The Texas abortion law which aims to stop all abortions in the state is an attempt towards achieving a nationwide movement to limit the ‘right to abortion’. The law is in effect from September 1, 2021. Here’s what you should know about it.
What is the Texas abortion law?
According to this law, any private citizen can sue abortion providers in Texas who violate the law. Additionally, they can also sue anyone who ‘birds or abets’ a woman getting an abortion. However, the patients themselves cannot be sued. Unfortunately, the law does not have exceptions for incest or rape. The law hangs in a dilemma of when life begins.
As per the law, the person suing need not have any connection to the woman getting the procedure. They can get a minimum of $10,000 in damages if they excel in court. Additionally, the Texas Right to Life, a whistleblower anti-abortion group launches a website to share tips and get help to start the lawsuit.
How many people does this law affect?
The new law will affect thousands of women seeking and needing abortions. However, precise estimation is difficult. In 2020 alone facilities in Texas performed over 54,000 abortions on Texas residents. Over 45,000 of them were before eight weeks of pregnancy. Some of these abortions are still legal. But only if they take place before cardiac activity is detected in the fetus. The initiation of the new Texas abortion law already saw a rise in abortions in the number of women from Texas seeking abortion in neighboring states.
How is this law different from other abortion ban laws?
The main difference between the new Texas abortion laws and those in other states is the method of enforcement. The law in Texas relies on information from citizens and citizens suing abortion centers on alleged procedures. Other states rely on criminal charges against physicians who offer the procedure. Overall, Texas and 13 other states currently have a law prohibiting abortions after eight weeks or completely banning the procedure.
Recently, a court halted a new Arkansas law that aimed to ban all abortions unless to save the mother’s life. Other states that have blocked laws banning early abortion are Alabama, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Utah.