The most disturbing aspect of the new Texas abortion law is not that it bans nearly all abortions, though that is quite bad enough. The law is, after all, clearly unconstitutional. But even more distressing is the fact that the law outsources law enforcement to unscrutinized, unqualified zealots lacking the standing normally required to bring lawsuits and places a bounty on pregnant women and anyone helping them exercise their right to obtain an abortion.
The essence of Roe v. Wade is not simply a prohibition on governments’ restricting abortions. Instead, it is based on the notion that a woman has a right to privacy and to bodily integrity. The attempt of Texas to shirk its role in enforcing its abortion law should not be a valid workaround to avoid the obligations of Roe.
Yes, the new Texas law is an anti-woman law. It is also a pro-chaos law and an anti-rule-of-law law. If we begin outsourcing the enforcement of laws to citizens at large, the only law we will have left is the law of the jungle.
God help us! (So far, the Supreme Court hasn’t.)