Texas struck a major victory for the unborn when the “Heartbeat Bill” was signed into law.
The law outlawed all abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected – unless there is a medical emergency involving the mother.
Abortions in Texas plummeted after the signing.
Abortions in Texas have plummeted nearly 60 percent in January, just months after the state’s institution of the heartbeat law banning abortions after 6 weeks.
The heartbeat law, Senate Bill 8 which went into effect in Texas on Sept. 1, all abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected are outlawed. Private individuals can sue clinics, doctors or anyone who allegedly performs abortions on women after the sixth week of pregnancy when embryonic cardiac activity begins and collect a $10,000 reward if they bring a successful lawsuit against the abortion practitioner. The law does not exempt pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.
Legal challenges to the bill followed.
Now, the Texas Supreme Court has ruled against abortion providers — effectively ending challenges to the abortion bill.
The Texas Supreme Court ruled on March 11 that state officials do not have the authority to enforce the state’s six-week abortion ban, which effectively ends the abortion clinics’ federal legal challenge to the law.
The Texas Heartbeat Act, also known as Senate Bill 8 (SB 8), bans abortions after a heartbeat is detected—usually around six weeks after conception—unless a medical emergency exists. It has no exception for pregnancies due to incest or rape.
The law has a unique enforcement mechanism such that state officials have no role in enforcing it, but private citizens can file lawsuits against anyone who allegedly “aids and abets” in an abortion that violates the law. The exception is for individuals who caused the pregnancy through incest or rape, who cannot file such lawsuits. Because no state officials are involved in enforcing the law, abortion providers have found it difficult to bring legal challenges against particular individuals.
Texas’s high court has nine justices, all of whom are Republicans. It ruled on March 11 that state medical licensing officials have no authority to enforce the law.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton responded to the development calling it a “major victory.”
Today I secured a major victory in the Texas Supreme Court re. the Texas Heartbeat Act (SB 8). This measure, which has saved thousands of unborn babies, remains fully in effect, and the pro-abortion plaintiffs’ lawsuit against the state is essentially finished. TEXAS IS PRO-LIFE!
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) March 11, 2022
The Texas Right to Life group also celebrated the victory:
BREAKING: The Supreme Court of Texas ruled in the federal challenge to the Texas Heartbeat Act. The court found that state agencies are not authorized to enforce the law & thus the abortion industry's lawsuit should be dismissed. Another huge victory for Texas. #prolife #txlege
— Texas Right to Life (Text ProLife to 40237) (@TXRightToLife) March 11, 2022