“Unconstitutional chaos” could befall the United States after the country’s Supreme Court denies the suspension of an anti-abortion law passed in the state of Texas, said President Joe Biden, raising the tone of the dispute with the country’s highest court, whose current majority is conservative.
On Wednesday night, the court allowed the prohibition of abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy in the southern state of the United States, in the first decision of its kind since the right to abortion was guaranteed to American women, in 1973, arising from the case Roe v. Wade.
Biden raised the tone this Thursday (2) by asking for measures from the Executive to ensure the preservation of the right in the country, since the Supreme Court decision can generate a ripple effect. Florida State Senate President Wilton Simpson, Republican, for example, told a local broadcaster that he plans to follow Texas’ example and introduce a similar ban at the agency’s next session.
Texan law has an unusual feature: it leaves enforcement of the rule to individual citizens, who could receive cash rewards — of at least $10,000, or R$ 52,000, at this farm’s rate — for prosecuting women who seek abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy.
“It unleashes unconstitutional chaos and gives self-proclaimed fiscal powers, which can have devastating impacts,” Biden said in a statement instructing federal agencies to act to protect abortion rights. “Full outsiders will have the power to meddle in the most private and personal health decisions faced by women.”
The ban came into effect on Wednesday and allows abortion to take place only at a time when many women do not even know they are pregnant. Thus, the law would amount to an almost total ban on the procedure in Texas — the second most populous state in the US — since between 85% and 90% of abortions are done after the sixth week of pregnancy, and would likely force clinics to close. who carry out the practice, according to groups that advocate for the right to abortion.
The court’s decision, by a 5-4 vote, illustrates the impact of former President Donald Trump’s three conservative nominations to the highest court in the country. One of the court’s six conservatives, John Roberts, however, joined the other three judges considered more progressive in dissent.
“The decision is impressive,” wrote Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who voted in favor of suspending the law. “A blatantly unconstitutional law designed to prohibit women from exercising their rights.”
Even though it has been guaranteed for nearly 50 years, the right to abortion still divides the US, according to a survey by the Reuters news agency with the Ipsos institute. About 52% said it should be legal in most or all cases, and 36% say it should be illegal in most or all cases.
The number of procedures registered by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been declining. In 2009, for example, there were 790 thousand records. In 2018, 620 thousand.
As there is no federal legislation on the subject, abortion rights are supported by a 1973 Supreme Court decision. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized the state law and promised to put a bill on the agenda when the House returns the recess at the end of this month.
Democrats have a slight majority in Congress, but approval in the House would not guarantee success in the Senate, which requires 60 of its 100 members to support the legislation — there are 50 Democratic senators.