Abbott indicators ‘heartbeat’ abortion regulation, says Texans work to guard life

A pregnant Texan woman holds up a picture of a sonogram she received at Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport, La. On February 13, 2020. Texas governor Greg Abbott signed a “heartbeat” measure on May 19, 2021 that would ban abortions in just six weeks. (CNS Photo / Lila Engelbrecht, Reuters)

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas’ new “Heartbeat” abortion law will “save thousands of lives and is an important step on the road to abolishing all abortions in Texas,” said Texas Right to Life after Governor Greg Abbott signed the measure.

The law, due to go into effect September 1, prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as the sixth week of pregnancy. The law, one of the strictest abortion measures in the country, has an exception for medical emergencies, but not for rape or incest.

“Our Creator gave us the right to life, and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion,” Abbott said before signing the bill on May 19. “In Texas we are working to save these lives. That is exactly what Texan law did at this session. “

He later tweeted, “The heartbeat calculation is now LAW in the Lone Star State. This bill ensures that the life of every unborn child will be saved from the ravages of abortion in a heartbeat. “

Abbott thanked the two Republican lawmakers who were the main sponsors of the measure in their respective legislative houses: Senator Bryan Hughes and Rep. Shelby Slawson. It is the first “pro-life priority law” that both chambers of Texas law passed and incorporated into law.

The governor’s lawsuit came two days after the US Supreme Court announced it was reviewing the legality of a Mississippi abortion law banning the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The lower courts have blocked the entry into force of the law, Mississippi rulings appealed to the Supreme Court.

Six other priority bills have been passed by the Texas Senate but not by the Texas House, including the Trigger Abortion Ban Act, SB 9, which prohibits most abortions and takes effect if Roe is overturned. Texas would only allow abortions if the pregnancy threatened the mother’s life.

Another – the Preborn Non-Discrimination Act, SB 1173 – would prohibit abortions “based on race, ethnicity, sex, likelihood or confirmed diagnosis of Down syndrome or the likelihood or diagnosis of disability”. It would also ban abortions in the third trimester of pregnancy unless there is a medical emergency.

On March 31, the Texas Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the public arm of the state’s bishops, was “excited” to announce the passage of conference-sponsored pro-life bills by the Senate and considered their “top priorities.”

Jennifer Allmon, executive director of the conference, said, “We have great hope that these bills, which provide further protection for women and unborn children, will become law.”

In response to the new “heartbeat” law, Elisabeth Smith, chief state policy and advocacy attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the center and other legal abortion organizations “will not leave this six-week ban unchallenged. ”

Drucilla Tigner of the American Civil Liberties Union in Texas said Abbott’s “blow with the pen cannot change the constitution”.

Supporters of the bill say the way it was written will make it difficult for opponents to sue because the law empowers individuals to “sue abortion providers or anyone who helps someone get an abortion after one fetal heartbeat was detected, “according to The Texas Tribune news Outlet.

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