Speed Reads

abortion rights

Legal analysts, abortion advocates decry 'diabolical' new Texas ban: 'It's an incredibly dark day'

An incredibly restrictive abortion law went into effect in Texas on Wednesday, cemented by inaction from the U.S. Supreme Court, HuffPost reports.

The law, S.B. 8., criminalizes and thus effectively bans abortions at six weeks, when many people don't yet realize they're pregnant. It also "deputizes citizens to enforce the ban," HuffPost writes, by financially incentivizing private citizens to "sue anyone 'aiding or abetting' abortion-seeking patients in Texas."

"These are laws stricter than what we have in place for someone who would drive someone who is about to commit an act of terrorism," NBC News' Julia Ainsley told MSNBC.

"If you're really pro-life Texas, pass measures for pre-natal care, education, nutrition, child care and other measures to improve children's lives," argued former U.S. attorney and MSNBC and NBC News legal analyst Joyce Vance. "Until then, this is just a political stunt."

Barbara McQuade, another MSNBC legal analyst, called the law "diabolical" in that it is "incentivizing bounty hunters." "That alone, I think, is going to create a really dangerous scenario." 

Women's health groups also decried the ban. "It is not for the state of Texas to overturn Roe v. Wade," said Nancy Northup of the Center for Reproductive Rights. The state has "literally turned back the clock 50 years," added Planned Parenthood President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson. "It's an incredibly dark day."

"This is a peculiar situation designed to create legal complications," CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin further explained. "This law is now in effect and Roe v. Wade essentially does not exist, at least in the state of Texas and probably more in states to come."

To that end, if the court ultimately allows the law to stand, "it's very likely that other conservative states will move to pass similar laws," notes NPR. Read more at NPR.