Saturday, May 29, 2021
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday signed into law a bill that bans abortion the moment a fetal heartbeat has been detected, a move that makes Texas the largest state in the nation to outlaw abortion so early in a pregnancy.
The Texas law effectively prohibits any abortion after around six weeks of pregnancy — before many women are even aware they are pregnant.
The bill, which takes effect in September, makes no exception for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest but does include a rare provision that allows individual citizens to sue anyone they believe may have been involved in helping a pregnant individual violate the ban. The provision cannot be used against pregnant people, but reproductive rights advocates warn it can be used to target abortion providers and abortion-rights activists.
The new law adds Texas to a growing list of states with conservative leaders that have passed increasingly restrictive abortion laws as part of an effort to challenge the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and other U.S. Supreme Court precedent guaranteeing the right to an abortion.
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