say that most abortions are done out of convenience, and not the results of rape, incest, or a previously unknown medical condition that puts the baby or mother at risk. I am not looking for a response. I just wanted to point out what should be common sense and might require some critical thinking and logic.

    reasons for having an abortion

  3. This is nuts.
    I understand about the heart beat, BUT 6 weeks is so early that many -especially young women will not know they are even pregnant. Ban late term and live birth abortions, but this is way to intrusive into an individual’s philosophy.
    Even worse is there is no exception for incest or rape or medical emergencies threatening the woman.
    The ability to punish any “assisting” person is beyond stupid.
    and this from a state that was always so big on “mind your own business and let others mind theirs.’
    It’ll be back in court.
    (Although I do feel that Planned Parenthood and “women’s health clinics” should have the exact same regulations and requirements as all other medical clinics doing procedures – including a doc on staff or one on call with admitting privileges at the closest hospital. Too many local clinics have skated by on lesser equipment/level of little training for staff. Bad things can happen fast.)
    Neighboring states can soon advertise “We have gambling and abortion clinics”. Really not funny

    • Neighboring states are no help to women who don’t have the means to travel. But yes, everything about the law is stupid and unconstitutional. And though this will probably be revisited at some point by the Supreme Court, a lot of people will be in real physical or legal peril in the meantime.

      • People here are pretty mobile and have multiple neighboring states attached.(OK is already reporting a huge number of appointments being made. You know PP or some group will be sponsoring or providing rides)
        I haven’t done all my reading yet, but miffed on the Court’s decision…something about they were only ruling on procedural issues, not content of the bill ( and they will allow visiting a case once it shows up…may be that you have to have an actual person who is actually affected by this law to bring a case they can get involved in)
        Sure wish there had been less hype and street drama with the voting bill – all that provided smoke screen/distraction to slip this through without the broad general public knowing and then moving to stop it. This bill has provisions that were a complete surprise…have to wonder if knowing it would be a huge problem once people found out and that could be exploited in the next election, some just smiled and let it slip through. Maybe politics, but this bill does create a dangerous situation for women, doctors/med.staff, and others.
        Things are such a mess
        Not to mention if on one hand you are saying ‘ You cannot force anyone to get a jab of vaccine/wear a mask – invasion of personal body concept – if on the other hand we will tell you what to do with your body. (which could also be part of the bigger dialogue about this bill? Big implications all the way around?)

        • An abortion is nobody else’s business. Vaccinations and masks are everybody’s business as long as there is a contagious disease going around.

          Yes, multiple neighboring states. But you have to have transportation to get there. That requires money, a car, a ticket, a driver’s license — stuff a lot of people may not have. Just like the good ol days, when those with the means could go elsewhere for an abortion; those without could not. Not to mention some parts of Texas are a long way from a neighboring state.

  4. this legal approach is something new. what’s to prevent it from being used for anything imaginable? It should’ve been declared unconstitutional on that basis alone! The ABA is probably celebrating, popping the champagne. Yee-haw!!

  5. In regards to abortion, the reality is NO ONE IS PRO-ABORTION…. WE ARE PRO-CHOICE! No woman really WANTS an abortion – especially as a means of birth control. It’s a horrible, difficult decision to make. But it is a decision to be made by the woman and doctor. Not by anyone else. Period. Dot. Especially a bunch of snotty, uncaring, hypocritical bible-thumping fools who need to keep their noses in their own business. If they care so much about lives, then get rid of the god damn guns. Those kill a helluva lot more than abortions do.

  6. Two things:
    1.  Southern Baptist fanatics are trying to outdo the Catholic sexual predators.  The race is on.
    2.  Using DNA to identify the father and making him equally liable for the life of the child would eliminate the hypocritical support of the religious parents of male teenagers.

    • Two good points. But I’m especially infuriated by all the fathers who walk away unscathed, leaving pregnant women alone to face all the consequences. Certainly they have “aided and abetted” a pregnancy and resulting abortion that would not have happened otherwise.

    • Here’s the item you sent me, saying “The following is the most compelling argument I’ve seen”:

      I agree. I don’t know how any rational person could counter this. Makes me wonder how the Supreme Court will rule if/when they address this law again. How rational are they?

      To state it simply: “My body, my choice.” Period.

      • Do three SCOTUS cases make this “settled law?” One would think so, but there is nothing to prevent the SCOTUS from overturning it in the case of abortion only. Ultimately, in a representative democracy, culture determines the arc of law, but that system of government is on a precarious footing in this country. Trump missed being elected by less than 5% of the vote in 2020. His administration was authoritarian in nature, and because of the bloc-voting of evangelicals, edging toward a theocracy. Ben Franklin was right, a republic only works is we the people want to keep it.

      • I don’t know the true origin of the item which I first saw on Facebook.  Ordinarily, I wouldn’t forward anything like this, but the core argument isn’t controversial.  Even if you disregard the legalistic portion of the article, there remains the unarguable and absolute fact that a person cannot be forced to donate a part or a function of his body for the sole benefit of another individual body.  

        • I spent a good amount of time trying to track down the source, but every time I found the essay (?), the only source mentioned was Facebook. Nothing more specific. I really wanted to credit whoever wrote something so well reasoned.

  7. Would you allow us to repost your post please? We are in England but women everywhere are reading this news in shock and horror. We don’t earn from our extended lockdown project so can only offer links back to you, credit to you and thanks. Check out our site and see if you like the fit. Thanks & best wishes

  8. I think you did a great job keeping the tone here civil. When I’m being told what to do – or not do – based on someone else’s religious beliefs, I tend to get pretty riled up. Annsley’s god is her god, not mine, and I don’t live by her god’s teachings, just like I don’t expect her to share my spiritual beliefs. Early abortions are not “dead births” (medically) and late-term abortions – the ones she described in almost rapturous detail – are very rare and most often done for medical reasons (life of the mother, baby horribly deformed and not viable). It’s usually a tragedy… the baby has been given a name, the mother has envisioned her baby’s future. That religious fanatics would pile more heartache onto the mother is not coming from a place of love that these “christians” want us all to believe they live by.

  9. I agree with Janis that you have done a great job keeping it civil in this discussion. I feel compelled to respond to one general concept around abortion that gets less press attention. The hypocrisy of our male legislators in this issue is astounding.
    To use but one example, from my home town: A state senator, married with young children, and a vocal opponent of abortion, impregnated his girlfriend. The two of them got into a text exchange (nobody said he was smart), in which he told her in no uncertain terms that she had to get an abortion. She was shocked and had assumed that they would carry their pregnancy to term. She reminded him of his very vocal opposition. Nope, he again insisted she get an abortion. She was so hurt and angry that she sent their texts to the media. The aftermath was kinda fun, with lots of angry women carrying signs showing up at his church every Sunday (yeah, he was a VERY religious guy). The whole thing is an embarrassing debacle.
    I am shocked about the whole Texas thing, though, and I wonder if they did this with the approval of the Republican Party. I have long thought that despite what they say, they don’t want Roe v Wade overturned because it is such a great issue for them, one that brings out big emotions and lots of fanatical followers, many of whom make PAC donations.

    • I’ve tried to keep things civil, but my patience is growing very short. I bristle quickly when people start spouting their religious views at me.

      Given their track record, I assumed the Texas law was conceived, written, and passed into law with the full intent and support of Republicans. Trump stacked the Supreme Court with conservatives, certainly with the hope they would overturn Roe and any other “liberal” laws that come before them. I’ll be very surprised (but pleased) if they are principled enough to rule strictly on the law and not their personal political proclivities.

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