MSMS on SB8: Most students oppose controversial Texas bill


Lorie Shaull from Washington, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

MSMS students voice their opinions on the new restrictive abortion law passed in Texas.

Madison Echols and Lexi Holdiness

The recently passed Texas Senate Bill 8 impacted the lives of millions of Americans over the past few months. The bill has two key terms: the banning of abortion after fetal heart activity is detected and the ability to sue any third parties directly or indirectly involved with such abortions. Like most Americans’ responses to this controversial topic, MSMS students have widely differing opinions. 

An anonymous survey was sent out to MSMS students to gather information about their opinions on SB8. In the survey, students had the option to choose whether or not they wanted to disclose their identity.

Out of the 31 respondents, 19% agreed with the terms of the bill, and 81% disagreed. One aspect of the survey was a short response where students were able to elaborate on their initial stance. Of the responses, most arguments fell into the themes of female autonomy, safety, religious reasons (supporting and opposing SB8) and conventional morality. The survey produced a vast range of opinions regarding the bill where some students were in opposition to the bill and others were in complete support. 

“This bill will reinforce the value of human life. Taking the life of an innocent, defenseless child or taking the life of what will become an innocent child for the sake of convenience or any other reason is one of the most immoral things that can be done,” an anonymous student wrote. “Not only is killing innocent children wrong but claiming as if it is some sort of progress is honestly disgusting. Not even bringing religion into it, but the idea of taking the life of a soon-to-be child is everything that is immoral.”

Many students expressed their support for SB8, all coming from different backgrounds on why their support is justified. 

“I stand in support. We use the heartbeat to tell if people are alive everywhere else. We should not make an exception here,” junior Daniel Caton wrote. “Furthermore, this bill places the power in the people’s hands, leaving it up to them to decide whether or not to prosecute those who break this bill.”

However, the majority of the respondents were in deep opposition to SB8. Many students said taking away the autonomy of a woman in her body and her right to safe abortion after heart activity is detected is more immoral than aborting the fetus.

“This bill is horrible,” another anonymous student wrote. “Not only is it putting women’s rights in danger, but it is also putting women themselves in danger. When they outlaw something like abortion, they aren’t stopping it completely; people will still get them if they really want them, but they will be unsafe and even deadly in some cases. Even if someone doesn’t agree with abortion, it is still better to have it accessible because it won’t stop women from having abortions.”

Another student said they agree the restriction of abortions by the government really means the restriction of safe abortions.

“Regardless of your personal opinions on abortion … people will find a way. Banning abortions means more people dying alone in closets with coat hangers or other homemade abortions,” the student explained in their response. “If you ban abortions you hurt more people in the long term since usually homemade abortions kill the pregnant person too. If people are going to do it [have abortions] then make it safe.”

Regardless of background or beliefs, SB8 is impactful to everyone, including MSMS students. There is no shortage of strong opinions in an environment as diverse as the one MSMS fosters.