The Lone Star State's 6-week abortion ban has shifted focus toward women’s health, reproductive rights and governmental and legal overreach on women’s bodies.
For those who have lived under a rock the past few weeks, let's get you up to speed. On September 1, Texas enacted a law that would ban abortions for women who are 6-weeks pregnant. The law grants permission for anyone to sue another person for $10,000 if they aid a pregnant woman seeking an abortion past 6-weeks and it makes no exceptions for rape or incest.
Below are just some of the comments influential politicians, members of the Biden administration, pro-choice activists and a U.S. Supreme Court justice said about the
“Texas law SB8 will significantly impair people’s access to the health care they need—particularly for communities of color and individuals with low incomes. We are deeply committed to the constitutional right established in Roe v. Wade and will protect and defend that right.”
—President Joe Biden
“While the Justice Department urgently explores all options to challenge Texas SB8 in order to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion, we will continue to protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services pursuant to our criminal and civil enforcement of the FACE Act.
The FACE Act prohibits the use or threat of force and physical obstruction that injures, intimidates, or interferes with a person seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services. It also prohibits intentional property damage of a facility providing reproductive health services. The department has consistently obtained criminal and civil remedies for violations of the FACE Act since it was signed into law in 1994, and it will continue to do so now.
The department will provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack. We have reached out to U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and FBI field offices in Texas and across the country to discuss our enforcement authorities.
We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, physical obstruction or property damage in violation of the FACE Act.”
—Merrick Garland, U.S. Attorney General
“He [The President] believes that it is up to a woman to make those decisions and up to a woman to make those decisions with her doctor…I know you’ve never faced those choices, nor have you ever been pregnant, but for women out there who have faced those choices, this is an incredibly difficult thing. The president believes their rights should be respected."
—Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary on President Biden’s stance on Texas’ 6-week abortion ban
“Under the cover of darkness, by choosing to do nothing, the Supreme Court allowed an unconstitutional abortion ban in Texas to go into effect last night. Their decision doesn’t change the fact that reproductive rights are human rights. We'll fight for them.”
—Hillary Clinton, 2016 Democratic nominee
“This new law will make abortion unsafe and deadly, and create a whole new set of risks for women and girls. It is profoundly discriminatory and violates a number of rights guaranteed under international law.
The law and the way it came about–through the refusal of the U.S. supreme court to block it based on existing legal precedent–has not only taken Texas backward, but in the eyes of the international community, it has taken the entire country backward.”
—Melissa Upreti, chair of the United Nations Working Group on discrimination against women and girls
“We are devastated that the Supreme Court has refused to block a law that blatantly violates Roe v. Wade. Right now, people seeking abortion across Texas are panicking–they have no idea where or when they will be able to get an abortion, if ever. Texas politicians have succeeded for the moment in making a mockery of the rule of law, upending abortion care in Texas, and forcing patients to leave the state – if they have the means – to get constitutionally protected healthcare. This should send chills down the spine of everyone in this country who cares about the constitution. We will keep fighting this ban until abortion access is restored in Texas.”
—Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights
“Resiliency is powerful in the face of disasters we can’t control, but Texans are tired of having to be resilient in the face of disasters the state manufactures. S.B. 8 is about succumbing to the wishes of an extreme anti-abortion lobby at the expense of Texans’ access to abortion and their wellbeing. S.B. 8 will curb access to abortion overnight, it will decimate the already vulnerable care infrastructure in place and most importantly, it will leave Texans who need access to compassionate care and support services scared to reach out for help, and advocates afraid to help them.
SB 8’s clever strategy and legal maneuvering does not change the fact that banning abortion at six weeks is unconstitutional and creating this civil cause of action opens up the doors to an abuse of the justice system, and sets a dangerous precedent for abortion rights nationwide.”
—Aimee Arrambide, Avow Executive Director
“The Court has rewarded the State’s effort to delay federal review of a plainly unconstitutional statute, enacted in disregard of the Court’s precedents, through procedural entanglements of the State’s own creation. The Court should not be so content to ignore its constitutional obligations to protect not only the rights of women, but also the sanctity of its precedents and of the rule of law. I dissent.”
—Sonia Sotomayor, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
“When we talk about the law that was passed in Texas, we know that anti-choice bills are not about being pro-life, because if they were about being pro-life, then the Republican party would support, frankly, an agenda that helps guaranteed healthcare, that helps ensure that people who do give birth that don’t have the resources to care for a child can have that care for a child.
So we know that none of this is about life. None of this is about supporting life. What this is about is controlling women’s bodies and controlling people who are not cisgender men. This is about making sure that someone like me as a woman or any menstruating person in this country cannot make decisions over their own body.”
—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez