What Happened in Texas


Written by Mara Kubis, News Editor

The Texas Abortion Law, Texas Heartbeat Act, came into effect on September 1st, 2021. The law is a six-week abortion law. The law makes zero exceptions for women who have been sexually assaulted.  The law shocked citizens because often at six weeks, most women are not aware they are carrying a child.  However, the law does not stop women from leaving the state to get the procedure done legally in neighboring states. The law saves lives of innocent children but does it change the lives of expectant mothers positively or negatively?

Unlike the previous abortion laws, the Texas Heartbeat Act does not take exceptions to rape or sexual assault. This does not allow the women of the assault to terminate their pregnancy if they choose. In a Washington Post article it explains that, “The law makes no exceptions for rape, sexual abuse or incest” (The Washington Post).This limits the options that women have if they do not want to carry the child of a violator. 

One of the contingencies of the new act is that the pregnancy has to be terminated before six weeks of development. In many cases, women are not even aware of their pregnancy before six weeks, around six weeks is when the baby actually starts to develop. The Texas Tribune author writes about how an ultrasound can detect a heartbeat at around six weeks “ . . . a fetal “heartbeat,” which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy. Medical and legal experts say the term is misleading because embryos don’t possess a heart at that developmental stage” (Bohra). This shows that banning abortion after six weeks is unreasonable. A pregnancy is just being discovered at 6 weeks, not giving a woman enough time to make the decision of whether or not to keep their baby.

 The law does not stop women from leaving the state and getting legal abortions done in different states or getting illegal abortions in state.  So what is the reason? If women are just going to drive out of state to get the procedure done in another state then why even enforce the law? A New York Times article writes about Texans going to other states to get procedures done in clinics,“The building houses one of Oklahoma’s four abortion clinics, and at least two-thirds of its scheduled patients now come from Texas. So many, in fact, that it is trying to hire more staff members and doctors to keep up” (Tavernise). Why enforce the law if it’s not going to stop women from going out of state to get the procedure done. Its not stopping women from getting an abortion, its just complicating the process. 

The Texas Heartbeat act is 6-week abortion law which bans women from getting abortions after fetus activity has been detected. The law does not allow women who have been sexually assaulted to terminate their pregnancy either. But the law does not prevent women from leaving the state and getting procedures done in neighboring states. The Heartbeat act saves the lives of innocent children but does it have more negative outcomes than it does positive? With women going out of state to get the procedure done, clinics in Texas have now lost business and doctors have lost jobs. It seems the decision to keep or ban abortion laws is a complicated process that may never be resolved.