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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Wednesday not to block the new Texas law banning most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy while legal challenges to that law proceed in lower courts. The Texas law is the most significant in the country because it bans abortion when a heartbeat can be detected and provides that private individuals may bring a legal cause of action against the abortionist and anyone who helps facilitate the killing of unborn children.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said, “No freedom is more precious than life itself. Starting today, every unborn child with a heartbeat will be protected from the ravages of abortion. Texas will always defend the right to life.”

SB 8, known as the “Texas Heartbeat Act” abolishes elective abortions when the preborn child’s heartbeat is detectable using methods according to standard medical practice. The bill makes an exception allowing for abortions in the case of a medical emergency but not for rape or incest. It would be enforced by private citizens empowered to sue abortion providers and others who help someone get an abortion after six weeks. Those private citizens would not need to have a connection to an abortion provider or a person seeking an abortion and would not need to be Texas residents.

The law is part of a broader nationwide effort to protect human life. At least 12 other states have enacted bans early in pregnancy. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the fall regarding the challenge to Mississippi’s law which prohibits abortion after 15 weeks.

SB 8 was authored by Senator Bryan Hughes who said, “This bill says for the little baby inside her mother’s womb, if there is a heartbeat detected, that little baby will be protected.”

Texas House Rep. Shelby Slawson, one of the sponsors, shared her own personal story. She said doctors advised her mother to get an abortion because of a potential medical problem with the unborn baby.

Slawson said, “The complications and those dire prognoses continued, the back-and-forth to the doctor continued, and that heartbeat continued. And then one Tuesday in May, that new mom greeted her newborn. This surprisingly normal baby, marveling at 10 fingers and 10 toes and wisps of red hair.”

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “This is a great victory. We are pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court did not block the Texas Heartbeat Act. It’s another win for the life of the precious unborn. We must be steadfast and diligent in continuing to pass legislation to protect the innocent lives of children and their mothers.”

Author: Liberty Counsel