Republican States Pile On New Anti-Abortion Laws and Some Texans Want Women to Face Murder Charges
Anti-choice activists are clarifying what a post-Roe landscape would look like if conservatives on the Supreme Court overturn the landmark decision that legalized abortion nationally. Since the appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Court, legislators have been working with activists in conservative states like Ohio, Mississippi and Kentucky to craft harsh anti-choice bills banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected at about 5 to 6 weeks. Such laws essentially outlaw abortion.
Chicago Sun Times: "Prohibiting abortions at the first detectable heartbeat means prohibiting virtually all abortions, said Dr. Michael Cackovic, a specialist in maternal fetal medicine at Ohio State University Medical Center. He said current standard practice, which involves transvaginal ultrasound, can reliably detect a heartbeat five to six weeks into pregnancy."
Republican controlled states like Ohio and Tennessee are also considering "trigger laws" which would immediately ban abortions if Roe v. Wade were overturned.
Lawmakers in Texas took it a step further recently by introducing a bill which would criminalize all abortions and subject women to murder charges for ending their pregnancies.
In a rather bizarre statement defending his bill, Rep. Tony Tinderholt, the Republican state legislator who introduced the bill, said it would make people “consider the repercussions” of having sex.
The bill was rejected by the Texas legislature, but expect such measures to become much more common if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade. One of the witnesses at the hearings on Tinderholt's bill captures the feelings of many anti-choice activists:
Vox: “A woman who has committed murder should be charged with murder,” Jim Baxa, president of West Texans for Life, said at the hearing."
Don't believe anti-choice activists who say that they will only seek to punish abortion providers once Roe is overturned. When it becomes clear that women will continue to find ways to terminate their pregnancies in anti-choice states [with mifepristone, for instance], conservative legislators will criminalize their actions. Ohio considered such a bill last year. They won't be the last.