Texas Passes New Abortion Law

Photo Courtesy of abc.net.au

Photo Courtesy of abc.net.au

Chloe M. Liles, Staff Writer

On September 23, 2021, the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, passed a bill that would ban anyone from getting abortions 6 weeks into their pregnancy, before most women know they’re pregnant. The official law has created a country-wide shock and a sudden increase in protests regarding women’s rights.

Abbott believes that by signing the bill, he is ensuring “that the life of every unborn child who has a heartbeat will be saved from the ravages of abortion.”  The abortion law restricts anyone from getting an abortion if a heartbeat can be detected, usually at around 6 weeks, and the law does not make exceptions for victims of rape or incest. The only time people could get an abortion was if the parent’s life was endangered. Citizens also now have the right to sue abortion clinics and providers, which has caused a rise in unemployment.

According to texastribune.org, what makes the law so unique is the fact that citizens enforce the law instead of the government like most other bills. So, citizens do not have to be connected to someone who’s had an abortion in order to sue an abortion clinic. Furthermore, abortion clinics usually sue the state when they try to enact bills that restrict abortions, but there’s no state official enforcing the bill, so there’s no one to sue.

“The authors of the laws used citizen enforcement as a means of precluding preemptive attacks on the laws because there’s no one in the state to enforce it,” stated Richard Rosen, a law professor at Texas Tech University. Every citizen is considered to be their own attorney general and will be awarded $10,000, according to texastribune.org. Abortion clinics are not the only businesses that can be sued with this bill, certain medical professionals, rape crisis counselors, and family members are at risk of being sued for this bill. Moreover, because of the bill’s broad language, there’s only flimsy protection against rapists because most cases go unreported and, therefore, there’s no conviction.

Luckily, on October 6th, according to globalnews.ca, U.S District Judge Robert Pitman suspended the abortion law when he was urged to take action by the Biden Administration. He believed that it was unconstitutional that never should’ve gone into effect in the first place.