It’s debatable: Taking a long look at Texas’ recently passed abortion law

It's debatable: Taking a long look at Texas' recently passed abortion law

In this week’s “It’s Debatable” segment, Amy Hardberger and Charles Moster debate the constitutionality of Texas’ recently enacted abortion law. Hardberger is the McCleskey Professor at Texas Tech School of Law and the Director of the Center for Water Law and Policy. Moster is founder of the Moster Law Firm based in Lubbock with seven offices including Austin, Dallas, and Houston. HARDBERGER 1 It is difficult to name an issue more contentious than abortion. While it’s a topic discussed regularly now, its polarization is relatively recent. Despite the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, the weaponization of abortion as we now know it didn’t begin until the late 1980s. Once a constitutional right has been granted, its reversal is incredibly unlikely; therefore, abortion opponents have sought increasingly creative ways to limit and ultimately remove the right. Earlier this year, Texas took that creativity to a whole new level. Unfortunately, in their passion to stop abortions, legislators threaten central tenants of our legal system. At its core, Senate Bill 8 (SB 8) is a procedural hack attempting to achieve a substantive constitutional goal. While it was intended to criminalize abortion, it undermines judicial review in ways that will have long-lasting deleterious impacts if allowed to stand. At issue are the enforcement mechanisms outlined if a medical provider performs an abortion past the six-week limitation. Rather than obligate state actors to enforce this temporal parameter, which is unconstitutional under current legal precedent, it asks private citizens to do the state’s bidding. […]

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