A year after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the nation’s top abortion-rights activists warned that the Supreme Court’s recent inaction on Texas’ extremely restrictive new abortion law may end in judicial scrutiny and balance over the issue. may indicate.
“For many people, they have always assumed that, even if they lived in a state that passed restrictions on reproductive care, that there was always a judicial system in place to protect them and declare these laws unconstitutional. for,” Cecil Richards, former Planned Parenthood president, told the Associated Press in an interview this week.
“That’s not happening anymore.”
To coincide with Saturday’s anniversary of the death of Ginsberg, whom she called “a trailblazer and advocate for women everywhere,” Richards issued an open letter warning that Texas Republican leaders were “triggered by other Republican governors.” A roadmap has been outlined for the Supreme Court to follow suit.”
Richards wrote, “The right to a safe and legal abortion that has been protected for nearly 50 years by our Constitution and our judicial system is under threat, and we must fight to get it back in full.” Parenthood in 2018 and currently co-chair of American Bridge 21st Century, which supports liberal causes and conducts opposition research on Republicans
Texas’s new law, one of the nation’s most restrictive, prohibits abortions when medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, which usually occurs around the sixth week of pregnancy and some women find that They are pregnant. Courts have barred other states from imposing similar restrictions, but Texas’s law differs significantly in that it leaves enforcement through criminal charges to private citizens rather than through prosecutors.
The measure took effect this month when the US Supreme Court rejected an emergency appeal from abortion providers asking it to be put on hold. Opponents of the law have called it the nation’s biggest curb on abortion rights since the court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which established the nationwide right to abortion at any point before the fetus survives outside the womb, Which is around the 24th week. .
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has defended the measure – which makes no exceptions for rape or incest – saying it does not force victims to give birth and vows that the state will “make sure We will work tirelessly to eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas by “aggressively going out and arresting them and prosecuting them.”
Abortion providers have said they will comply, but nearly two dozen abortion clinics in Texas have temporarily stopped offering abortion services altogether. Clinics in nearby states say they are struggling to keep up with rising demand, and are delaying care for their own residents to accommodate women making long trips from Texas.
The Justice Department is suing Texas, saying in a federal lawsuit that the law was enacted “in open defiance of the Constitution” and violates the supremacy clause, which says federal law takes the place of state law. . A federal judge is set to consider the case next month, arguing that the measure illegally violates women’s constitutional rights.
A majority of Americans believe most abortions should be legal in the first three months of a woman’s pregnancy, according to a poll earlier this year by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, but most say That process should usually be illegal. Second and third quarter.
The survey comes just weeks after the US Supreme Court agreed to hear a case involving a currently blocked Mississippi law that would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, two weeks into the second trimester. Similar measures are pending in states across the country pending the outcome of that case.
Richards said he is concerned that, without a change of direction, Roe v. wade may be headed for extinction in more places. But she pointed to the 2022 midterm elections, which she sees as a way for voters to change that.
Richards said, “We are now in a post-Roe world. Here in the state of Texas, Roe is no longer in effect … and it only requires a Republican governor and a Republican legislature. Your state could be exactly that.” Is. “
Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP
Credit: www.independent.co.uk / Texas