Texas ban on abortion
Witch hunt 2.0: With head bonuses against women
The harshest abortion law in the United States has come into force in Texas – even after rape, abortion is prohibited. There are even cash rewards for denouncers.
While the whole world is looking at Afghanistan, where the Taliban are threatening to destroy all women’s rights, they are also being curtailed in the oldest democracy in the world. the Heartbeat Billsigned by Republican Governor Greg Abbott, prohibits abortions once the fetus’s heartbeat can be detected. This can be the case as early as the sixth week of pregnancy, at a time when many women do not even know that they are pregnant.
The ban on abortion also applies to rape and incest, although the latter often means nothing more than sexual violence in the family. Even victims of such crimes are not allowed to have an abortion if they become pregnant in the process. The only exception to the rule: medical emergencies.
Bounty: The state is blowing witch hunt 2.0
In addition: For the first time, it is not the authorities who are responsible for enforcing a law, but private individuals. Every citizen is entitled and encouraged to take civil action not only against women who have an abortion after the six-week period, but also against people who support them. This regime can lead to costly lawsuits against friends and family members driving a pregnant woman to her abortion appointment, parents paying for the abortion, and health care workers.
Law professor Melissa Murray illustrated the practical consequences in the New York Times:
If a Starbucks barista overhears you talk about your abortion and it happened after the sixth week, that barista has the right to sue the clinic you had the abortion at and any other person who helped you like the Uber driver who drove you there.
But that’s not all: Those who successfully file a lawsuit not only receive the reimbursement of the court costs, but also one Reward of at least $ 10,000that the convicted person has to pay. This “bounty” creates a great financial incentive to denounce women in need. Those affected and their relatives not only have to fear the ban on abortion, but also spying and betrayal by neighbors, colleagues or even strangers. It is said that anti-abortionists are already calling for anonymous tips to be given.
President Joe Biden is also outraged
Feminists had tried to prevent the law up to the last moment, and the US president was also outraged: Like numerous women’s rights organizations, Joe Biden emphasized that the law was unconstitutional. It violates the 1973 Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that legalizes abortions nationwide. But even now, Texan abortion clinics no longer offer abortions. Unintentionally pregnant women have to resort to other states for the procedure – if they are able to do so.
It is still possible for the law to be overturned. If it is successful, however, other states such as Georgia or Kentucky, which have so far failed with their own “Heartbeat Bills”, threaten to follow suit. The abortion law is a victory for Christian fundamentalists: within – and a painful slap in the face for women.
Sources: Texas Tribune, SPON, Planned Parenthood