TX Gov. Abbott Signs Pro-Life 'Heartbeat Bill' into Law

Michael W. Chapman | May 19, 2021 | 12:24pm EDT
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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R).  (Getty Images)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R). (Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- On Wednesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) kept his word and signed into law a pro-life bill that prohibits abortion after an unborn baby's heartbeat can be heard, which is usually around six weeks. The law, to a large degree, effectively outlaws abortion in the Lone Star State. It goes into effect on Sept. 1, 2021. 

"Our Creator endowed us with the right to life," Abbott said at the bill signing. "And yet millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion. In Texas, we work to save those lives."

In a tweet, the governor said, "The heartbeat bill is now LAW in the Lone Star State. This bill ensures the life of every unborn child with a heartbeat will be saved from the ravages of abortion. Thank you @SenBryanHughes@ShelbySlawson, & #txlege for fighting for the lives of the unborn in Texas."

Although the law prohibits abortion after the child's heartbeat is detectable, exceptions are allowed in the case of  a medical emergency. If a doctor performs an abortion after the heartbeat can be detected, anyone may file a lawsuit against the doctor.

“The Texas Heartbeat Act is novel in approach, allowing for citizens to hold abortionists accountable through private lawsuits," according to Texas Right to Life. "No heartbeat law passed by another state has taken this strategy. Additionally, the bill does not punish women who obtain abortions."

“The Texas Heartbeat Act is the strongest Pro-Life bill passed by the Legislature since Roe v. Wade,” said Rebecca Parma, senior legislative associate at Texas Right to Life. 

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The ACLU, which supports abortion, described the legislation as "an extreme anti-abortion bill that would ban abortion as early as 6 weeks."

In a statement to CBS News, Planned Parenthood President Alexis McGill Johnson said the new law is the "most extreme in the country," and added, "It is appalling that in defiance of public opinion and public health, state politicians remain committed to controlling our bodies."

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