WASHINGTON, D.C (08-31-21) — The U.S. Supreme Court has shocked the nation this evening by moving forward with a controversial ban on most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy that’s set to take effect on Sept. 1, 2021.
The American Civil Liberties Union confirmed the news late Tuesday night with the following statement:
“The Supreme Court has not responded to our emergency request to block Texas’ radical new 6-week abortion ban, SB8. The law now takes effect. Access to almost all abortion has just been cut off for millions of people. The impact will be immediate and devastating,” ACLU tweeted. “The law bans abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy — before many people even know they’re pregnant. The result is that many Texans will be forced to carry pregnancies against their will.”
The Texas law, Senate Bill 8, which would be among the strictest in the nation, authorizes private citizens to sue anyone who helps a woman obtain abortion services and in turn receive at least $10,000 in damages and liable for attorney’s fees per instance.
Abortion providers on Monday filed an emergency appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for an immediate emergency injunction blocking the law while legal challenges continue.
In their filing they state that the Texas restrictions would “immediately and catastrophically” limit abortion access for 85% of patients and force many clinics to close their doors for good across the state.
Justice Samuel Alito, who oversees matters coming out of federal courts for the 5th Circuit, which includes Texas, gave the state until 5 p.m. Tuesday to lay out its argument for rejecting the request. He could decide on his own or refer the matter to the full court for a vote.
“In less than two days, Texas politicians will have effectively overturned Roe v. Wade,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, who filed the emergency appeal to the Texas’ law. Patients will have to travel out of state — in the middle of a pandemic — to receive constitutionally guaranteed healthcare. And many will not have the means to do so. It’s cruel, unconscionable, and unlawful,” said Northup.
ACLU said “actively encourages private individuals to act as bounty hunters by awarding them at least $10,000 if they are successful. This is a racial and economic justice catastrophe. Decades of racism and structural inequality within the health care system have left Black and Latinx people and anyone trying to make ends meet with few alternatives to the cruel reality that Texas politicians have created. This is a full-scale assault on patients, our health care providers, and our support systems. This abortion ban is blatantly unconstitutional. We won’t stop fighting until it’s blocked.”
Attorneys for Texas told media outlets late Tuesday night, that abortion providers lack legal standing to preemptively challenge the law because it has not yet taken effect or had any impact on their patients or services.
Texas is one of 13 states that have passed laws banning abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy; legal challenges have so far prevented all from taking effect.
In a statement released Tuesday night, Texas advocates and health care providers condemned the Texas abortion ban.
“The hypocrisy of Texas SB8 passing is that it was passed on the premise of saving or valuing life by a majority white men led legislative body that places no value on life,” said Marsha Jones, executive director of The Afiya Center.
The ACLU said that they have a network of abortion funds and support networks that “will do everything in their power to help women get the information and care they need. Go to http://needabortion.org to find out more, including how to contact an abortion fund.”
We will continue to follow this story and bring you developments as they arise.
Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
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