HOUSTON — A year after the death of U.S. 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 could end up in judicial scrutiny and balance. may indicate. to the point.
“For many people, they have always held that, even if they live in a state that passes restrictions on reproductive care, that there is always a judicial system in place to protect them and declare these laws unconstitutional. Cecil Richards, the former president of Planned Parenthood, 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 “repeating other Republicans.” Has outlined a roadmap for governors to follow suit. Supreme Court approval.”
Richards wrote, “The right to a safe and legal abortion that was protected for nearly 50 years under our Constitution and by 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 country’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 they are 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 Will tirelessly try to get all rapists off the streets by “going aggressively out of Texas, arresting 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.
“We are now in a post-cry world,” Richards said. “Here in the state of Texas, the row is no longer in effect … and it only requires a Republican governor and a Republican legislature. Your state could be exactly that.”