Women’s equality in the United States has regressed. For example, on September 1st, Texas officially passed the controversial fetal heartbeat bill, one of the most stringent abortion laws in the United States. Signed and approved by Texas Republican Governor Abbott on May 19, pregnant women are prohibited from performing abortions after the fetus’s heartbeat can be detected in the hospital (usually this is during the sixth week of pregnancy) unless the doctor determines that there is an emergency. Even if a woman becomes pregnant due to rape or incest, the law still prohibits hospitals from providing abortion services. The law even authorizes the public to proactively prosecute anyone who helps and recommends illegal abortion to the court. The prosecutor can seek compensation of up to US$10,000 from the defendant or doctor. Even family members who encourage or support abortion, clinic staff or clergy, etc., may face prosecution.
The day after it was passed, US President Biden publicly criticized the law.
“This extreme Texas law flagrantly violates the constitutional rights established in Roe v. Wade (Roe v. Wade) for nearly half a century. (According to the constitutional rights granted by Rowe v. Wade in 1973, the fetus does not have “viability” from the first to the 12th week of pregnancy, so the mother can discuss with the doctor whether to have an abortion.)
This law is so extreme that it does not even allow women to have abortions in the event of rape or incest. What’s even more outrageous is that it authorizes ordinary citizens to sue anyone they think has assisted in abortion. Not only does it allow strangers to make women’s most personal decisions, but it also motivates them to do so, and if they win the case, they will receive a $10,000 bonus. “
He believes this is significant harm to all women who need medical opportunities and resources. He pointed out that he is mobilizing the entire government, including the White House Office of Legal Counsel, the Gender Policy Committee, etc. The U.S. judicial department is also preparing to file a lawsuit against this new law. U.S. Attorney General Garland stated in a public statement on September 9, “This law is unconstitutional, and the Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Texas for the repeal of all abortion laws enacted by this state.”
In the past, discussions about women’s abortion rights in the United States centered on the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice groups. The activists who advocate anti-abortion say that once an embryo has a heartbeat, it is a life, so it is not suitable for abortion surgery. The opposing selections believe that the six-week abortion ban deprives women of women’s autonomy. In addition, in the first six weeks of pregnancy, women’s pregnancy signs are not obvious, and most women can only confirm pregnancy after 6-12 weeks.
It is also because of those above “the complainant can seek compensation of up to US$10,000 from the defendant or doctor, and even family members who encourage or support abortion, clinic staff or clergy, etc., may face prosecution.” This law has also caused a significant backlash from ride-sharing companies such as Lyft and Uber, as assistance in sending pregnant women to abortion clinics may be subject to judicial prosecution. Many drivers say this is unfair. The average driver will never ask the passengers where they are going, and their motives, and the passengers have no responsibility to explain to the driver. This is likely to cause the driver to face a wholly overwhelmed prosecution.
Although the “Heartbeat Act” has been criticized from all walks of life, there are still six U.S. Republican-led states that have decided to follow up with legislation, including North Dakota, Mississippi, Indiana, Florida, South Dakota, and Arkansas. Many people also boldly predict that this will affect the next American election. So how much trouble will this law cause in the United States?