Trying not to Rant About Texas’s Abortion Bill

I will try to write an article without ranting about Texas’s Abortion Bill, but it’s challenging to do so. So I will talk about what this bill is and what it means for women in Texas first.

S.B. no 8 is a piece of legislation passed through the Texas legislature in May. This bill is insane. This bill isn’t insane because it restricts abortion to before six weeks. Many states are already trying to do this. What makes this bill insane is that the State of Texas is enforcing this bill through Civil Actions placed against abortion providers or people helping to pay for abortions, including insurance companies. Honestly, I think the Supreme Court wants to wait to hear a real case about this bill and see how the courts enforce the law before placing a stay on S.B. 8. That is my guess.

Here are some interesting facts I have found. While the person filing the lawsuit can receive up to $10,000, section i states, 

Notwithstanding any other law, a court may not award costs or attorney’s fees under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure or any other rule adopted by the Supreme Court under Section 22.004, Government Code to a defendant in an action brought under this section.

S.B. 8 section i

I’m not a lawyer, but from what I understand, that means that the person bringing the lawsuit will have to pay their own attorney’s fees. Also, in Section j,

Notwithstanding any other law, a civil action under this section may not be brought by a person who impregnated the abortion patient through an act of rape, sexual assault, incest, or any other act prohibited by Sections 22.011, 22,021, or 25.02, Penal Code.

S.B. 8 section j

So the criminal impregnator cannot profit over his victim’s abortion, but does that mean that his friend could not bring up a civil charge against the victim? And then they split the winnings?

What about a patient who travels to adjoining states that still have a legal abortion? The state of Texas does not have control over interstate commerce. And I hate to use the word “commerce” to discuss something so serious, abortion in a medical service that costs money to perform.

This statute is going to hurt the poor, disabled, and patients of color most of all. There is no question about this. While there is a line about abortions after six weeks if the patient’s life is in danger, but what if the pregnancy could permanently disable the patient, or if the patient needs life-saving medical care, but the pregnancy itself does not affect the life of the mother. The patient and their doctor should make these decisions. The patient should look to whomever they wish to discuss the implications of their pregnancy, not the government.

I am a mother. I am expecting my second child at the end of the year. My spouse and I planned for both of our children. And I know that my never having to deal with an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy is a great privilege. My choices have never been limited. I have had access to contraception since I was a teenager, and once I was in a relationship with the person I wanted to have children with, we made the best decisions about the timing for each of our children. Every person deserves these rights. 

The state of Texas is using a model in this legislation that other states used to curb prostitution. This article from Times talks about Cook County, IL arresting the “johns” and trying to help the prostitutes. The state of Texas wants to make helping a person have an abortion unaffordable while not punishing the patient directly. Has the state of Texas forgotten about unregulated drugs bought off the internet? 

I do not believe that citizens of the same country should have to live under different sets of laws, as I talked about in, My Problems with Federalism. I also don’t understand why people’s lives are being used as an election year pawn? 

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