The Texas Abortion Law and the Future of Roe vs. Wade


Protestors holding signs for and against abortion rights.

On September 1, 2o21, the state of Texas implemented a law that bans abortion after about the six-week mark of a woman’s pregnancy, which is when a fetal heartbeat can be detected.  This law also allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and/or any known person who helps a woman obtain one. With this new law, there comes a variety of opinions from both sides of the abortion argument because new pro-life laws are beginning to challenge abortion practices in America.  Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court case that made abortion legal in all fifty states, was passed in 1973. Some people see the pro-life movement as spreading across America to end abortion in our nation. Others view this and similar laws as an affront to women’s rights.

At the passing of the Texas law, members of the Montrose community expressed their own diverse thoughts on this law and what it means. Erica Brown ‘22 stated her concern for the law by saying: “I feel as though women should have the right to choose what their bodies undergo, and the restrictions to abortion add a new dimension to the issue of women’s rights and raise concerns for me about what control women will have over their bodies in the future.” Spandana Vagwala ‘22 added: “I find that legislation such as abortion restrictions gives the pretense of an option for women, but by the sixth  week mark many women don’t even know that they’re pregnant, which adds to the stress women are already under.” 

On the flip side, multiple students expressed their favor for this law. Bella Prunier ‘24 said:  “I believe that all humans have the right to life regardless of how they were conceived. I am proud to support a law that protects the most innocent among us all, children.” She continued: “Life is the most basic human right, and if we deny that right to anyone, then who are we as Americans to say we believe in all the other constitutional rights?”  Anya Marino ‘24 jumped into the conversation and said: “Yes, rape is awful and I hope all victims find healing, but why should the child pay for the crimes of their father?”  Everyone tends to feel strongly about the abortion issue, whether that be from a pro-life or pro-choice standpoint.  

After the passing of such a historic law in Texas, many states are beginning to formulate their own pro-life legislation. For example, Florida State Representative Webster Barnaby created a state bill that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected (6-8 weeks into pregnancy). Another provision of the bill states that doctors and their employees can be fined $10,000 for performing an abortion. This is similar to an aspect of the Texas bill, where family or friends can be sued for helping a woman obtain an abortion. 

With the advent of heartbeat bills across the country, questions arise concerning the constitutionality of laws that ban abortions before fetal viability. Landmark Supreme Court case Roe vs. Wade argues that a woman has the right to obtain an abortion before fetal viability, or about 24 weeks into pregnancy. 

Roe vs. Wade states that the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution provides the basis for a constitutional right to abortion. However, the Constitution never directly mentions abortion. Roe argues that the due process clause gives women the right to privacy, and therefore the right to an abortion. The due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment reads as follows: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Roe vs. Wade argues that laws banning abortion before 24 weeks abridges women’s  “privileges or immunities” and therefore should be unconstitutional. 

The question that the pro-life side is asking is whether the child in the womb is a person. If yes, then the child deserves to have the same right to life as the rest of us do. In that sense, the constitutional evidence in defense of  Roe vs. Wade could also serve as evidence against Roe vs. Wade. If unborn babies are people with a right to life, then abortion ought to be banned.

On November 1st 2021, the Supreme Court heard the case against S.B.8, the Texas Heartbeat Bill and were left with concerns. By allowing citizens to sue abortion providers that perform abortions before 24 weeks, the cut off that Roe vs. Wade implements, the Supreme Court worried that the law challenged Roe vs. Wade. The Court won’t make its final decision on S.B. 8 for several months. That is by no means the end of news on the abortion issue however. According to NBC, on December 1st the state of Mississippi will raise the case against Roe vs. Wade. Abortion is a complex and sensitive issue, no matter what your perspective is. While having discussions, the most important thing is to show compassion to one another, especially those with whom we disagree.


Helen Olohan ‘24, Theresa Bettinelli ‘24, Contributing Writers & Alanna Hyatt ‘22, Politics Editor,,