The last abortion law passed in Texas severely affected citizens statewide with its severe restrictions. This law can be challenged before the Supreme Court, but despite the multitude of challenges thrown at it by abortion providers and the Biden administration, this law sends an even bigger, but disturbing message: Lawmakers are getting smarter to restrict the rights of their citizens.
Texas abortion law prohibits abortions for women who are about six weeks pregnant, at which time the fetal heart activity is detected. The law differs from restrictive abortion laws in other states in that its enforcement is carried out by private citizens rather than criminal prosecutors. For this reason, any citizen can sue any other citizen who “help and encouragement”A woman seeking an abortion.
Rape and incest are not exceptions to the law, which means anyone who seeks abortion services will be affected, ultimately impacting thousands of women across the state. While other states have had restrictive abortion laws tied to court cases challenging them, Texas law remains in effect until the Supreme Court allows the challenges.
The ingenuity of this law has triggered other states to follow his example. Republican officials from the states of Arkansas, Florida, South Dakota, Idaho, Indiana, and Oklahoma have all been dedicated to copying Texas law and making it applicable to their countries. own states.
Instead of focusing on serious issues that impact their communities and protecting the rights of their constituents, these states choose to focus on limiting rights.
Abortion isn’t the only issue lawmakers are tightening increasingly astute restrictions on – it’s the right to vote, too. A wave of bills restricting voting rights across the country were enacted in the wake of the 2020 presidential election after former President Donald Trump questioned the validity of the election results.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “[b]Between January 1 and July 14, 2021, at least 18 states enacted 30 laws that restrict access to voting. The majority of these restrictive election laws were caused by the increase in allegations of disinformation and fraud from the 2020 presidential election.
Voting before this wave of new laws was already difficult, but these changes further restricted the voting process. This shows the ingenious means that lawmakers use to restrict our constitutional rights. For example, lawmakers in Texas have tried to severely limit the number of places of ballot papers in the 2020 presidential election. Even the act of voting on Sunday after church, led by a predominantly black movement known as “souls at the polls, ”Was threatened by the new electoral laws in Georgia.
The simplest act we can do in response to these increasingly restrictive laws is to vote. Whether in our local city councils, in the upcoming midterm elections of 2022 or the next presidential election of 2024, voting is how we can encourage our representatives to fight for the issues that matter to us. .
To make further impact against limitations on our personal rights, voters can call local or state officials and urge them to take a stand against restrictive legislation. Always be sure to do adequate research on recent legislation that may also affect your community or state.
Whether it’s abortion legislation or voting, lawmakers have recently taken a more active role in limiting our personal rights – it’s up to us to reject them and urge them to adapt effectively. to the needs of our communities.
Camelia Heins is an opinion intern for the fall 2021 term. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.