ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 2, 2021) — The new Texas ban on all abortions past six weeks of gestation — the most restrictive in the nation — went into effect Sept. 1 after the Supreme Court rejected an emergency application to block the law.

The Texas law does not grant exemptions for rape or incest, and gives private citizens the right to sue anyone suspected of helping a person obtain an abortion.

Julie Novkov, interim dean of the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, is an expert in public policy, constitutional law and women’s issues. A professor of both Political Science and Women’s, Gender And Sexuality Studies, Novkov’s research comprises law, history and U.S. political development, especially in relation to identity, such as race and gender.

Novkov says that even if the Texas law is ultimately struck down by the Supreme Court in years to come, it effectively shuts down abortion and health services, especially for poor and young women.

“It’s entirely possible that this Texas law will make it back to the Supreme Court a few years from now and that there will be a 6-3 or 5-4 ruling striking down most of the law. Even so, it will reveal once again the distinction between abortion jurisprudence and actual access to have an abortion. That distinction has been there since Roe v Wade, which never guaranteed or protected the latter. And between now and whenever this law goes down, many people with uteruses will have a harder time accessing needed health services — not just abortion, but also prenatal health and pregnancy services because of the shadow this will cast over public women’s health providers.”

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