The Texas trigger law is expected to go into effect 30 days after the judgment, making abortions illegal in the state.
SAN ANTONIO — In a landmark decision Friday, the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade who established a constitutional right to abortion in 1973. Now the right to abortion belongs to the states, as does accessibility.
In 2021, the Texas Legislature passed trigger legislation, which would make abortions illegal 30 if and when Roe v. Wade was canceled. Jon Taylor, professor of political science at UTSA, said it was highly unlikely that anything could be done to prevent or slow down the trigger law.
“It criminalizes the activity of the patient, it criminalizes the activity of the doctor performing the abortion,” Taylor said. “These are felony offenses – we’re talking about state prison sentences, multiple years, we’re talking about the doctor’s license (potentially revoked), various things.”
Governor Greg Abbott released a statement on Friday that said, in part, “Texas is a pro-life state, and we have taken significant steps to protect the sanctity of life. Texas has also prioritized the health care support for women and pregnant women in need, to give them the resources they need to choose life for their child.”
For the past nine months, Texas has limited access to abortion after six weeks, under the controversial Senate Bill 8.
Taylor said SB 8 could also affect minors under 18 who travel across state lines to have abortions if the trigger law goes into effect.
“To me, it’s a bit problematic trying to prove, say, you’re in El Paso to cross the border into New Mexico to get an abortion. It’s like chasing someone for a fire. fireworks in Bexar County; can you actually prove it?” Taylor added.
In the draft notice leaked in May, Taylor said it could be argued that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ notes indicate that other rights could be at risk.
“If the right to privacy does not exist for abortion, how can it exist for marriage equality? How can it exist for contraception? How can it exist for a variety of personal decisions? ” he said. “That’s where I think we’re potentially heading next.”
Taylor called the Supreme Court’s ruling a “traditional” ruling that will have lasting impacts on American politics for decades to come.