After the Supreme Court refused to stop Texas’ new anti-abortion law, also known as Senate Bill 8, lawmakers across the country quickly reacted to legislation that not only criminalizes it. abortion basically after six weeks, but allows anyone to sue someone. they believe he aided or encouraged an abortion. Texas Signal spoke to one of those lawmakers, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, about the new law, which she called a “parody.”
“I think the Supreme Court’s failure to block a law that goes against fifty years of precedent is devastating,” Healey said. She also noted that the Supreme Court’s actions are likely to have a ripple effect on Republican state legislatures across the country, as they also enact laws similar to SB 8.
For Healey, SB 8 is the culmination of what happens when a state legislature is mandated to the extreme and when the Supreme Court is filled with decidedly conservative justices who also occupy stolen seats.
Passing anti-abortion laws was a top priority for Republicans in Texas, despite current events that would seemingly have a higher priority, like dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic or fixing the power grid. “Texas is experiencing dueling public health and climate crises, but its government is pushing a side show cultural war that is hurting the health of its most vulnerable residents,” Healey said.
As for the United States Supreme Court, Healey acknowledged the current reality that several judges sit in court after partisan maneuvering. Judge Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the bench just eight days before the 2020 election, even though Senate Republicans refused to consider Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court during Barack Obama’s last year.
Although a large majority of Americans do not support the cancellation of Roe v. Wade, that’s exactly what happened with the new Texas law. “It’s really undemocratic,” Healey said.
Healey also believes that besides being blatantly unconstitutional (despite the Supreme Court ruling), SB 8 is also dangerous. The law allows anti-abortion activists who can harass large numbers of people they believe assist with an abortion. “It creates a whole new system of law enforcement,” the AG said.
In addition to her duties in Massachusetts, Healey is also co-chair of the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA). The organization certainly has Texas as a target next year when Ken Paxton is re-elected (although he also faces two main Republican challengers). According to Healey, DAGA was the first Democratic campaign committee to announce that it would only support candidates who support the right to access abortion and publicly commit to protecting reproductive rights.
Paxton is the subject of a securities fraud indictment and is the subject of an FBI investigation for abuse of power and corruption in a separate case. Two candidates have applied as Democratic challengers although a primary date has yet to be set. Until then, Healey and the rest of DAGA will be waiting. “We will do all we can to get Texas to elect a Democratic attorney general,” Healey promised.