Governor Greg Abbott signed the Texas Heartbeat Act into law in May. The legislation allows a private citizen to file a civil lawsuit against an abortion provider or anyone who “aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion, including paying for or reimbursing the costs of an abortion through insurance or otherwise” if an abortionist detects an unborn baby’s heartbeat via ultrasound. The law became effective on September 1.
Abortion advocates sued to stop enforcement. They claim the measure conflicts with Roe v. Wade’s viability standard for killing unborn babies. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to act on an emergency request to block it. Shortly after a federal judge temporarily blocked the law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit temporarily reinstated it while litigation is pending.
President Joe Biden’s U.S. Department of Justice also filed a lawsuit to stop the heartbeat law. A three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit last week denied the request by a vote of 2-1.
“We are excited to continue saving hundreds of lives through the Texas Heartbeat Act,” Texas Right to Life Director of Media and Communication Kimberlyn Schwartz said. “However, the battle is not finished. We expect the Biden administration to appeal to the Supreme Court of the U.S., and we are confident Texas will ultimately defeat these attacks on our life-saving efforts.”
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