AUSTIN, Texas — In a landmark decision, The Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 to overturn Roe v. Wade, eliminating a woman’s constitutional right to abortion in the United States. The court’s long-awaited stance caused an outpouring of commentary from lawmakers across Texas on both sides of the aisles Friday morning.
“The U.S. Supreme Court correctly overturned Roe v. Wade and reinstated the right of states to protect innocent, unborn children,” wrote Gov. Greg Abbott in a statement. “Texas is a pro-life state, and we have taken significant action to protect the sanctity of life. Texas has also prioritized supporting women’s healthcare and expectant mothers in need to give them the necessary resources so that they can choose life for their child.”
Considered a state with some of the strictest laws relating to abortion, Texans have Abbott to thank. Last year, he signed a bill into law banning abortions as early as six weeks — a timeframe in which doctors say some women don’t even know they’re pregnant. In his statement, Abbott detailed his contributions to aiding in assisting soon-to-be-mothers.
“I signed laws that extended Medicaid health care coverage to six months post-partum, appropriated $345 million for women’s health programs, and invested more than $100 million toward our Alternatives to Abortion program. This critical program provides counseling, mentoring, care coordination, and material assistance, such as car seats, diapers, and housing to mothers in need.”
Now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, Texas’ so-called “trigger law,” which will make abortion illegal from the moment of conception, with no exceptions for rape or incest, will go into effect in 30 days. Texas joins 12 other states — Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming — in passing such a law.
“Nearly 50 years ago, the Supreme Court enshrined in Roe v. Wade the fundamental right to reproductive freedom for all Americans,” said Texas Democratic Party Co-Executive Director Hannah Roe Beck in a statement. “Today, our worst fear was realized: the Court has overturned that ruling, ending the federal constitutional protection of abortion rights and threatening the reproductive liberty of millions of Americans.”
House Bill 1280 outlaws abortions in Texas unless the mother’s life is in danger, thus making all other abortions performed by a doctor a crime in the state. Doctors who perform the procedure face life in prison and fines of up to $100, 000.
“No child or adult should be forced to carry a pregnancy to term against their will,” said Beck. “By supporting this decision and enacting legislation like the ‘trigger’ law, Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans have made it clear they are hellbent on doing just that. With the passage of Texas’s six-week abortion ban, these radical far-right conservatives have already made Texas an incredibly dangerous place to live for the millions who sought to exercise their previously-protected right to abortion.
Now, Texas has become exponentially more dangerous with the activation of this dystopian and extremist law.”
Saddened by the news, Rep. Sylvia Garcia, of Texas’ 29 district, said the decision erased “decades of progress” adding its part of the “vision that Republicans have for America.”
“I won’t stand by quietly as they continue their anti-women agenda,” Garcia tweeted. “Together, we must fight for women’s rights. The time is now.”
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, of Texas’ 30th Congressional district, urged Congress to act now.
“This is a moment of reckoning for reproductive rights — for human rights — in America,” Johnson tweeted. “Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for nearly 50 years. [Four out of five] Americans support upholding legal abortion.
Johnson insisted that today’s decision would “immediately endanger lives” thus putting American’s ability to make their own healthcare choices left to swing in the balance.
“People still need and get abortions — and that’s on us to protect and support them as well as those who are providing them care,” Johnson wrote.
On the other side of the aisle, the Hispanic Republicans of Texas claimed today’s ruling as a dub for all citizens.
“Hispanic Republicans of Texas applauds the decision to defend the most fundamental right — the right to life,” the group tweeted. “This is a historic win for the innocent unborn and the Pro-Life movement. The Supreme Court states that there is no right to abortion in the constitution.”
Senator Bryan Hughes, (R-Tyler), commended the court’s historic opinion. Hughes noted it was a decision “corrected” 50 years later.
“This decision marks the end of a terrible chapter in our history,” Hughes said in a statement. “By extending equal protection of the law to the most innocent, the Court today brings us closer to living out the true meaning of the American creed. Texas stands with 12 other states with trigger laws already in place to immediately begin saving lives now that Roe v. Wade is set aside.”
Just hours after the news, President Joe Biden addressed the nation calling it a “sad day for the court and the country.”