Supreme Court Keeps Texas Abortion Law in Place

Provided by The Washington Post

The Supreme Court upheld the Texas Senate Bill 8 law which prohibits abortion after embryonic cardiac activity (the heartbeat) is detected. The heartbeat is usually detected about six weeks into the pregnancy. The landmark 1973 Roe vs Wade case legalized abortion in America, but prohibited abortion after 24 weeks (6 months). SB 8 made it illegal to have an abortion after about 1 month. Under SB 8 private citizens can sue anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion, including someone who gives a woman a ride to an abortion clinic or gives her money for an abortion reports Sarah McCammon of NPR.  

Justice Sonia Sotomayor criticized SB 8, stating, “ The court thus betrays not only the citizens of Texas, but also our constitutional system of government.” She was joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Chief Justice John Roberts in censuring SB 8 reports CBS News.  

The CDC’s latest 2019 data on abortions in the US reveals New York (78,000 abortions), Florida (71k), and Texas (57k) as states with the highest reported abortions. California does not report abortion information to the CDC. The CDC disclosed that there were over 629,000 abortions reported in the US in 2019. The Guttmacher Institute states that in 2017, there were over 860,000 abortions across the US. 

New York, Florida, and Texas with the most reported abortions in 2019 (Kaiser Foundation)

In 1973 twenty-two year old Norma McCorvey, identified as “Jane Roe”, was not prepared to have a third child. She was struggling with drug and alcohol abuse and worked at low-paying jobs in Texas. McCorvey’s legal team filed a lawsuit against Henry Wade, the Dallas County district attorney, responsible for bringing charges against people who violated the abortion laws. 

McCorvey never had an abortion in her lifetime. One daughter was raised by McCorvey’s mother, her second child was adopted, and her third child at the center of Roe vs Wade was adopted. After the trial, McCorvey lived with her girlfriend Connie Gonzales until 1993, reports Monica Hesse of The Washington Post

In the 1990s McCorvey was approached by Philip “Flip” Benham and Operation Rescue, a pro life Christian group. Shortly after, McCorvey became a Christian and was baptized. She spent the next 20 years advocating against abortion and against the ruling of her own court case. “The playgrounds are all empty, and it’s because of me,” said McCorvey to Charlotte Taft, an abortion provider in Dallas. McCorvey died in 2017 in her home in Texas.

New York with the most reported abortions in 2019 (CDC)