Senate Bill 8, or S.B.8, prohibits abortions after 6 weeks. It also has the unusual feature of allowing private citizens to sue those who don’t comply with the law, essentially turning everyday people into bounty hunters.
In the Supreme Court ruling on Friday, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a dissent excoriating the law and challenging her colleagues for not blocking the Texas ban today before it hears oral arguments from the federal government on November 1.
Here are 4 times she gave it to us straight:
- “By delaying any remedy, the Court enables continued and irreparable harm to women seeking abortion care and providers of such care in Texas—exactly as S. B. 8’s architects intended.”
2. “The promise of [a] future [decision] offers cold comfort…for Texas women seeking abortion care, who are entitled to relief now. These women will suffer personal harm from delaying their medical care, and as their pregnancies progress, they may even be unable to obtain abortion care altogether. Because every day the Court fails to grant relief is devastating, both for individual women and for our constitutional system as a whole.”
3. “I cannot capture the totality of this harm in these pages. But as these excerpts illustrate [showing the financial and social consequences of the ban], the State (empowered by this Court’s inaction) has so thoroughly chilled the exercise of the right recognized in Roe as to nearly suspend it within its borders and strain access to it in other States. The State’s gambit has worked. The impact is catastrophic.”
4. “Every day that S. B. 8 remains in effect is a day in which such tactics are rewarded. And every day the scheme succeeds increases the likelihood that it will be adapted to attack other federal constitutional rights.”
5. “Those with sufficient resources may spend thousands of dollars and multiple days anxiously seeking care from out-of-state providers so overwhelmed with Texas patients that they cannot adequately serve their own communities. Those without the ability to make this journey, whether due to lack of money or childcare or employment flexibility or the myriad other constraints that shape people’s day-to-day lives, may be forced to carry to term against their wishes or resort to dangerous methods of self-help.”