May 20, 2021

Texas Gov. Signs Heartbeat Bill

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr
On Wednesday, May 19, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed into law SB 8, a bill banning most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

SB 8 requires doctors to first search for a fetal heartbeat before they abort a child. This can be detected as early as six weeks into an unborn child's development. If the abortionist does detect a heartbeat, SB 8 bans any attempted abortions on that child for reasons other than a medical emergency.

Uniquely, this law will not be directly enforced by the Texas government. Instead, SB 8 provides private citizens the ability to take civil action against abortion businesses.

SB 8 is set to take effect on Sept. 1, 2021.

Alexis McGill Johnson, executive director and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, tweeted her response on Wednesday:

“And they've included a dangerous provision that allows ANYONE from any state to sue an abortion provider and others who help someone get care?? Absolutely not. Access to abortion has never been more at risk — and we're going to fight back like hell.”

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