The state of Texas implemented another piece of legislation this week that will cement its place at the forefront of the nation’s pro-life movement.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law on Wednesday that will ban abortions involving fetuses with a traceable heartbeat.
The move has already drawn sharp criticism from progressives who label it too extreme. As a result of the new law, abortions as early as six weeks after conception could now be illegal.
“A model for the country”
On a national level, pro-choice liberals have been nervously predicting a Supreme Court challenge to existing abortion rights since the nation’s highest court shifted notably to the right under the Trump administration.
Unlike other state-issued anti-abortion measures, the new Texas law will not be enforced directly by state authorities. Instead, it allows any private citizen to sue abortion providers or individuals who “aid and abet” aborting a pregnancy past the point of a discernable fetal heartbeat, reports note.
Opponents have been outspoken, including the Guttmacher Institute’s Elizabeth Nash, who fears it will “open the floodgates” to ultimately crush abortion clinics with the weight of mounting lawsuits.
State Sen. Bryan Hughes, a Republican who authored the bill, hailed it as “the most powerful pro-life legislation in Texas history” and “a model for the country.”
“Essentially bans abortion outright”
For his part, Abbott used this week’s signing ceremony as an opportunity to similarly celebrate the bill’s enactment.
“Our creator endowed us with the right to life, and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion,” the governor said. “In Texas, we work to save those lives, and that’s exactly what the Texas Legislature did this session.”
State and local leftist groups have rejected the legislation’s limits. Planned Parenthood of Texas Votes said that it “essentially bans abortion outright” while the American Civil Liberties Union labeled it “the most extreme abortion ban in the country.”
In addition to pro-abortion activists, many in the national mainstream media denounced the new abortion restriction.
The new state law is slated to go into effect on Sept. 1. Its approval comes as the Supreme Court is expected to hear a Mississippi case that could have an impact on the boundaries of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that established abortion as a civil right.