The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Hello everyone! I am so happy to be back and writing articles! I hope that every student who started school this week is off to a positive and successful start. I also hope that everyone else is still positively coping in today’s world.
*Trigger Warning* Part of this article does touch on the topic of rape. Please read at your own discretion.
*Disclaimer* This article is going to be focused on the impact of the new changes made to the abortion law in Texas through Senate Bill 8 on September 1st, 2021. This article will assess the new law with the understanding that a woman has the right to make whatever choice she thinks is best for her including the right to an abortion.
In Texas, the abortion law is not new, abortions have been illegal for a long time in the state. However, the recent changes that were passed will have a much larger negative impact on individuals.
Senate Bill 8 impacts the timeline in which one can get an abortion, using the sixth week of pregnancy as the mark. This is an arbitrary marker because many women don’t even find out they’re pregnant till close to or after six weeks. The question frequently asked over the last week is how can we expect every woman to know they’re pregnant AND make such a big decision that could affect the rest of their life in such a short amount of time?
Senate Bill 8 is also harmful because it punishes those trying to aid someone in obtaining an illegal abortion, which now includes anyone pregnant past six weeks. Individuals can be sued for up to $10,000 in damages if they fall into any of the following categories. This includes an array of people including employees, clinicians, and receptionists at clinics. If an individual’s family or friends pay for the abortion, they can be held accountable as well.
Someone who shares information about how to obtain an illegal abortion can also be held liable. This law can even punish strangers who drive an individual to their appointment, for example, an Uber driver. This is just crazy, are people who make a living from ride-sharing supposed to interrogate everyone they give a ride to? They shouldn’t have to live with the fear of losing their job and paying out $10,000 in damages for simply giving someone a ride.
The last point I would like to touch on are situations where an individual is raped and gets pregnant. This event in itself is traumatic, the decision of whether to remain pregnant or not can be even more traumatic and is not a decision one should be rushed into making before the sixth week of their pregnancy.
Overall, the changes that were made to abortion law have made it much harder to obtain a legal abortion, and essentially impossible. The changes and additions to this law have only negatively impacted women who are simply trying to make the best decision for themselves.