Texas is verifiably sick in how it oppresses women

A new anti-abortion law in Texas not only oppresses women, but turns citizens into vigilante bounty-hunters.



September 2, 2021 - 8:59 AM

In this photo from May 29, 2021, protesters hold up signs at a protest outside the Texas state capitol in Austin, Texas. (Sergio Flores/Getty Images/TNS)

In Texas, there is now a law that encourages citizens to turn on one another.

Effective Wednesday, Senate Bill 8 not only essentially bans abortion in Texas, but financially rewards individuals who report those they suspect aiding or performing the procedure.

The law makes no exceptions for rape or incest, and applies to all pregnancies at which point a fetal heartbeat can be detected, or at about six weeks.

About 90% of women who receive abortions are more than six weeks into their pregnancies, with the majority occurring up through the first 13 weeks, or the first trimester.

Because a six-week-old embryo is about the size of a quarter, most women can’t be certain they are pregnant unless they test for it.

Generally speaking, life outside the womb becomes viable sometime between the 22nd and 28th weeks of a 40-week pregnancy, and has been used as the standard cut-off point by courts as to when abortions are generally allowed.

In the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade that granted a woman’s right to an abortion, the timeframe was 24 to 28 weeks.

In 1992, the high court ruled that states may not impose an “undue burden” on the right to an abortion before fetal viability at 22 weeks.

THE VIGILANTE aspect of the Texas law is most unsettling.

Rather than take responsibility for enforcing the ban, legislators wrote the law so that it deputizes private individuals with the power to hunt down women seeking an abortion. 

While the patient may not be directly sued, all those who help her — perhaps the husband who drove her to the clinic, the attending physician, the therapist who counseled her, etc., — could be held liable.

Vigilantes can receive up to $10,000, plus legal fees, if they are successful in court. But if the defendants prevail, they cannot ask their legal fees to be covered. 

Already, the Texas Right to Life organization is recruiting “pro-life whistle-blowers” to anonymously snitch on the unsuspecting.

Disappointingly, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday night that it will not block the law — a decision that many fear is a harbinger of the end of a woman’s reproductive rights.

The Texas law becomes the most restrictive in the nation.