Danielle O’Brien, Editor
Tensions run high in the U.S. this week as Texas enacts a new abortion law, which bans women from getting abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. This is just one point of the bill which remains controversial, as frequently, women do not know they are pregnant until the six week mark or later. Another controversial point of the law is that it does not allow any exceptions to those who are victims of incest and rape.
Furthermore, the law also affects those who conduct the procedure or help women to gain access to abortions, including Uber drivers. The law calls on Texans to report women they know who undergo the procedure after six weeks to a website. It also allows civil lawsuits to be filed against these women. One of the most divisive applications of this law is that Texans reporting or suing women who havean abortion after six weeks can earn up to $10,000 in damages from a lawsuit.
The law, which was put into effect September 1, puts forth many questions surrounding how accurately it could be carried out in the state because of its incongruities. Nevertheless, it was upheld by the Supreme Court on September 8 in a five to four vote where the Supreme Court refused to block the law from going into effect. It is important to note that refusing to block does not mean the same thing as endorsing the law. However, the law can only be overturned if another case is brought to the Supreme Court.
24 hours after the Supreme Court decision, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a lawsuit against the state of Texas. Remarked by the U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, “this kind of scheme, to nullify the constitution of the United States, is one that all Americans, whatever their politics or party, should fear.”
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Rio Grande, the attitude towards abortion is moving in the opposite direction. The Mexican Supreme Court ruled on September 7 to decriminalize abortion. While Mexico’s supreme court ruling does not automatically make abortion legal throughout Mexico, it does allow women who have been incarcerated for having an abortion to sue the state’s authorities and have their prior charges dropped. The ruling of Mexico’s supreme court not only sets a precedent for the rest of South and Central America, but also for the North. One of the largest Catholic countries is voting against it’s inherently conservative ideas, while it’s neighboring country, the United States, is still struggling to stick to a legal consensus on abortion. Only time will tell if the U.S. will be able to reach a general public conclusion on the abortion debate, as well as stand by it.