Washington, Sep 1 (EFE).- A law banning abortion from about six weeks came into force Wednesday in Texas after the United States Supreme Court did not rule on an emergency request to stop it.
The legislation essentially overrides Roe v. Wade protections in the state and allows individuals to file civil lawsuits against anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion.
The measure means that abortion is almost totally banned in Texas. It offers no exceptions for rape or incest.
No other similar law that prohibits abortion once embryonic cardiac activity is detected – around six weeks, and when many women do not yet know they are pregnant – has gone into effect in the US.
President Joe Biden said the law is “extreme” and “blatantly violates the constitutional right” to abortion, and vowed to “protect and defend” it.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Abortion clinics said that the law “immediately and catastrophically reduces abortion access in Texas,” preventing at least 85 percent of patients from accessing care.
They also warned that many clinics may have to close their doors.
The Supreme Court is now preparing to hear an October appeal on a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Abortion was recognized as a constitutional right in the US in 1973 thanks to the Supreme Court ruling in the landmark Roe v. Wade case, which said that states could not ban abortion before the viability of the fetus outside the womb, generally between 24-28 weeks. EFE