Legislation banning abortion — so-called heartbeat laws — are a distinctive feature of some American states. Now, new initiatives to prohibit abortion and penalize those who participate in it have been approved in several states but courts have temporally stopped their application.
Supreme Court supports heartbeat law
A state law, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in May with an effective date of Sept. 1, dictates that a physician can’t knowingly perform an abortion if there is “a detectable fetal heartbeat,” which includes embryonic cardiac activity that appears about six weeks into a pregnancy. To allow that the law takes effect on the date the Supreme Court (September 1, 2021) allowed the nation’s toughest restrictions on abortions to take effect, declining to block a new Texas law that bars the procedure after about six weeks of pregnancy (read HERE). An emergency appeal, which arrived at the Supreme Court on September 30, was centered on the preliminary question of what rules should apply in Texas while abortion providers continue to challenge the ban in lower courts. That issue came to the justices after the aforementioned federal appeals court halted trial-court proceedings in the case for now and declined to block the ban from taking effect.
The new law bans abortion as early as six weeks the so-called heartbeat law. The novelty of the current law is it that allows private citizens to enforce the rule through civil lawsuits. Although the bill does not punish women who obtain an abortion, critics say that provision “would allow abortion opponents to flood the courts with lawsuits to harass doctors, patients, nurses, domestic violence counselors, a friend who drove a woman to a clinic, or even a parent who paid for a procedure. And they argue that it would violate state constitutional requirements that civil lawsuits can be filed only by impacted parties. Under the bill, a person filing the lawsuit would not need any personal connection to the abortion in question”.
An article published in Wall Street Jornal (September 2, 2021) gives an overview of the effects of the new law reporting that all four Whole Woman’s Health clinics in Texas were open Wednesday and operating in accordance with the new law. The clinics are able to offer ultrasounds and make plans to provide the procedure for anyone without detectable embryonic cardiac activity. When it has been estimated that 85% of abortion procedures have been after the sixth week of pregnancy.
Roughly a dozen states have passed “heartbeat bills,”. The Texas precedent could have a domino effect provoking several states applying the aforementioned laws already passed.
Opponents of antiabortion law, fertility clinics and the Biden Administration defends women’s right to abortion based on an old ruling of the supreme court that thus interprets the constitution. This interpretation is being questioned and that is now seen for the first time is being contradicted by a pronouncement of the Supreme Court itself. Read our article; Who has the right to life? Roe V Wade Ruling.
For those who defend that the children’s right to life, this is great news. Our Observatory welcomes this much-needed law in a so large state but the most hoping fact is the Supreme Court pronouncement questioning the supposed right of women to have an abortion (Roe V Wade Ruling.)