Fox News reports that Texas’s anti-abortion Heartbeat Act is about to become a reality.
A group of abortion advocates, however, are making a last-ditch attempt to get the courts to prevent the law from going into effect.
The law’s significance
Texas’s Heartbeat Act, as the name suggests, makes it illegal for a woman to have an abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. This would usually be somewhere around the six-week mark of the pregnancy, which is often before a woman knows that she is pregnant.
This law, if it does go into effect, would be the strongest restriction on a woman’s right to have an abortion – the right that was established not by the Constitution but by the courts in Roe v. Wade – since that case was decided back in 1973.
There are about 12 other states that have attempted to enact similar laws. All of these states have been blocked from doing so as the result of legal challenges.
Texas is hoping to become the first state to successfully enforce one of these “heartbeat” acts. But, abortion advocates are trying to prevent this in a last-ditch legal effort.
Just as the Texas Heartbeat Act was set to go into effect – i.e. September 1st – the pro-abortion group Whole Woman’s Health asked the Supreme Court to grant an injunction, which would put a hold on the law going into effect.
A decision about that injunction is expected to come from conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. But, we have yet to hear from Alito.
It ought to be noted that the pro-abortion groups, here, failed at the lower court levels. Just over the weekend, in fact, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the same injunction request. This is what led Whole Woman’s Health to appeal to the Supreme Court – the court of last resort.
Supporters of the Heartbeat Act believe that they will be successful, unlike other states who have tried to enact such a law, because of the unique enforcement mechanism of Texas’s version of the law.
Fox report: “What makes the Texas law different is its unusual enforcement scheme. Rather than have officials responsible for enforcing the law, private citizens are authorized to sue abortion providers and anyone involved in facilitating abortions.”
We should be hearing from the Supreme Court on this matter very soon. Let’s hope that it’s a win for “life.”