Following the Texas Abortion Law, did the Supreme Court undermine Roe v. Wade?

The Claim: Following the Texas abortion law, Hillary Clinton (and many other feminist leaders) tweeted out that the Supreme Court “officially overturned five decades of settled law and permitted Texas’ unconstitutional abortion ban to stand.” She continued by saying, “they gutted Roe v. Wade without hearing arguments, in a one-paragraph, unsigned 5-4 opinion issued in the middle of the night.” (occurred September 2, 2021)

Roe v. Wade (1972) makes it illegal for the government to regulation abortion before viability (“meaning life outside of the womb”). States have the ability regulate abortions, but cannot regulate them in the first trimester.

Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) imposed the standard that abortion laws cannot impose an “undue burden” or a “substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the feus attains viability.”

Criticisms of these decisions aside, this is the current legal system for abortions in our country.

This week, the Supreme court ruled 5-4 to deny a preliminary injunction that would prevent the Texas law from going into effect. The Supreme Court did not state that the Texas law is constitutional, nor did they make any action that contradicted Roe v. Wade. The reason that the court turned down the injunction is for this reason: for a case to be heard by the Supreme Court, there must be an individual suing an enforcer who has standing in the case. The case brought forward did not have standing because it was against a state judge. Basically, a law is being put into place and people are upset that the Supreme Court is not prematurely making a decision about it.

The Texas law does not necessary make it illegal to get an abortion. The law does ban abortions after a heartbeat is detected (in all cases other than a health risk of the mother), but it is not enforced by state. The law allows any member of the public to sue abortion providers for civil damages. Patients themselves cannot be sued, but anyone who helps “facilitate an abortion” can. Individuals successful in their lawsuit will receive a $10,000 reward and their legal fees recovered.

Effectively, this created a bounty system. For example, If an individual knows someone who gets an abortion after a heartbeat is detected, they can sue the abortionist for violating this law. This could effectively put abortion providers out of business in the state.

Texas was able to avoid an injunction because of the way the law was written. Rather than giving the state the authority to police abortions, the new law gives private citizens standing to sue abortion providers. The Supreme Court majority explained why this affected their decision in their statement:

“Federal courts enjoy the power to enjoin individuals tasked with enforcing laws, not the laws themselves. And it is unclear whether the named defendants in this lawsuit can or will seek to enforce the Texas law against the applicants in a manner that might permit our intervention.”

“The statutory scheme before the Court is not only unusual, but unprecedented. The legislature has imposed a prohibition on abortions after roughly six weeks, and then essentially delegated enforcement of that prohibition to the populace at large. The desired consequence appears to be to insulate the State from responsibility for implementing and enforcing the regulatory regime.”

“The State has represented that neither it nor its executive employees possess the authority to enforce the Texas law either directly or indirectly. Nor is it clear whether, under existing precedent, this Court can issue an injunction against state judges asked to decide a lawsuit under Texas’s law.”

“This order is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas’s law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts.”

The law itself is vague and will certainly face legal challenges in the future. A case can come forward to the Supreme Court, but it must go through the regular procedures.

Regardless, we may soon see the Supreme Court make an impactful decision on an abortion-related case. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2021) is expected to be heard by the end of this year. This case questions the Constitutionality of a Mississippi law that banned abortions after 15 weeks. Still, there is little reason to believe that this current Supreme Court will rule against the legality of an abortion, and there is little reason to believe that they will overturn Roe v. Wade.

It is worth noting the following White House reaction to the Texas law:

Jen Psaki attacked a male reporter that questioned Joe Biden’s stance on abortion. The reporter asked why President Biden supports abortions when his Catholic faith teaches it is morally wrong. Psaki had the following response:

Psaki attacks male reporter

“[The President] believes that it’s up to a woman to make those decisions and up to a woman to make those decisions with her doctor. know you’ve never faced those choices, nor have you ever been pregnant. But for women out there who have faced those choices.”

The argument Psaki used is a fallacy repeated by pro-abortion activists. She believes that because the reporter is male, he is not allowed to have an opinion on abortion. But there are multiple levels of hypocrisy to her response.

First, Joe Biden is male. For people like Psaki, men are only allowed to have opinions on abortion when their belief is in agreement with the pro-life movement. As soon as men oppose abortions, they are dismissed simply because of their sex.

Second, this administration has attempted to move away from using “gendered language.” In a statement from April, the White House had this to say:

The actions announced today are initial steps in the critical work this Administration will do to address our maternal mortality crisis, close disparities in maternal care and outcomes for all birthing people…”

Democrats have attempted to start using the term “birthing people” because they believe that people who do not “identify” as women can still give birth. By telling this reporter that she knows he never faced those choices, she admits that only women can give birth. This will be an interesting point to remember when the left continues to push the asinine lie that men can also give birth.

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