Opinion | Which Values Should Guide America’s Laws?

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A brand new Texas legislation banning most abortions went into impact final week. The legislation is notable for the way restrictive it’s, and for the way will probably be enforced. Texans are empowered to sue not solely abortion suppliers, but additionally anybody else who “aids and abets” somebody in acquiring an abortion.

At Times Opinion, we’ve revealed a variety of responses to the legislation. Lauren Kelley, a member of the editorial board, warned that the Supreme Court’s refusal final week to dam the legislation was yet one more signal that Roe v. Wade is more likely to be overturned. Columnist Michelle Goldberg wrote about how the legislation is a part of a broader pattern of the Republican Party encouraging vigilantism. Mary Tuma, a journalist in Texas, described the state’s lengthy historical past of hollowing out ladies’s well being care.

And at present, we’re publishing two essays with very totally different views on a deeper query raised by the laws: Which set of values ought to information our nation’s legal guidelines?

Linda Greenhouse, a contributing Opinion author, laments that Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas — and different politicians whose states have handed legal guidelines limiting abortion — invoked God as he voiced his assist for the legislation.

“Who let God into the legislative chamber?” she asks.

Karen Swallow Prior, a analysis professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, then again, praises the Texas legislation.

“The highest purpose of human law is the protection of human life, from its beginning to its natural end,” she writes. “As a pro-life Christian, I believe that each of our individual origins are in the moment of conception.”

Though Prior writes that the Texas legislation is “far from perfect,” she sees in it potential not simply to cut back the variety of abortions in Texas, but additionally to encourage folks to assist ladies who’re contemplating having abortions.

“As history has shown again and again, we sometimes need the law to teach us to love,” she writes. “Sometimes it takes a law to remind us that fellow human beings are not ours to own, harm, or kill.”

I hope you’ll learn every of those essays and think about how they might help us perceive how this legislation got here to be, and the way it will have an effect on the lives of Texans — and others in America past the state’s borders — sooner or later. Taken collectively, they characterize a core a part of our mission at Opinion: to reveal readers to many various methods of occupied with the vital occasions of our time.

Eleanor Barkhorn is an editor at massive in Opinion. She beforehand labored as an editor at Vox and The Atlantic.

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