By Kenzie Jansonius
Months ago, Texas enacted one of the most oppressive abortion laws that this country has seen since the passing of Roe v. Wade. The law, which was passed in May, 2021 and went into effect Sept. 1, holds that any pregnancy, including in cases of rape and incest, cannot be aborted if the fetus has a heartbeat. It also does something else highly controversial: it incentivizes U.S. citizens to turn in people they suspect as “aiding and abetting” abortions after the six-week mark, as well as the people obtaining them. The law sets the reward for this information at $10,000, to be paid by the defendant, for any successful lawsuit related to abortion brought against them. Worse yet, a newly conservative Supreme Court has decided not to put the law on hold while lower courts argue the merits of it. The justices have not yet decided whether or not the abortion ban is constitutional, only that the law will stay in effect while the question is litigated.
That’s not all the Supreme Court has done regarding new policies and laws in Texas. In a letter sent to Texas’s Attorney General, state representative, James White, asked, “Whether Obergefell v. Hodges… requires private citizens to recognize homosexual marriages when the law of Texas continues to define marriage exclusively as the union of one man and one woman.” What White wants is to find a highly prejudicial loophole to disregard the rights of same-sex couples. It is clear that the Texas GOP is seizing the opportunity afforded to them by the most conservative US Supreme Court in over 80 years to ignore precedent and the rule of law.