Man on the street

Alondra Casillo and Hayley Ortmeier, News Writers

The Texas Heartbeat Act officially went into effect on Sept. 1. This law does not permit abortions after a heartbeat has been detected which is approximately around six weeks. However, this law is very controversial to some since majority of women do not know they are pregnant by that six-week mark.

This law is unique because it relies on private citizens to enforce it. The law permits those who live in the state as well as those who do not to file a complaint in any Texas court if they believe an abortion has been performed.

Private citizens may not sue the patient seeking an abortion, but can sue abortion clinics and those who facilitate the abortion in any way. This includes doctors, nurses, insurance companies, Uber drivers and so on. Those who sue may be able to collect cash judgments of $10,000 plus legal fees. If they lose the lawsuit, the plaintiff does not have to pay the defendant’s legal costs. The act makes exceptions for medical emergencies, but makes no omissions for rape or incest.

On-campus, students may be very passionate about reproductive rights or the right to life. We asked six random students what their opinion is on Texas’ abortion ban. The students consisted of three women and three men.

First, Maya Couch stated, “I would say for the most part I’m pro-life but there’s some things that I just can’t. Especially rape, incest, sexual assault. Those things, if someone becomes pregnant because of it I will never make them have to have that pregnancy…Think about 12-year-olds or 13-year-olds… What if they get pregnant? Why are we making those kids have kids? Six weeks is really hard because a lot of times most women don’t find out until they’re easily eight, 12 weeks along. Only six weeks I understand a heartbeat is detected, but how can you say like they knew that quickly… I mean $10,000 is a lot. That’s a lot of money. And for something that’s your own body and it’s your choice, that much money is outrageous.”

As the conversation went on we asked Couch what she feels we as a society could do to show women there are other choices than abortion. “…Planned parenthood, although they do abortions…they also have things of, okay if you do get pregnant here’s adoption agencies. Here’s what we can do if you’re going to carry out. How we can support you as a new-time mother. Or even having better sex ed classes… I feel like now sex ed is not sex ed. It’s just um, acknowledging that you should do it with a condom. I think there’s definitely other ways that we can teach women and men how to have sex responsibly…”

Rebecca Schrock, an elementary and special education major, begins by showing her disapproval of the Texas abortion ban. “I think that’s really messed up and they should adjust it a lot more. I don’t know like the whole like development cycle of a child… like where they’re within 6 weeks… But like the little details, like it doesn’t consider rape or anything like that it’s messed up, they should fix it,” Schrock said.

Chloe Lanphier, a psychology major starts by saying she feels that it is wrong to tell others what to do with their bodies.

“I know that it’s controversial in the sense of it’s an unborn child and they have no control over whether they live or die. But I think if it’s early enough, maybe not six weeks, cause like you said half the time you don’t even realize you’re pregnant within six weeks. That they can choose what to do cause it’s their body. I don’t wanna sit here and tell other people what to do with their own body. I wouldn’t get an abortion with my beliefs and stuff but I’m not gonna tell someone else what to do because that feels wrong… I don’t feel right like telling other people like you should do this, especially in the sense of rape and stuff.” Lanphier said.

We then asked if she thought the ban should be edited or removed as a whole, Lanphier said, “Honestly I’d probably get rid of [the ban] in general… people are gonna find out ways to get abortions and that’s more dangerous than getting it clinically done.” When asked what she would say to opposing views, Lanphier said, “I would say, take the time to put yourself in that situation because in the sense of a rape… it would be very difficult to decide whether to have that child or not… some people have the child and you know it’s good for them… and some people choose to have an abortion because they don’t want that memory with them even if that memory is you know a child… which is completely understandable because that’s a traumatizing experience…”

Brayden Almgren, a chemistry major, believes there are too many extra conditions in the law. “You can be sued if you give them a ride or anything like the helping. I don’t think that should really matter. I feel like there should be exceptions with like rape or incest,” Almgren said.

Almgren then gave his opinion on how he would tweak the law to his liking. “In my personal opinion, I’d probably keep it. I mean I’d make some exceptions, like the time of like when you can or can’t. And then also add those exceptions to rape and incest and such.” “I mean my personal belief is abortion is not really the best choice unless there’s, you know, medical conditions or like rape or incest…” He then spoke briefly about what society could do to show women there are other options than abortion. “Probably instead of promoting abortion as much, promote more like putting up for adoption or foster care… because there’s people out there that want the kids…”

Gregory Evans, a Criminal Justice major, believes that it comes down to each individual. “I think it’s kinda down to the person. Me personally I’m not much of an abortion advocate. I don’t see it as a good thing. But I know some people view it as the only way out.” Evans said.

“You can hear a lot of stories about women that they were raped which is an awful thing, but they kept the child… Because a lot of the times it’s viewed that it’s not a good thing to solve a problem with another horrible problem,” Evans said. “Like killing a child after you’ve been through a rape. It’s a lot of stuff to go through. Where if you have a child, there, it’s a beautiful thing to have a child.”

Josh Jansen, a pre-nursing student, was taught and raised in a pro-life community. “I definitely support the ban. I personally believe life begins at conception… If I was the one looking for an abortion… I wouldn’t wanna be responsible for murder. Cause it’s life, I don’t wanna be a killer.” Jansen said.