OPINION: New Texas Abortion Law Is Outrageous


Madison Heustess, Opinion Columnist

A woman can take a pregnancy test at 2 weeks and the result will come back negative regardless if she’s pregnant or not. Most tests won’t report a positive result until 4-5 weeks into pregnancy. Regardless of this, Texas has now banned abortions past 6 weeks giving the average person only 1-2 weeks to receive an abortion.

This deadline leaves zero exceptions for the victims of horrible acts such as rape and incest. If a victim misses this deadline, they are forced to go to the extremes of an unsafe at-home abortion or travel to another state with less restrictions. If they don’t, they have to carry the pregnancy to full term.

This will alter a person’s mental health as they are forced to carry the child of a person who had assaulted them. 

“This law will traumatize survivors of sexual violence even more than they already have been because it strips up their right to control their bodies and their lives,” said Elizabeth Boyce, general counsel for the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, in an article for Texas Tribune.

This has sparked outrage in Texas communities and throughout the nation. Reasonably so, there have been small protests and large criticism in social media and news media.

Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, spoke in response to the outrage as seen in Spectrum Local News. “Texas will work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas, by aggressively going out and arresting them and prosecuting them and getting them off the streets,” Abbott said. “So, goal number one in the state of Texas, is to eliminate rape, so that no woman, no person will be a victim of rape.”

It is extremely naive to believe that you can “eliminate rape.” Rape cases are extremely difficult to prosecute and many cases go unreported. Especially in a government that gives light or no  sentences — due to insufficient evidence — to offenders who typically repeat an offence after release.

Not only does the new law provide no exceptions for awful circumstances, but there is now monetary sums at a minimum of $10,000 given to those who sue the provider who performs an abortion after this date. This is not being enforced by the law, but by citizens to snitch on others in their community.

It is absolutely ridiculous to pass such a limiting law, but furthermore that it’s not even being enforced by actual law officials, but encouraging communities to target and sue one another. This can also spread outside of the Texas border. If a Texan is to leave state borders to get an abortion elsewhere, that provider can still be sued by a Texan.

Abortion providers have already had to turn patients away since this law has been put in place. A typical day for an OBGYN doctor normally holds over 30 abortions, but now it has lowered to 6-8.

With these numbers dropping, you can see that most doctors are following the law in fear of its consequences, but a certain Texas doctor, Alan Braid, has openly admitted to performing an abortion beyond six weeks. Dr. Braid wants to challenge this new law in support of his patients.

“I understand that by providing an abortion beyond the new legal limit, I am taking a personal risk, but it’s something I believe in strongly,” Alan Braid said in a column for The Washington Post. “I have daughters, granddaughters and nieces. I believe abortion is an essential part of health care. . . . I can’t just sit back and watch us return to 1972.”

He is already facing prosecution. Oscar Stilley, an individual who was convicted of tax fraud, is behind this prosecution of Braid. Surprisingly, Stilley isn’t even opposed of abortion.

So why sue a doctor like Alan Braid for performing one? He wants to pursue the monetary reward. He’s currently speaking with anti-abortion organizations on how to best win his case, regardless of his opposing beliefs.

Stilley himself sees this case getting to the Supreme Court and we still await to see how it will proceed. Along with this case, another federal court case will take place on October 1 to decide if this ban is constitutional.

Patients are in fear of what is to come and we’re all wondering how this could be made possible.