After more than 600 new laws were passed in Texas on Sept. 1, the state erupted into disarray as people took different viewpoints on some of the well-known issues addressed. One of the more pressing issues people spoke of was the Heartbeat Bill, which almost completely criminalizes abortion.
My social media feed is filled with people asking for petitions to be signed and marches to attend in response to this new bill. The federal government took notice of these uprisings, and when the bills regarding abortion in Texas were initially brought up, the high court did nothing to block them despite challenges made by abortion providers.
On Sept. 24, though, the first sign of change in regards to SB8 was made. The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that contradicts the new law, despite state restrictions. The bill is called the Women’s Health Protection Act and would protect abortion services and oppose current restrictions state governments have previously passed. However, it is a large concern among the Democrats that the bill does not stand a chance against the evenly divided Senate.
In the past, there have been several attempts from Republicans to implement abortion restrictions. The bills had federal restrictions being set around 20 weeks of pregnancy, but voting always seemed to fall short in the Senate. The law passed by Texas earlier this month is the strictest one yet, with abortion becoming illegal after just six weeks of pregnancy.
The issue of abortion has been an ongoing debate between parties, and the separation between church and state becomes more and more muddled with each new law. Many arguments against abortion have been made based on religious viewpoints.
An academic journal published on Plos studied religious attitudes toward abortion. Those who are “pro-life” seem to all have different ideas on when exactly a fetus is considered alive and specific situations in which abortions may be morally acceptable.
Unfortunately, some people are fed misinformation regarding abortion from their pastors, which causes the pro-life outlook some have to be inspired by false causes. This study makes me speculate how many people are basing their opinions (and their voting) on misinformation.
It would be a surprise if the Senate happened to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, and I wonder what the chances are it could cross out the new Texas law entirely. The optimist in me hopes some sort of positive change is played out with the introduction of the bill.
It definitely shows how representatives are taking a chance to present their support for abortion, which is important with the 2022 congressional elections right around the corner. Those elections will dictate who has control over Congress during the second half of President Joe Biden’s first term.
Overall, the day and age our country lives in right now is very important for political activists, and this latest bill is only the beginning of many other objections to come.