Texas Governor Greg Abbott Signs Heartbeat Bill

May 20, 2021

Texas has banned abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks of pregnancy. Gov. Greg Abbott signed the heartbeat bill, which protects most unborn children in the state, on May 19.

“Our Creator endowed us with the right to life, and yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion,” Abbott said. “In Texas, we work to save those lives, and that’s exactly what the Texas Legislature did this session.”

The new “Texas Heartbeat Act” also empowers private citizens to sue abortion providers or others “who ‘aid and abet’ an abortion in violation of the new ban.” Those private citizens do not need to have a connection to an abortion provider or a person seeking an abortion and do not need to be Texas residents.

Federal judges have blocked similar bills in other states. But supporters believe the aspects of the new law that empower private citizens to sue violators rather than having public officials enforce the law will mean “the law can pass legal muster.”

Texas’ heartbeat law makes an exception allowing for abortion in the case of a medical emergency but not for rape or incest. The bill will take effect Sept. 1, 2021.


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