Texas Six-Week Abortion Ban Takes Effect

Texas Six-Week Abortion Ban Takes Effect

A near-total ban on abortions has taken effect in Texas.

On Wednesday, the state enacted the country's strictest anti-abortion law, which bars women from getting the procedure after six weeks of pregnancy. The legislation — which was passed in May — is a huge backwards step for abortion rights given that most women don't know they're pregnant within that six-week window.

According to Reuters, the law is extremely terrifying due to the fact that private citizens are allowed to sue anyone who "aids or abets" an abortion after six weeks, even if they are complete strangers with no connection to the people they're suing. It also effectively incentives people to act as anti-abortion vigilantes by entitling them to a minimum of $10,000 in damages, plus attorneys' fees, if they win the case. And needless to say, many took to Twitter to voice their horror and concern over legislation that allows you to "'snitch on your friends and neighbors for money.'"

In response to the legislation, President Joe Biden called it a violation of the protections offered by the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Despite this precedent though, the Supreme Court — which has a 6-3 conservative-majority — declined to act on an emergency request to stop the law from taking effect.

"The Texas law will significantly impair women's access to the health care they need, particularly for communities of color and individuals with low incomes," the president said in a statement. "And, outrageously, it deputizes private citizens to bring lawsuits against anyone who they believe has helped another person get an abortion, which might even include family members, health care workers, front desk staff at a health care clinic, or strangers with no connection to the individual."

Not only that, but other politicians weighed in on the legislation, its potential effects and how to help, including Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who shared her own abortion story, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's call for donations to a fund split between eight abortion rights groups.

You can donate to AOC's split fund, here.

Photo via Getty / Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc / Corbis