Is SCOTUS right to uphold TX six-week abortion law?

Tom Brenner / NYT

Fact Box

  • Texas’ “Heartbeat Act” (S.B.8), the law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnacy, went into effect on September 1, 2021, giving citizens the right to sue abortion providers for providing women abortion procedures
  • On December 10, the US Supreme Court left the Texas law in place with a vote of 8-1, while determining parties could still bring suits against it “to test S.B.8’s compliance with the Federal Constitution,” and those sued under the law “may raise state and federal constitutional arguments in his or her defense without limitation.” 
  • The Supreme Court did not challenge Texas’ law because Roe v. Wade is currently being challenged nationwide. The high court agreed to dispute Mississippi’s case, Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, 19-1392, in May of 2021.
  • According to Guttmacher Institute, there were 862,320 abortions in the United States with 55,440 from the state of Texas in 2017. 
  • Healthline reports a fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as 5 ½ to 6 weeks of pregnancy by internal ultrasound. By 6 ½ or 7 weeks, a heartbeat is more assured. 
  • World Population Review records that 43 states prohibit abortion after a specific point in a woman’s pregnancy; 21 states prohibit partial-birth abortion; 12 states restrict private insurance plans from covering abortions.

Siam (Yes)

Abortion is the intentional ending of an unborn human's life simply because of where he or she resides: in their mother's womb. Around 900,000 US women have abortions yearly, with most being unmarried females in their twenties. In most cases, the cause of the pregnancy is the failure to use contraception, demonstrating how both partners had little regard for the natural consequences of unprotected sex. 

Many women who have undergone abortion claim it was necessary because they were not ready for parenthood. However, a woman's motherhood is established at conception. Whether or not the mother is allowed to end her child's life prematurely is the debate.

The US Supreme court’s recent decision was done for several good reasons. One, they are already in deliberation in the Mississippi Dobbs vs. Jackson case confronting Roe v. Wade directly. SCOTUS cannot rule on this case before deciding the other. But more importantly is the increased scientific understanding we have thanks to decades of embryology proving the undeniable fact that life begins at fertilization. At six weeks, the baby has detectable cardiac activity, and thus abortion results in the killing of innocent human beings

Secondly, fetuses can sense pain, and abortion is violent at every stage, thus inflicting pain and suffering on unborn infants. Abortions can also hurt the mother; physical complications can result in long-standing emotional trauma and may make getting pregnant in the future more difficult. Abortion availability encourages liberal sex lives among individuals who place little value on unborn life. Lastly, countless numbers of couples cannot conceive and would love to adopt babies. Understanding exactly how immoral abortion is is the first step in reminding America that freedom is not defined by a woman's right to terminate the life inside her.

Morgan (No)

There is much belief that the six-week abortion law in Texas is religiously motivated because it goes against what many affirm when the baby is viable in the womb, which isn't until 24 weeks of gestation. It also disregards the fact that most women don't even know they are pregnant at the six-week mark; some may not even know they've missed their period. It's often between 4-7 weeks of pregnancy that most women realize they are pregnant, which leaves only two weeks for her to discover the news, make the massively important decision of whether or not to be a mom, and then make an appointment for an abortion. Therefore some women may not even have the time to consider an abortion before the option is already up. This ultimately entirely takes away the woman's right to choose whether or not she can or wants to have a baby. 

Regardless of beliefs, this law takes away a woman's freedom and right to choose, going directly against what the United States stands for. As citizens of equal standing in the United States, women should have the choice whether or not to have a baby and shouldn't be forced into this decision by outside circumstances, including laws. Roe v. Wade is currently being challenged at the Supreme Court level, which threatens the laws already in place nationwide that protect a woman's existing right to an abortion without government restriction. By upholding a state law that blatantly restricts women's access to abortion, the Supreme Court is defying what Roe V. Wade stands for.

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