By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the nation’s strictest abortion ban into law last spring, and now that the Supreme Court has allowed it to take effect, abortion rights defenders are sounding the alarm.

In a statement, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey called the Texas law “a dangerous attack…. Should such a law be upheld, powerless patients will be forced to carry pregnancies, regardless of rape or incest, or have their doctors and families threatened with legal action. We will fight this latest effort to overturn Roe v. Wade and stand up for freedom, privacy, and basic rights.”

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Last year Massachusetts passed a law precluding weakening of abortion rights. But it’s a different story in New Hampshire, where Gov. Chris Sununu in June signed a ban on abortions after six months into law. And Kayla Montgomery of the Planned Parenthood of New Hampshire Action Fund fears the Texas law could spur pressure for more. “It is not reflective of New Hampshire’s long bipartisan support for privacy, particularly when it comes to reproductive health,” she says. “This is the ‘live free or die’ state and pregnant people in New Hampshire are very concerned about this.”

President Joe Biden vowed to defend against what he called a “blatant” violation of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling establishing abortion rights.

But Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) tells WBZ News that’s not good enough. “Abortion rights cannot just be protected by the courts. If 70% of the American people want protection, then we should be passing a law in Congress,” she says.

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What about the political fallout?

The abortion debate excites activists on the right and left, but as Warren notes, polling over the years shows most Americans want Roe v. Wade left alone. So in the short term some of the key House and Senate races next year could turn into a national referendum of sorts on abortion rights.

And there’s the broader issue of how the Texas law turns citizens into abortion police. Anyone in the country could sue a Texas abortion provider and anyone who helped in the process – including the Uber driver who took the woman to the clinic – even if they had no connection to the woman in question.

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Just imagine the Pandora’s Box of litigation and acrimony that could open up.

Jon Keller