PHOTOS: Austinites march in support of abortion rights after Roe v. Wade opinion leak
People took to the streets of Austin on Tuesday to show support for abortion rights after news broke that the U.S. Supreme Court intends to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that established the right to an abortion nearly 50 years ago. Overturning the case would essentially eliminate abortion access in Texas.
The majority of the Supreme Court has voted to overturn the 1973 decision, arguing the issue should be left up to politicians, not the courts, according to a draft opinion leaked and published by Politico on Monday night. Chief Justice John Roberts has confirmed the draft was authentic, but said a final decision is still pending. It’s expected this summer.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortions wouldn’t be banned across the U.S.; their legality would be left up to the states.
But in Texas, and several other states with so-called “trigger laws,” it would mean a near total ban on abortion. Last year, the Texas Legislature passed one of these laws — House Bill 1280 — that kicks in 30 days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade and makes performing an abortion a felony. There aren’t exceptions for rape or incest.
Currently, Texas already has one of the most prohibitive abortion bans in the U.S. State lawmakers passed Senate Bill 8 last year, which bans abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy — before most people know they are pregnant. Under the law, private citizens are allowed to take to court people who perform abortions. The law has forced more than 1,400 people to go out of the state to get an abortion.