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Texas may become the first state in almost half a century to effectively ban abortions Wednesday, thanks to a federal court’s decision not to block a law enacted earlier this year against aborting babies with detectable heartbeats.
Signed in May by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, the Texas Heartbeat Act requires abortionists to screen for a preborn baby’s heartbeat and prohibits abortion if a heartbeat can be heard (generally as early as six weeks), with exceptions only for medical emergencies.
The law relies on a unique enforcement mechanism. Instead of having the state prosecute violators, it “exclusively” empowers private citizens to bring civil suits against abortionists, punishable by a minimum of $10,000 in statutory relief per abortion plus whatever additional injunctive relief is deemed “sufficient to prevent the defendant from violating this chapter or engaging in acts that aid or abet violations of this chapter.”
Notably, these private citizens do not need to have any connection to anyone involved in a specific abortion. South Texas College of Law professor Josh Blackman has explained that the advantage of this approach is that “Planned Parenthood can’t go to court and sue Attorney General [Ken] Paxton like they usually would because he has no role in enforcing the statute. They have to basically sit and wait to be sued.”
The Texas Tribune reports that abortion organizations including Planned Parenthood Center for Choice and Whole Woman’s Health Alliance filed emergency motions with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals seeking a stay on enforcing the law. But on Friday night the court canceled a hearing on the matter that had been planned for Monday, then denied the motions on Sunday afternoon.
The 5th Circuit’s denial cleared the way for the law to take effect Wednesday, September 1, but abortion defenders continue to pursue additional avenues to block it.
originally posted by: rickymouse
I have known people pushing for abortions in the past, and they are trying to talk married women into getting abortions even though they like having a family. They are often pushy and work at planned parenthood. They are pushing their opinion on the women.
originally posted by: HODOSKE
i just never understand, how so many people, do not think a baby in the womb is a living human being.a reply to: Tempter
originally posted by: Sookiechacha
I don't care what your view on abortion is, this law privatizes fascism, fosters vigilantism and encourages stalking and harassing individuals that the government can't.