Governor Greg Abbot signed into law a controversial bill that implemented one of the strictest abortion bans in the country. Its unique structure is what makes it the target of critics, allowing anyone to sue people who pursue this procedure or those who help them.
Almost any private citizen can sue for awards of up to $10,000 or more as a means of enforcing the ban.
This option creates an environment where neighbors or family members could sue each other even if they suspect an abortion was committed. There doesn’t need to be any compelling evidence to initiate the lawsuit.
Since the Supreme Court refused to take up the case, it was implemented into law over the summer.
The Bill Bans Abortions When an Ultrasound Detects a Heartbeat
Although the Texas abortion ban is reported to limit procedures to six weeks, the actual text says that an ultrasound cannot detect a heartbeat. It’s a misleading requirement since embryos don’t possess a heart during that developmental stage.
The only exception to the ban is if the mother or fetus experiences a medical emergency. It includes cases where a woman was impregnated because of incest or rape.
Since it isn’t up to the government to enforce the law, proponents hope that it can withstand legal challenges. In October, a federal judge ruled against it, but that didn’t start procedures again because people feared that lawsuits could be retroactive.
In the meantime, women are traveling out of state to receive medical care because of the law. That’s the only way to avoid the potential lawsuit issue.