An undue burden

On+Sept.+1%2C+2021+Texas+signed+into+law+a+bill+%28also+known+as+the+Texas+Heartbeat+Act%29+that+makes+abortions+illegal+after+the+first+six+weeks+of+pregnancy+%E2%80%93+when+you+can+first+detect+a+heartbeat.+Another+aspect+of+the+bill+is+that+citizens+can+sue+those+who+have+had+an+abortion+or+have+helped+with+abortion+in+any+way+for+up+to+%2410%2C000+in+legal+fees.+Art+by+Laurel+Seidensticker.

Annie George

On Sept. 1, 2021 Texas signed into law a bill (also known as the Texas Heartbeat Act) that makes abortions illegal after the first six weeks of pregnancy – when you can first detect a heartbeat. Another aspect of the bill is that citizens can sue those who have had an abortion or have helped with abortion in any way for up to $10,000 in legal fees. Art by Laurel Seidensticker.

Heartbeats have always had everlasting effects on culture and society. They have even spurned poetry and great literature, leading to works such as The Tell Tale Heart or even many of Shakespeare’s sonnets. And now the heartbeat is changing the way our society interacts and views the world. Continuously the motivator for change. 

On September 1, 2021 Texas signed into law a bill (also known as the Texas Heartbeat Act) that makes abortions illegal after the first six weeks of pregnancy – when you can first detect a heartbeat. Another aspect of the bill is that citizens can sue those who have had an abortion or have helped with abortion in any way for up to $10,000 in legal fees.

“What would be a better solution [is a] more comprehensive sex education and more conversation on sex ed to prevent an unwanted pregnancy in the first place.””

— Brynn Morrow

 

Brynn Morrow, senior, said she feels that it’s completely understandable if someone is against abortion for themselves. But she also thinks that it’s everyone’s right to decide to get an abortion, should they want it. 

“Abortions will still happen, they just won’t be as safe because people will still find a way [get an abortion] if necessary,” Morrow said. “A better solution [is a] more comprehensive sex education and more conversation on sex education to prevent an unwanted pregnancy in the first place.” 

The idea of an improved sex education curriculum is not new to Morrow. She wrote a paper her freshman year about it, which prompted her English teacher to ask her if she was sure she wanted to write about that. She was sure. 

“People can learn how to stay safe and better prevent unwanted pregnancies.” Morrow said. “Knowledge is power, and having the knowledge of how to keep yourself and others safe can help prevent teen pregnancies, STDs, and therefore, can prevent abortions.”

Jason Evans, AP Government teacher explained that the Department of Justice was filing an injunction to prevent the enforcement of the new Texas abortion law, but that wasn’t the only way legislative organizations looked to overturn the law. In the Supreme Court case, Grendel’s Den v Larkin, the state of Massachusetts withheld a liquor license from a bar, because the Church behind the bar said they couldn’t get one. The court ruled in favor of the bar stating that they couldn’t give power to a private entity. 

“Since Roe v. Wade, there have been several decisions where the court has allowed states to limit access to abortion, as long as it doesn’t put an undue burden on the person seeking the abortion.”

— Jason Evans

“The lawyer that represented the bar, is now a law professor at Harvard,” Evans said. “He thought that that precedent could be applied if this Texas law was challenged because the state government is giving not just a private entity, but any private citizen anywhere the power to enforce this governmental power. Theoretically, by law, it should be the purview of the state.”

If the case were to go to the Supreme Court, the law could be overturned due to Grendel’s bar v. Larkin. But not everyone wants the law to be overturned. Joslynn Gura, senior, explains that there is a point where abortions should be illegal.

“I don’t like late abortions because that’s when it is too far,” Gura said, “Six weeks is maybe a little short, I wouldn’t be opposed to making it longer, but definitely before [the] first trimester.”

Gura said she understands why people don’t like the six-week mark in the new legislation. But she also thinks that if sometime were to happen, the woman would have enough time to abort the potential baby. 

“There are certain circumstances where abortion is okay, but then there are other circumstances where it can’t be used as a form of birth control,” Gura said. “It needs to be more used for [situtions such as] incest or rape.”

Since the new Texas abortion law was passed people have discussed what this means for Roe v. Wade. But with all the restrictions that abortion has already faced Evans doesn’t think pro-lifers need to overturn Roe v. Wade to inhibit abortion.

“Since Roe v. Wade, there have been several decisions where the court has allowed states to limit access to abortion, as long as it doesn’t put an undue burden on the person seeking the abortion,” Evans said. “As far as Roe v. Wade being overturned, if you’re an advocate for getting rid of abortion. You don’t necessarily have to overturn Roe v Wade.”