How the Texas Abortion Ban is Affecting Everyone

A Student Perspective


Photo: March on Washington for Women’s Rights

Maya Tadmor, Contributing Writer

Our nation is in a state of emergency. Roe v. Wade, a court case that discussed banning abortion without undue interference, ended in 1973 when laws banning abortion were deemed unconstitutional.  The US Supreme Court is putting the case through a system of codification—this would effectively give the case a ‘second chance’ to be heard by the court, allowing them to potentially re-write the decision.

In a time like this, a time of crisis and uncertainty, it is essential to speak with the experts. Dr. Leonard Zamore, an obstetrician gynecologist for over 50 years, shared his thoughts with me about the recent moves to reopen the decision.

“I think it is outrageous, and you can quote me on that,” said Dr. Zamore, who is on the front lines of the fight to protect abortion rights. Not only did he administer some of the first contraceptives for women in the State of Connecticut, but he also helped found the first Planned Parenthood in New Haven.

He also feels very worried about the future of Roe v. Wade and fears a step in the wrong direction for women’s rights.

“Much to my dismay, I fear Roe v. Wade will be overturned […] Conservative Republicans and various right wing state houses, with the support of the Supreme Court, will unfortunately try to overturn the case. Two conservative court justices that were appointed by former President Donald Trump have swung the Supreme Court to the right.”

A recent survey by Pew Research Center has shown that a majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade, but the issue in Texas “contradicts the majority, and unfortunately might affect the outcome.”

On May 19, 2021, the Texas Heartbeat Act was officially enacted, banning abortion past week 8, with no exceptions for rape or incest, in the state of Texas. Although this took place in Texas, it affects the whole world. The bill states, “Relating to abortion, including abortions after detection of an unborn child’s heartbeat, [this bill authorizes] a private civil right of action.” This means private persons have the right to initiate a lawsuit against someone having an abortion or an institution performing an abortion. Out of the 91 public sponsors of the bill, 79 of them were men.

The question of when life begins has divided scientists.   The largest consensus is that life begins after the union of male and female gametes, during fertilization. Some scientists disagree, though, arguing that sustainable human life starts either at day 14–gastrulation–or during weeks 24-28 where you see a specific human electroencephalogram. Some have even suggested that life should be defined as beginning only after birth.

Maegan Cross, a woman who worked at Planned Parenthood, spoke with me about the significance of the abortion ban in Texas and its potential impact on the court case.

“We’ve seen [cases like this] in the past, and the reason this one was brought to the Supreme Courts is because on the state-level this topic was struck down, so that is why it was elevated to the Supreme Court. We know there’s this energy and this anti-choice sentiment in Texas and other states but I think seeing the decision was very scary to me, just really sad that we are going in this direction. It really emphasizes the need for a federally-codified protection for abortion so that states cannot continue to tear down abortion rights in this way. That’s why codifying Roe v. Wade in federal law is something that I think is a really important next step to focus on.”

Texas is a huge state with a population of almost 30 million individuals. If there’s no abortion-friendly options within the state, women would need to go to other states bordering the area.

“As much as [banning abortions] had been talked about for other states,” said Maegan, “Not many have passed them to higher courts like in Texas. So this sets a precedent for other states to be empowered to try to put lawsuits through since it happened successfully once.”

In thinking about these issues, I decided to reach out to a teenager in Texas.  Nashra Hassan, a high school senior at Wisdom High School in Houston, Texas, thought that the issue of abortion could be connected to the issue of sex education.  She admitted that her school could do more in terms of teaching about safe sex. “More awareness could be taught in health classes since abortion is banned in Texas and students my age who end up pregnant would have no guidance on what to do about it.”

So—to readers of any gender, age, background—we need to step up. There are dozens of ways we can help locally, starting by understanding the status of abortion in New York. Please visit if you are interested in helping out. You can also volunteer at There is no better time than now. No one should feel that it isn’t their space to join the fight. As long as you are a proponent for the women’s right to choose, you have a voice.