Democrats lash out at Supreme Court for doing ‘nothing’ and allowing ‘radical’ and ‘extreme’ 6-week abortion ban to take effect in Texas

Nancy pelosi
U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol July 28, 2021. Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • Democrats ripped into the Supreme Court for failing to block Texas’ 6-week ban on abortions.
  • “This radical law is an all out effort to erase the rights and protections of Roe v Wade,” Pelosi said.
  • The Texas law bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and took effect at midnight Wednesday.
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Congressional Democrats on Wednesday ripped into the Supreme Court for allowing a Texas law that ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy to take effect.

The law, passed in May by Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, became one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation once it went into effect at midnight Wednesday. It prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which typically occurs at the six-week mark of pregnancy, a time when many people do not yet know they are pregnant. There are no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

The Supreme Court failed to act on an emergency petition to block the Texas law, known as SB8, which limits access to abortions for patients across the state.

Democrats argued on Wednesday that the law poses a direct challenge to abortion protections provided by the Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark decision Roe v. Wade.

“SCOTUS’s failure to block #SB8 has delivered catastrophe to women in Texas. This radical law is an all out effort to erase the rights and protections of Roe v Wade,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted on Wednesday.

“Every woman, everywhere has the constitutional and moral right to basic reproductive health care. We will fight SB8 and all immoral and dangerous attacks on women’s health and freedoms with all our strength,” she added.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer similarly attacked the Supreme Court for not intervening and letting the abortion ban become the law of the land in Texas.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to do nothing and let this appalling Texas law go into effect is an effort to rip away women’s rights, health, and reproductive freedoms,” the top Senate Democrat tweeted. “This fight is only just beginning. Democrats will fight against #SB8 and for Roe v. Wade.”

Democratic Sens. Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York also took to Twitter to blast the law as “extreme.” Democratic Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri pointed to the disproportionate toll the law will have on “Black, brown, low-income, queer, and young folks in Texas.” Studies show that people of color are at higher risk of experiencing poor reproductive health outcomes.

The law is unique as it invites private citizens, instead of state officials, to enforce the ban. That means anyone can sue an abortion provider or someone helping a patient get an abortion in Texas. For every successful lawsuit, the private citizen will be awarded at least $US10,000 ($AU13,667), in addition to legal expenses.

The Supreme Court may still weigh in on the law, but as of right now, abortion access in Texas is limited. Wednesday’s move is likely to lead to closures of abortion providers and clinics across the state.

The Supreme Court is due to consider a major abortion case this fall that could upend Roe v. Wade. The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, concerns a Mississippi law that would ban nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.