/ 03 September 2021

Termination turmoil in Texas

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The most extreme abortion law in the US took effect in Texas yesterday, despite legal efforts to block its passage in the Supreme Court. Under the new law, all terminations will be banned in the state once the fetus develops a heartbeat – usually about 6 weeks into pregnancy. Citizens can dob in clinics that violate the laws, which critics say will see increased harassment from anti-abortion activists. And there are no exceptions, including for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. President Joe Biden yesterday slammed the new law for “blatantly” violating women’s rights, and critics are concerned about what the law could mean for the landmark Roe v Wade Supreme Court ruling, which decriminalised abortion across the US in 1973. Although a dozen other mostly Republican states have already passed so-called ‘heartbeat’ bills, they have all been blocked by the courts so far. But the US Supreme Court – which has a conservative majority – voted 5-4 in favour of upholding the Texas law. What that means for other states remains to be seen.

Image source: AP

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