By Reese Oxner
At a time when Texas is poised to outlaw the vast majority of abortions if the nation’s highest court overturns constitutional protections for the procedure, a recent University of Texas at Austin poll shows most Texan voters think access to abortion should be allowed in some form.
Texas would make performing most abortions a felony if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade — a future that looks considerably more likely after a nonbinding draft opinion was leaked from the high court Monday. Constitutional protections for abortion could be struck down as soon as this summer.
The university conducted the poll in April before the court’s document was leaked. The survey found that 78% of respondents believe abortion should be allowed in some form while only 15% said it should be never permitted.
If Roe is overturned, Texas would allow doctors to perform abortions only to save the life of a pregnant person or if that person risked “substantial impairment of major bodily function.” There would be no exception if someone got pregnant from rape or incest.
Around 39% of poll respondents said Texans should always be able to obtain abortions as a matter of personal choice, and 11% of respondents thought abortions should be available for other reasons in addition to pregnancy resulting from rape.
The poll shows that 28% of respondents believe abortions should be available only in cases of rape or incest or when a person’s life is endangered by their pregnancy. And 7% said they didn’t know.
Respondents fell mostly along party lines. Of the Republicans surveyed, 42% said abortions should be allowed only in cases of rape, incest or when a person’s life is in danger. The majority of Democrat respondents — 67% — said Texans should be allowed to seek an abortion as a personal choice.
But there were outliers. Among Republicans, 15% said Texans should always be allowed to seek an abortion and 12% said the law should allow Texans to seek abortions for reasons outside of just rape. On the flip side, 5% of Democrats said abortion should be completely outlawed and 13% said it should be allowed only in cases of rape or incest.
Texas is one of 13 states with so-called trigger laws that would automatically go into effect to ban abortions if Roe is overturned.
Texans have experienced a preview of a post-Roe America for the last eight months. The state has been under the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, which bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, since September. The ban is able to skirt protections on abortion access by relying on private lawsuits for enforcement rather than on state officials. Critics say the law creates “bounty hunters” because it allows anyone to file a lawsuit and seek damages of at least $10,000 — even if they lack a connection to the person seeking an abortion. Abortion rights advocates have unsuccessfully challenged the ban in both state and federal courts.
But now, much of Texas’ controversial abortion law could be rendered moot as the impending Supreme Court ruling puts the right to a legal abortion in jeopardy.
“For months, Texans have had to navigate a six-week abortion ban and bounty law that has upended access to essential care,” Ana Ramón, interim executive director of the progressive political action committee Annie’s List, said in a statement. “[The Supreme Court’s] draft majority opinion confirms what we’ve anticipated all along: the end of our guaranteed right to abortion is imminent.”
Austin police are investigating the killing of Moriah "Mo" Wilson after she was found with gunshot wounds inside an Austin home.
Wilson, a gravel and mountain bike racer, was visiting Austin from Colorado in preparation for the Gravel Locos race on Saturday taking place in Hico, a small town 2 hours from Austin.
On Wednesday, her roommate came home and found Wilson unresponsive with "a lot of blood near her,” police said. It is now being investigated as a suspicious death. No further information on the suspect or motive behind the killing are available at this time.
Wilson recently had become a full-time biker after winning a slew of races in the past year.
Some of your favorite Instagram filters can’t be used in Texas anymore and Austinites are sounding off on social media.
Meta, Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, announced on Wednesday that certain filters would no longer be available in Texas.
The change is a result of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against Meta, alleging the company uses facial recognition technology that violates laws in Texas. A release from Meta says it stopped using facial recognition tech in November 2021 and denies Paxton’s allegations.
Some Austinites bemoaned the shift, saying some of their favorite filters were now unavailable.
This was my FAVORITE filter on @instagram and they done removed it cause I’m in Texas ! Like wowwwwww pic.twitter.com/uX60hdIC0Q
— Pinkyy Montana (@inkstar_pinkyy) May 11, 2022
i heard that instagram filters got banned in texas? what the actual fuck y’all better give me my favorite filter back
— lia 🤍 (@liatootrill) May 11, 2022
loved this stupid filter sm i hate texas pic.twitter.com/DXr9mmUc64
— birthday boy jeno 🎂 (@beabtox) May 12, 2022
But more often than not, locals joked about the ban.
Texas women seeing the filter ban on IG pic.twitter.com/yDMcP3Qtsr
— Christian (Anabolic) Flores (@christian_flo24) May 11, 2022
So, the state of Texas has banned filter use on IG? THE END IS NEAR. 😂
— THE FRANCHISE! Франшиза (@NYCFranchise718) May 12, 2022
And some in-between chose to show off some natural beauty.
I live in Texas, but no filter needed. 😉 pic.twitter.com/A6teRgYMKn
— bad and bruja (@starseedmami) May 11, 2022
filter, no filter..texas women still reign supreme.
— 🎍 (@_sixile) May 11, 2022
Finally, some are trying to cash in on the opportunity.
Texas IG users- if you want to filter your picture cashapp me $1.50 $ErvnYng
— Gemini (@ervn_y) May 11, 2022
Meta said it plans to create an opt-in system for both Texas and Illinois residents, who are facing the same issues.