Texas Governor Greg Abbott is expected to sign a new bill, known as a heartbeat bill, which will ban abortions once a heartbeat has been detected. In most cases, that happens at 6 weeks.
The bill was approved by Texas lawmakers on Thursday.
Abbott tweeted on Thursday: "The Texas legislature PASSES the heartbeat bill. It’s now on its way to my desk for signing."
The Texas Legislature PASSES the heartbeat bill.
It’s now on its way to my desk for signing.
Thank you to @SenBryanHughes & Rep. @ShelbySlawson for your leadership on this issue. #txlege pic.twitter.com/ZmJvoqJqXB
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 13, 2021
The only exception in the bill is for cases of medical emergencies.
The Tribune noted the bill would be enforced by private citizens empowered to sue abortion providers and others who help someone get an abortion after six weeks, including by driving them to an abortion clinic.
Public officials would not be enforcing the bill. And backers hope it will stop abortion rights advocates from suing the state to prevent the law from taking effect.
"The Texas Heartbeat Act is the strongest Pro-Life bill passed by the Legislature since Roe v. Wade," said Rebecca Parma, the senior legislative associate for the Texas Right to Life organization, which supported the bill.
And The Daily Beast said the Texas Right to Life noted the bill would "further bolster the ultimate goal of ending all elective abortion."
"After the battle leaves the Texas Capitol, the next stop is the courthouse," the group said.
Of course Democrats are having a meltdown over it. Democrat state Rep. Donna Howard declared that it is a "violation of constitutional rights to abortion."
She tweeted, "If you drop your sister off at a healthcare clinic – where she has an abortion – you could be sued, against, by anyone in the US. If you process the insurance paperwork for an abortion, you could be sued."
📌If you drop your sister off at a healthcare clinic—where she has an abortion—you could be sued, again, by anyone in the US
📌If you process the insurance paperwork for an abortion, you could be sued
— Donna Howard (@DonnaHowardTX) May 5, 2021
She added, "This bill opens the door to frivolous lawsuits that will paralyze our medical system and flood our courts."
Not only is SB 8 a violation of constitutional rights to abortion, it’s a disaster for our legal and medical systems.
This bill opens the door to frivolous lawsuits that will paralyze our medical systems and flood our courts. 8/
— Donna Howard (@DonnaHowardTX) May 5, 2021
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