Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill on Wednesday that bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
Women in Texas will only be able to have abortions if no heartbeat is detected or if there is a medical emergency. Fetal heartbeats can be detected as early as six weeks after conception.
The heartbeat bill is now LAW in the Lone Star State.
This bill ensures the life of every unborn child with a heartbeat will be saved from the ravages of abortion.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 19, 2021
“Our creator endowed us with the right to life, and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion. In Texas, we work to save those lives,” Abbott said the private bill-signing ceremony.
The bill, which takes effect in September, makes no exception for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest but does include a rare provision that allows individual citizens to sue anyone they believe may have been involved in helping a pregnant individual violate the ban.
“By allowing anyone, anywhere to sue people involved in providing or obtaining an abortion, this ban would be the floodgates for frivolous lawsuits, bury clinics under court cases and legal fees, and make it difficult for providers to remain open,” Elizabeth Nash, head of Guttmacher Institute, said. “This ban in Texas is clearly about controlling pregnant people’s bodies and preventing them from making decisions about their lives and futures.”
In the last decade, Abbott and his predecessor, Rick Perry, signed 24 measures restricting abortion.
According to CNN, fetal heartbeat bills “may be unenforceable [under Roe v. Wade], but abortion opponents are hoping that [legal challenges] will serve as a vehicle for the Supreme Court to eventually overturn the Roe ruling.”