The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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States could ban abortion


This story was originally run in the October 20, 2004 edition ofThe Daily Campus, however, was not run in its entirety. A correction was made in the October 21, 2004 edition and theWeb site was updated accordingly with the entire article.  Thearticle below is the article in its entirety.  The DailyCampus apologizes for any inconvenience or misguidance thismight have caused.


 

The Associated Press recently reported that Texas and 29 otherstates could make abortion illegal if the Supreme Court reversesits 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

A study conducted by the Center for Reproductive Rights foundthat these states have old laws, language in their stateconstitutions or anti-abortion legislatures that could act ifabortion rights were no longer federally protected. More than 70million women of child-bearing age could be affected, the centersaid.

According to the study, the Texas constitution does not protectabortion rights, and the state legislature is “likely toenact a new abortion ban” if Roe is reversed.

Coordinator of the SMU Women’s Center Courtney Aberle saidthat if this happened, the impact on Texas women would bedramatic.

“Texas women would have to travel to other states or evenother countries to receive abortions. This would mean that abortionwould still be an option for wealthy women who could afford thetravel, but it would be unattainable for lower income women,”she said. “My greatest fear would be that women would returnto taking drastic measures to end their pregnancies, such as tryingto terminate them on their own or visiting unethical, unlicenseddoctors.”

First-year business major Courtney Howe agreed.

“I think that banning abortion would cause socialuproar,” she said. “Underground abortions would risesharply, and women would be endangering their lives.”

Political science professor Matthew Wilson said it wasn’tlikely that Roe would be overturned. However, if it were, women mayturn to illegal means. “There will always be some peopletrying to get around the law,” he said.

Wilson also said that a decision to overturn Roe would createenergized movements on both sides of the issue. Political scienceprofessor Cal Jillson predicted that this activism would preventabortion from being completely banned.

“I think the Texas Republican Party would move to severelylimit access to abortion, while the Texas Democratic Partywould work to defend a woman’s right to choose,” hesaid. “Women will be energized by these events, with asignificant majority opposing denial of choice, and that willconstrain Republican state legislators. I would expect tightrestrictions on access to abortion services but not outright andcomplete denial of access.”

Political science professor Joe Kobylka said since PlannedParenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992), stateshave had opportunities to further regulate abortion but”haven’t rushed to do so.” He also citedStenberg v. Carhart (2000).

“If Roe does go down, it obviously opens the door forlegislatures to re-enter this fray,” Kobylka said.

“That said, note that the political field is muchdifferent now than it was in 1973 or 1992. The Center forReproductive Rights is one of the organizational manifestations ofthat change – pro-choice groups are much more politically organizednow than they were in the past.”

Kobylka and Wilson agreed that the study could be politicallymotivated.

“The center’s press release may have been, in part,a political move to draw more adherents to its group and enhanceits membership and resources should, in the case of Roe’sreversal, they have to take the fight forcefully back into statelegislatures,” Kobylka said.

Wilson said that special interests groups often go for”shock value” with issues like this. For instance, hesaid Planned Parenthood is sending mailers throughout the 32nddistrict in Texas, telling voters to “Be Afraid!”because Pete Sessions will put women’s rights in danger.

“It’s not subtle,” he said.

Junior international studies and Spanish major Andrea Harrisonsaid she is against abortion.

“I believe in the value human life at the moment ofconception,” said the Dallas native. “Abortion is beingused as a form of birth control today, which is unfortunate in anage when contraceptives are readily available and widely used.Roe v. Wade was based on the presumption that it wouldprotect women who had been raped or whose lives were threatened bycomplications during pregnancy, but this group of women comprises aminiscule amount of abortions every year.”

Despite her beliefs, Harrison said she doubts the laws wouldchange.

“The practice of abortion is so widespread today that,judging from all the illegal abortions that happened before Roev. Wade, I am unsure that any state regulations will be able tochange this trend,” she said.

Five of the nine Supreme Court justices are currently consideredto be supporters of abortion rights. However, President Bush couldnominate justices with anti-abortion views if he is reelected inNovember. Bush passed the Partial Birth Abortion Ban last year.Democratic candidate John Kerry has said that, if elected, he wouldsupport abortion rights.

“I will not allow somebody to come in and change Roe v.Wade,” Kerry said during the final presidential debate.”The president has never said whether or not he would dothat. But we know from the people he’s tried to appoint to thecourt he wants to. I will not.”

Moderator Bob Schieffer asked Bush if he would overturn thecourt decision, and he responded, “What he’s asking me is,will I have a litmus test for my judges? And the answer is, no, Iwill not have a litmus test. I will pick judges who will interpretthe Constitution, but I’ll have no litmus test.”

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