ASU student organizations are responding to the Texas abortion law
Texas Senate Bill 8 is currently the most restrictive abortion law in the country
Last Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 8, a law that bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. According to the New York Times, SB 8 is the country’s most restrictive abortion law, the Roe v. Wade circumvents the 1973 US Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide.
SB 8 is not the first law that Roe v. Wade challenged last year. That summer, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey called on eleven other Republican governors in a legal mandate that asked the Supreme Court to overturn Roe against Wade.
Arizona is one of eight states with laws that existed before Roe v. Wade that completely restricted access to abortion. If Roe were tipped at Wade, Arizona could enforce the abortion ban on Roe.
ASU student organizations respond
ASU College Republicans used Twitter to criticize Senator Mark Kelly for supporting access to abortion.
Joe Pitts, president of the College Republicans, said although the club has not taken an official stance on SB 8, it is in favor of abortion restrictions and in favor of the repeal of Roe v. Calf.
SB 8 awards rewards of up to $ 10,000 to those who sue abortion providers and others who pay for an abortion, transport it, or otherwise help them achieve an abortion.
While Pitts, a junior management major, said he wished the state could enforce the law instead of representing the citizens, he still supports SB 8.
“I think if I had been a lawmaker I would have supported this law,” said Pitts. “But I think there are certainly better models for pro-life legislation.”
The ASU Women’s Coalition has been researching how to respond to recent threats to access to abortion. Some constituents of the Women’s Coalition, such as the Planned Parenthood Generation Action, have already got involved by raising funds for advocacy groups for the right to abortion.
Last week Arizona State Senator Nancy Barto told the Phoenix New Times she was seriously considering sponsoring a bill similar to SB 8 in the Arizona Senate during the 2022 legislature. Barto told the New Times that there is already interest among other lawmakers in helping to fund and ultimately pass the potential bill.
CONTINUE READING: Is Arizona Going to Ban Abortion?
Women’s coalition marketing intern Ainor Elgamal, a sophomore majoring in political science, said if Arizona lawmakers pass laws similar to SB 8, it could have dire consequences for ASU students. Elgamal said many students are sexually active and while contraception is extremely effective, unplanned pregnancies still occur.
“That can be very detrimental to someone pursuing a college career,” said Elgamal.
ASU’s Students For Life supports the lifting of Roe v. Wade, Evelyn Suarez, president of Students For Life and senior English major, said in an email.
“Texan law is not perfect, but it goes a long way in defending the lives of unborn children who otherwise have no voice to defend themselves,” wrote Suarez. “I am optimistic that this can be the beginning of a life-affirming country.”
If abortion were restricted in Arizona, Saurez believes Students For Life could help ASU students facing unplanned pregnancies find free to low-cost obstetrics through anti-abortion medical clinics in the Phoenix area that offer advice, Offer STD tests and other resources.
Sahara Sajjadi, a junior political scientist and vice president of membership in the ASU Young Democrats, expressed concern about Texas law.
“This will set a very dangerous precedent,” Sajjadi said. “It will have an adverse effect on low-income people, people of color, women, and so on, as opposed to people of higher class.”
In a 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled not to prevent SB 8 from coming into effect. But on September 9, the US Department of Justice sued Texas over alleging the law was unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade precedent.
“It’s not just going to be a day that Roe v. Wade is overthrown, it’s happening gradually. We are seeing the onset and stepping-stone of women and people who are losing their physical autonomy very slowly and it’s getting a lot faster,” said Sajjadi.
Young Democrats plan to work with other abortion rights groups on campus to advocate reproductive health care and encourage ASU President Michael Crow to make a statement in support of legal access to abortion.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, women denied access to an abortion are more likely to have higher levels of anxiety and lower life satisfaction than women who have had an abortion.
“We also teach young people in college that you don’t have the rights to your body that you think you have,” Sajjadi said. “So it also puts a strain on self-esteem, it affects sexual health.”
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