Earlier this week, Senate Bill 8—also known as the Heartbeat Act—went into effect in Texas, banning abortions after six weeks and further criminalizing anyone who aids or abets an abortion after that time, incentivizing neighbors to report suspicious abortions with a bounty of up to $10 thousand.
Six weeks is long before the stage of fetal viability, making the law unconstitutional under the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, and yet the conservative Supreme Court declined to intervene to halt the law, all but confirming the nation's worst fears that the Court will be willing to overturn the landmark ruling when the opportunity comes.
President Joe Biden's administration decried the Court's failure to intervene, saying in a statement:
"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. 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."
White House press secretary Jen Psaki, in a daily briefing, elaborated on Biden's position after EWTN White House correspondent Owen Jensen pressed her on the dissonance between Biden's Catholic faith and his stance on abortion access.
When asked by Jensen who Biden believes should "look after the unborn child," Psaki—a mother of two—said:
"He believes that it's up to a woman to make those decisions, and up to a woman to make those decisions with her doctor. I know you've never faced those choices nor have you ever been pregnant but for women out there who have faced those choices this is an incredibly difficult thing. The president believes that right should be respected."
Her answer was praised across social media.
The Texas law continues to spark urgent concerns nationwide.
In light of the Court's refusal to intervene, there are growing calls for Congress to expand the number of seats.