A bill introduced in the Texas legislature would criminalize abortion and direct the state to ignore federal law established by Roe v. Wade. Normally such a blatantly unconstitutional effort by one lawmaker wouldn't be all that concerning, but considering the political climate we're in, this one raises cause for alarm.
The legislation, if passed, would set the stage for a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade as the Texas Observer notes. As we know, the Texas legislature has a real hunger for trying to take away abortion rights—in the past though, it's been under the guise of protecting "women's health." Last year, the Supreme Court overturned part of a law that forced most abortion clinics in Texas to close. While the law may have been ruled unconstitutional, it continues to limit access to abortion. Many clinics remain closed.
"Texas has become a cautionary tale about what happens when abortion is legislated out of reach, and reproductive health providers are shut down," Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder of Whole Woman’s Health, explained according to the Observer.
Unfortunately, a plethora of legislation to limit abortion access has been introduced across the country and even in Congress. Add to that president-elect Donald Trump will get at least one Supreme Court pick during his term, which he plans to announce within two weeks of the inauguration. He's vowed to choose someone who would overturn Roe v. Wade "automatically," and anti-abortion advocates have been applying pressure to make sure Trump appoints someone radically opposed to abortion.
Even if the Texas legislation is not passed, the proposal could be picked up by another state or a slightly softer effort could sail through the Texas legislature. Lawmakers plan to further limit access to abortion all across the country: the question at hand is whether the courts will uphold these dangerous laws. Even if they don't though, many people will not be able to access reproductive care in the meantime.