The enforcement policy, which authorizes citizens to sue anyone who helps a woman to have an abortion after heart activity is observed in the embryo, will be analyzed.
The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will consider legal arguments on Texas’ abortion law, which is the most restrictive in the country, on November 1 , and that the law will remain in effect. However, he refused to block the rule in the meantime.
The court granted an expedited review of the law , which the Joe Biden administration in a filing on Friday said “has virtually eliminated abortion in Texas after six weeks of pregnancy . “
The court will review the unique law enforcement policy, which authorizes individual citizens to sue anyone who helps a woman have an abortion after heart activity is observed in the embryo , typically about six weeks, before most of women even know they are pregnant. It makes no exceptions for rape or incest.
The Joe Biden government and the abortion clinics had asked the high court to repeal the law outright.
The Department of Justice and the other parties involved in the case had until October 27 to present summaries of the allegations that they will deliver on November 1.
The government and abortion clinics claim that Texas law violates the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade of 1973, which enshrined a woman’s right to abortion.
Last month the Supreme Court, with a conservative majority, invoked procedural reasons and decided by 5-4 not to intervene in blocking that Texas law.
The Supreme Court is made up of nine judges, three progressive and six conservative , so Biden of the Democratic Party faces a difficult situation.
The Supreme Court itself allowed the law to take effect in September because it did not rule on an urgent request to block it from Texas clinics.
Texas law allows individuals to file civil lawsuits against anyone who assists a pregnant woman with an abortion if they believe she violates the ban and offers rewards of up to $ 10,000 to each plaintiff if she wins the lawsuit.
That system has so far allowed Texas authorities to evade responsibility for law enforcement, because the burden of implementation rests on those private citizens and not on the conservative leaders who pushed for the veto.
No other similar law that prohibits abortion at six weeks’ gestation – when the fetal heartbeat can be detected – has gone into effect in the United States.
Veronika Granado was nervous, standing before a judge, knowing that if she said the wrong thing things could end badly for her, but the 17-year-old had not committed any crime or filed a lawsuit. Granado went to a court in Texas to ask for permission to have an abortion. He told her that her religion was against abortion, but that she had to be impartial as a judge. You agreed to your request. A week and a half later, Granado had the abortion.
She was one of thousands of teenagers burdened by the obstacles that exist in the United States to having an abortion legally , especially if they are from minorities or live in states where access to abortion is severely limited. Thirty-eight states require some form of parental consent for any woman under the age of 18 to have an abortion. Of those, almost all, including Texas, offer an alternative: ask a judge for permission to avoid having parental permission.
But new restrictions in Texas that essentially prohibit abortion after six weeks of pregnancy have made those requests impossible. The process of going to court requires a sonogram. Getting an audience can take weeks. By then, women are often past six weeks of pregnancy. And as other states build on Texas’ success and tighten their own restrictions, those avenues are being closed to them.
Supporters of parental consent laws say parents should have authority over medical procedure , but adolescent girls seeking abortion often face abuse or threats of homelessness if they tell their parents or guardians that they are pregnant. said Rosann Mariappuram, executive director of Jane’s Due Process, the first organization in the country dedicated to helping young women through the process of going to court and one of the few groups of its kind in the nation.
The group works with about 350 women a year in Texas. About 10% are in foster care and 80% are non-white teens.
Most have passed six weeks when they come to the organization. Teenagers who have only been menstruating a few years don’t know how to monitor themselves. Athletes tend to have irregular periods and sometimes, when young women use contraceptives, they experience irregular bleeding, which they might mistake for menstruation. All these factors often lead minors – and also adults – not to detect early signs of pregnancy.
Each state has its own rules for deciding how young women can avoid parental consent through a judge. Fifteen states require judges to use the standard of “clear and convincing evidence” to determine whether an adolescent is mature enough to have an abortion and whether abortion is in her best interest, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which promotes the right to abortion. Some states require judges to make their decision within 48 hours, while others give them several days.
The judges have full discretion to make their decision and can basically ask what comes to mind. Sometimes they ask questions that invade privacy, like how many sexual partners a young woman has had, Mariappuram said.
“We say that every time you send someone to court for this, it is traumatic, because they basically make them think they broke the law, ” he said.
A few states are reconsidering their policies. Massachusetts lowered the age to require parental consent last year. In Illinois, lawmakers who support abortion rights are working to repeal a parental notification law to ensure that people have access to safe abortion services.
In contrast, Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, which advocates for abortion restrictions, said abortions are a life-changing medical decision in which parents must have a say . Although she opposes a judge’s option to avoid parental leave, she says the courts have repeatedly upheld it.
“Parents should not be denied their ability to monitor a decision by their daughter, ” Herrod said. “A young woman deserves her parents’ guidance in making that decision.”