Statement From Rockland County Legislator Harriet Cornell On Supreme Court Failure To Block Texas Abortion-Bounty Law 

 

“For the last 48 years, the strong legal shield of the United States Constitution has steadfastly protected a woman’s ‘right to privacy’ when it comes to choosing whether she will have an abortion, the most private of decisions a woman can ever make.  

It is hard to fathom how, in the year 2021, the state of Texas could pass a law that rewards anyone – including people a woman has never met – with a $10,000 bounty for essentially ‘turning her in’ if she decides to have an abortion. This can include not only the woman, but anyone who may have assisted her – a brother who drove her to a clinic, a sister who loaned her money for the procedure, the friend by her side during the visit, the nurses and doctors who perform the procedure, the taxi driver who takes her home, the neighbor who lets her stay with them afterward, and so on. 

While the woman and her entire circle of supporters are targeted, noticeably absent from this law is any liability or accountability for the man involved in the woman’s pregnancy – even if the pregnancy was the result of rape. 

This law is among the most despicable laws ever passed – turning citizen against citizen while attempting to absolve the state of any responsibility.  

This law essentially ends the very rights to privacy already ruled on in the Roe v.Wade decision by the Supreme Court in 1973. Texas has purposely created a law that is designed to frustrate attempts to have it overruled by the Supreme Court – and thereby effectively ban a woman’s right to privacy. 

But where is the Supreme Court today?  Why have a majority of Justices refused to intercede – especially when there is clear legal precedent set by the Supreme Court?  

The impact of this Texas law is clear – it intentionally supersedes the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling, and the Justices should, at the least, have banned it until these complex procedural questions were settled.   

Women who make the decision that an abortion is the right choice for them will not be swayed from that decision. This Texas law, which threatens to spread to other like-minded state legislatures, will harm the health of women and even threaten their lives. 

This unconstitutional law – fueled by the decision of Supreme Court Justices who have refused to act – will force women out of state to places where their privacy rights are still being respected and enforced. Worse, it will send some women, with no means or ability to leave Texas, back to pre-1973 style underground clinics, back alley unlicensed providers or well-meaning, but untrained practitioners. 

Shame on those U.S. Supreme Court Justices who have callously shut their eyes to the ramifications of their ruling – be it an official court ruling or not.