Photo: Melissa Phillip | Houston Chronicle via AP

SCOTUS hears arguments about Texas Abortion Law

November 1, 2021

~ 4 minutes read

The Supreme Court is hearing arguments to two challenges to Texas abortion law that took effect two months ago.

The law allows any person to sue anyone involved in an abortion performed after the detection of a fetal heartbeat. The person who sues would receive more than $10,000 if the court ultimately rules in their favor.

The law went into effect on September 1. However, on October 6, a federal judge granted the Justice Department’s request to pause enforcement until pending cases could make their way to the Supreme Court.

See our previous breakdown of Texas’ law for more details about the case.

What else is each side focusing on?
  • This law makes women into criminals.
  • The individuals who have the right to sue under the Texas abortion law aren’t suffering any injury when people have abortions.
  • This law brings justice to innocent, unborn children.
  • The federal government shouldn’t intervene in this law — it’s something that Texans want.
The Narrative

Women deserve the chance to make informed choices about their lives and bodies.

Vigilante strangers should have no say in this personal decision, which makes the structure of this ban even more barbaric.

Abortion is murder. The circumstances of a pregnancy are not the child’s fault — banning abortion saves innocent lives.

The court should overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to decide this issue for themselves.

How could a reasonable person come to think this?
  • The belief that a fetus is an extension of the woman’s body or bodily domain and women have a right to choose what happens to their bodies.
  • The idea that many women don’t even know they are pregnant when this law takes effect, and this is a complicated decision that might take time.
  • The belief that a fetus is a person, that people have the right to life, and the right to life supersedes all others.
  • The idea that local government is more responsive to the needs of communities than the federal government, and the federal government should have limited ability to interfere in state law.

What else is the left focusing on?

  • This law makes women into criminals.
  • The individuals who have the right to sue under the Texas abortion law aren’t suffering any injury when people have abortions.

The narrative: Women deserve the chance to make informed choices about their lives and bodies.

Vigilante strangers should have no say in this personal decision, which makes the structure of this ban even more barbaric.

 

How could a reasonable person come to believe that?

  • The belief that a fetus is an extension of the woman’s body or bodily domain and women have a right to choose what happens to their bodies.
  • The idea that many women don’t even know they are pregnant when this law takes effect, and this is a complicated decision that might take time.

What else is the right focusing on?

  • This law brings justice to innocent, unborn children.
  • The federal government shouldn’t intervene in this law — it’s something that Texans want.

The narrative: Abortion is murder. The circumstances of a pregnancy are not the child’s fault — banning abortion saves innocent lives.

The court should overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to decide this issue for themselves.


How could a reasonable person come to believe that?

  • The belief that a fetus is a person, that people have the right to life, and the right to life supersedes all others.
  • The idea that local government is more responsive to the needs of communities than the federal government, and the federal government should have limited ability to interfere in state law.

Often when we talk about specific news events, like the ongoing oral arguments about this case, our conversations get lost in the details and lose their connection to fundamental values. When thinking about this issue or discussing it with someone else, here are some questions that might help you establish a strong foundation for your conversation:

  • When does life begin? In other words, when should a fetus have the legal rights of personhood?
  • Is there a difference between what the mother should morally do and what the law allows her to do?
  • Are there external circumstances that affect your view of abortion? If so, under what circumstances would your stance change?

 

What do you think? Do you agree with one side, or do you fall somewhere in between? Give us feedback on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, or by emailing info@narrativesproject.com.