Staff Editorial: Should Students Support the Texas Abortion Law?

SAM LUO (Opinions Editor)

There is irony in that Mexico, a Catholic country with a long history of conservatism, has sided with liberals on abortion policy in opposition to the United States, a beacon of democracy with a staunch liberal movement. On Sept. 1, Texas became the first state to enact a six-week abortion ban in the United States. The law sparked massive controversy throughout the nation, as the Supreme Court voted in favor of the law in a close call of five to four. From the landmark 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade that guaranteed every American woman’s right to abortion to today’s Senate Bill 8 as the most recent heartbeat bill, the Moor Staff deems the United States to be regressing in its women’s rights movement.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York broke down the logistics of the bill by explaining that six weeks was not enough time to recognize a pregnancy, much less decide on whether to have an abortion. Specifically, Ocasio-Cortez summarized that a six-week pregnancy meant missing two weeks for one’s menstrual cycle, which may be related to natural biological fluctuations instead of pregnancy. Even prior to the bill, 85 to 90 percent of abortions that took place in Texas happened after the sixth week of pregnancy, according to the New York Times. In short, women hardly get abortions that early because six weeks is too short a timeframe to make, what is for a lot of women, a traumatic ethical dilemma. 

The bill also does not take into account cases of rape or incest, nor does it provide financial aid for disadvantaged people that are forced to carry through with their term. This could indirectly affect minorities who do not have the luxury of time and money to get an out-of-state abortion. Accordingly, the University of Texas estimates that eight out of ten people who seek abortions will not be able to get one. That is an overwhelming statistic that indicates an incoming wave of unprepared parents and more children that will have to go through the notorious foster care system. As students of Alhambra who have seen the endeavors of immigrant families and how poverty affects our residents, the Moor Staff recognizes first-hand how Senate Bill 8 reinforces generational poverty for marginalized communities as well as the poor who are already struggling to support themselves and their families with little room for the costs of parenthood. 

Most concerning of all, ABC News reveals that the bill is garnering Republican support from several other states that are looking to mimic Senate Bill 8 such as Arkansas, Florida, South Dakota, Idaho, Indiana, and Oklahoma. A glaringly obvious domino effect is taking place in much of the Southern States. All the while, there is an ongoing and disturbing anti-women narrative that women are just ‘host bodies.’ Although Gov. Greg Abbott has vowed to eradicate all rapists from Texan streets, it is implausible to prevent all cases of sexual assault—namely the abuse that occurs behind closed doors—that lead to unwanted pregnancies. It also raises questions as to what actions Abbott and the criminal justice system have taken to fulfill his promise and whether states imitating Senate Bill 8 will have the same provisions Abbott has pledged. 

In a unanimous vote, The Moor Weekly absolutely does not support the Texas abortion law. As it stands now, Senate Bill 8 proves to be disastrous for women and their rights. They have been stripped of the right to choose for themselves and the right to access a basic health care service that is necessary for all women.